University of Hawai'i

Maui Community College

Fall Classes - SOSER 270


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6:00-9:00 p.m. Monday Ka`aike 107

Course Syllabus for Fall 2003

Lee Stein, MSW, CSAC                      Phone: 984-3304

Office: Faculty Hale “E”                        “Safe Zone”

Office Hours:             Tuesday 3-3:45 pm; 8:00-8:30 pm;               and by appointment


            This course provides theoretical and experiential training in the prevention, intervention, and treatment applicable to a diverse substance abuse population. Ethical and legal issues of working with this population will be identified. The 12-core functions of a substance abuse counselor will be emphasized. Multiculturalism, gender, and diversity issues will be interwoven throughout the course content.

            Our text provides a biopsychosocial framework utilizing the strengths perspective to bridge the gap between 12-step approaches and harm reduction in addictions treatment. This perspective is applied to the treatment of alcoholism, eating disorders, compulsive gambling, and other addictions.

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Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

Articulate a definition of substance abuse and chemical dependency;
Describe basic drug effects on behavior;
Demonstrate awareness of personal issues, values, and biases that may impact on substance abuse counseling work;
Identify the twelve core functions of a substance abuse counselor, their rationale and application;
Distinguish between twelve-step sobriety support programs, chemical dependency treatment interventions, and harm reduction strategies;
Describe dynamics and practice techniques used in counseling groups;
Describe the impact of family dynamics on the chemically dependent client;
Practice strengths-based counseling techniques;
Practice skills in enhancing motivation for change;
Discuss and evaluate ethical and legal issues in the substance abuse field;
Demonstrate skill in process and outcome evaluation;
Demonstrate skill in planning a program in prevention, treatment, or relapse prevention.

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Note: Students will NOT, with this one class, become
counselors, but will begin to examine the roles and necessary skill development for a counselor working with individuals with substance abuse/chemical dependence problems.


REQUIRED TEXTBOOK: Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective,  van Wormer, Davis, Brooks/Cole (2003); and other readings as assigned.

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            Course work will consist of group work and projects, experiential exercises, discussion, lecture, student presentations, videos, writing/sharing personal reactions, exams and readings.

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This class will focus on understanding the dynamics of substance abuse/chemical dependency counseling and the development of skills that lead to effective counseling interventions. Important aspects of learning occur through class interaction and participation. Therefore, regular attendance is vital if you are to do well in this class! You will be graded on your participation in class as well as the completion of assignments and exams.      

Homework – homework assignments are intended to clarify the course content and prepare you for active class discussion/participation. You must read and familiarize yourself with the assigned readings prior to their scheduled discussion in order to participate thoughtfully in classroom discussions. You are to have read the assigned material for discussion on the date it is listed on the Course Calendar that follows.

Extra Credit - in the first 5 minutes of some classes there will be 5 questions asked based on the assigned readings. It will be possible to receive up to 5 points per pop-quiz based on your preparedness.

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            Please come to class on time! This is an act of respect for your fellow students and the instructor. Frequent tardiness may result in the lowering of your grade.

In order to create an effective and safe learning environment, class members are expected to treat one another and the instructor with respect at all times. Behaviorally this includes extending courtesy, attentiveness, politeness, consideration, care, and concern to others. Respectful and professional classroom behavior also includes removing hats, sunglasses, and turning off cell phones and pagers while in class. Academic dishonesty of any type will be dealt with as outlined in the Student Conduct Code (available from the Dean of Student Services Office, 984-3268).

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Honoring Confidentiality: In order for the classroom environment to be truly conducive to effective learning, self-exploration must occur. Therefore, any self-disclosure by fellow students or the instructor is to be considered confidential and should not be repeated outside of the class. This respect for the process of others is especially important in a small community where we have all experienced the pain and betrayal of someone sharing what is only ours to share.

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Your personal growth and satisfaction in this course will be greatly enhanced if you:

Are willing to participate in this class as fully as possible;
Are willing to suspend judgmental attitudes toward others and yourself;
Are willing to be sensitive to the thoughts, attitudes, feelings and behavior of others;
Recognize this class as a real life opportunity to enhance your professional skills.

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GRADING (330 points possible: 100-90%=A; 89-80%=B; 79-70%=C; 69-60%=D/C; <59%= NC)     

1.      Attendance and Participation (60 points) – there are 15 classes, each worth

      4 points if you both attend and participate. Each missed class represents 4 missed points. Non-participation costs 2 points.

2.      Quizzes (180 points) – there are 4 quizzes. Quizzes 1, 3 and 4 are worth 50 points; quiz 2 is worth 30 points. All quizzes will be a combination of multiple choice, true/false, and essay or short answer questions. Make-up exams are only allowed under very unusual circumstances. However, you may take an all essay question comprehensive exam in place of a missed exam or a low grade. You will be tested on material covered during class and from assigned readings whether they are covered in class or not. Quiz dates are Sept. 16, Oct. 7, Oct. 28th, and Dec. 2. The comprehensive exam will be given during final exam week at an arranged time.

  1. Paper: 12-Step Support Groups and Treatment (40 points) – you will attend an open AA or NA meeting or other appropriate support group and contrast your experience with what you have learned in the class and in readings about treatment interventions. This paper should be from 2 to 4 pages in length and include original thinking.  Due November 18th.
  2. Student Presentations (50 points) – groups of 2 to 3 students will make a formal presentation to the class related to substance abuse counseling. Parameters and guidelines will be discussed and handed out on September 30th.  Due December 2nd and 9th.

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IF YOU ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH THE COURSE, PLEASE TALK TO ME RIGHT AWAY! I will do everything I can to help you do your best in this course and we can discuss options (such as “Credit/No Credit”). If you simply stop coming and don’t officially drop the course, you will receive an “F” or “NC” grade on your record. If you do not want to speak to me about your situation, please see a student counselor (984-3325) or a guidance counselor.

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            The college will make accommodations for students with special needs. If you are in need of some instructional accommodation because of a disability please let me know right away so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

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DATE             TOPIC                                                            ASSIGNMENT

Readings/assignments to be completed PRIOR to class where listed!

Aug. 25            Introductions – Skybridge etiquette

Learning Styles; Dogma; Self-Awareness


Sept. 1            LABOR DAY HOLIDAY – Read Chapters!!


Sept. 8            The Nature of Addiction                                     Ch. 1

                        Historical Perspectives                                       Ch. 2


Sept. 15          Strengths-Based Helping Strategies              Ch. 3

                        Video: Motivational Interviewing


Sept. 22          QUIZ #1 – Ch. 1, 2, 3

                        Misuse, Dependence, and the Body                 Ch. 4


Sept. 29   Substance Misuse, Dependence, and the Body Cont.

                        Video: The Biology of Addiction

Handout for Student Presentations


Oct. 6              Interventions Related to Biology                          Ch. 5   

                        Addiction Across the Life Span                           Ch. 6


Oct. 13           Mutual-Help Groups: Strengths Perspective       Ch. 12

                        Video: Honor of All


Oct. 20             QUIZ #2 – Ch. 4, 5, 6, & 12

Substance Misuse/Coexisting Disorder              Ch. 8


Oct. 27             Family Risks and Resiliencies                             Ch. 9

Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Issues                         Ch. 10


Nov. 3              Gender and Sexual Orientation Issues                Ch. 11

Paper Due: Support Group Paper


Nov. 10         QUIZ #3 – Ch. 8, 9, 10, & 11

Public Policy                                                           Ch.13             


Nov. 17             Twelve-Core Functions                                       Handout

Assessment                                                           Handout


Nov. 24           QUIZ # 4 – Ch. 13 & Handouts

                        Prep Time for Student Presentations


Dec. 1              Student Presentations 


Dec. 8              Student Presentations/CLOSURE