Jun 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Substance Abuse Intervention Technician, C.A.S

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Major Code:  398

The Substance Abuse Intervention Technician CAS prepares students to work with individuals and families experiencing or affected by substance abuse problems and other co-occurring behavioral or mental health issues. Students will learn about working with clients, and acquire skills needed to apply theories used in psychology, social work, and substance use disorders to help individuals and families recover from substance abuse & addiction and prevent relapse. A 2.0 GPA is required for acceptance into this program.

This program allows students to complete a certificate quickly to prepare to work in the fields of substance abuse, social work, or mental health in a treatment facility.  Students who complete this certificate under the federal grant referenced below, who have worked or currently work in the field of Substance Abuse Intervention and have completed a certain number of clinical, internship, or on the job hours in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, & education under the direct supervision of a licensed or certified Substance Use Disorder treatment professional may be eligible for an Apprenticeship Certificate through the Department of Labor or through state certification boards.

For students who have also had a successful personal recovery experience, it will fulfill the eligibility requirements of the WV Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP) to sit for the exam to become credentialed as peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) in West Virginia. 

It also fulfills some of the requirements for students who wish to pursue the Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) for Substance Abuse Intervention Specialists, or can serve as a foundation for students who eventually may wish to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, Mental Health/Addiction studies, or related fields. 

This project is supported by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant # T26HP39464­01­00, “Opioid Impacted Family Support Program”.  This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”

Students successfully completing and receiving a Certificate in Substance Abuse Intervention Technician should be able to:

  • Explain the philosophies of  Alcoholic’s Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous*
  • Describe history, concepts, theories and strategies used in psychology & human services delivery systems.*
  • Identify psychoactive substances and their effects on the user*
  • Explain issues related to the needs of different types of clients with substance use disorders*
  • Demonstrate professionalism and apply medical, legal, and discipline-based ethics in clinical settings by successfully completing practicums.*
  • Describe the skills, techniques, strategies, and abilities used for assessing, treatment planning, and therapeutic communication with clients in individual or group settings*
  • Describe concepts related to equity and inclusion for individuals from diverse backgrounds and ability levels*

*Returning students who completed certain courses (HS 100, HS 101, HS 147, HS 150, HS 200, HS 210, BIO 114, AHS 103, AHS 110, HPE 110) more than 5 years prior to entering this program will be asked to repeat those course(s) to ensure that their knowledge & skills are current in the field.

Graduates of this program can expect to be employed in substance abuse treatment facilities or other human services agencies in positions which do not require Associate or Bachelor’s degrees as peer recovery support specialists, behavior specialists, case aides or caseworkers, or as mental health or crisis intervention technicians. To become a prevention specialist or certified addictions counselor, social worker, or similar professional, students with this certificate will need to continue their education by earning an Associate or Bachelor’s degree.

The employment outlook for these jobs currently is above average but is dependent upon changing needs within the local region, other regions and the nation.

Salaries are moderately low compared to other fields. Pay depends on the location and type of agency and on the prospective employee’s level of education and work experience.

Important information: If the student has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for any reason, State or National credentialing boards, licensing board and agencies, which require criminal background checks on potential employees and students may deny employment or placement in certain settings, even if all academic requirements have been completed. A student who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor should contact the Program Director.

Job Titles:  Peer Support Specialist, Family Service Worker, Direct Services Worker, Mental Health Technician

Wage and Employment Trends:

  • $13 to $15 an hour (Payscale.com, 2020)
  • 22% growth in the next four years; faster than average (SAMHSA, 2019)

CIP Code: 51.1501

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