Delivering Excellence in Lifelong Learning
Mike Hughes, McMaster University Continuing Education Addiction Education graduate Mike Hughes, McMaster University Continuing Education Addiction Education graduate

Addiction Education

Bridging the gap between theory
and practice.

Applications for this program are no longer being accepted.
Please see new program: Professional Addiction Studies

*Please note: the Addiction Careworker Diploma and Addiction Studies Certificate programs are now closed and applications are no longer being accepted. If you are currently enrolled in either of these programs, you will have until August 31, 2019 to complete outstanding courses. 

As a result, a new program called Professional Addiction Studies (Certificate and Diploma) will launch in Fall 2018.

For more information about the program closure and timelines, please visit the Program Closure Information page. 

Course Descriptions

With the change-over to the Mosaic enrolment system, course numbers have changed but course titles and content have not.

In-person and online formats now share the same course number. Take care to choose your desired format when enrolling.

See a full list of new and previous course numbers.

Core Courses

ADD 827 Introduction to Addiction (3 Units)

Provides an overview to theories of addiction and examines various drug groups and interventions currently used in Canada. Explores the prevention and treatment continuum in Canada.

ADD 828 Problem Management Skills for Helpers (3 Units)

Introduces problem management, based on Gerard Egan’s problem management model. Focus on communications skills, empathy, probing and challenging.

ADD 829 Concepts & Dimensions of Group Work Practice (3 Units)

Explore theories and models of group intervention, with emphasis on developmental stages of groups and their application to work in addictions settings. Group dynamics, process and goals will be explored.

ADD 830 Solution-Focused Approaches in Addiction Counselling (3 Units)

Provides a practical hands-on approach to utilizing three main theoretical models (Stages of Change, Motivational Interviewing and Solution-Focused Therapy) that are particularly helpful with individuals who are reluctant to change.

ADD 862 Case Management & Report Writing (2 Units)

Examine the role and function of the case manager, with emphasis on service coordination and liaison with other addiction and non-specific resources.

ADD 874 Pharmacology & Drug Abuse (2 Units)

Provides a base of technical drug information for persons who require a basic understanding of the pharmacology of psychoactive drugs.

Skill Development Electives

ADD 122 Counselling Techniques in Addiction Practice (2 Units)

Review and integrate concepts and skills related to individual methods for helping. The use of demonstration and role-play provides the opportunity to practice counselling techniques.

ADD 471 EAP II: Counselling for the Workplace: Principles of EAP Intervention (2 Units)

Study a framework for providing assistance within the workplace through an examination of assessment in an EAP environment, crisis intervention, critical incident stress management, depression, grief, mediation and the role, if any, for spirituality.

ADD 803 The Whole Person: Application of Personality Theories in Addiction (2 Units)

Explore personality theories that attempt to explain “the whole person” from a biopsychosocial approach. Theories include the Psychoanalytic and Neo-Analytic Approach, Biological Theory, Social Learning Theory and others.

ADD 812 Understanding & Preventing Relapse (2 Units)

Study philosophies and models of relapse, effective assessment, treatment, case planning and counselling strategies.

ADD 876 Concurrent Disorders in Addiction (2 Units)

Examine how mental health disorders and addictions interact, resulting in a more complex assessment and treatment process. Learn how to screen and assess clients for both substance use and mental health disorders.

ADD 888 Assessment of Addictive Behaviour (2 Units)

Discuss how to assess addictive behaviour and other life areas, what questions to ask, how to engage even mandatory clients in treatment planning, and matching services to the client.

ADD 895 Treatment of Addictive Behaviour (2 Units)

Examine best practices, various interventions, the treatment of special populations and the client as the agent of change.

General Electives

ADD 101 Independent Study (2 Units)

Explore an area of personal interest in addiction with instructor feedback to create a research paper incorporating the study objectives, findings and conclusions. Permission of Program Manager required.

ADD 121 Working with Problem Gambling (2 Units)

Explore problem gambling in individuals, the social and financial costs of gambling, and government and community responses to these effects in Canada. This course is approved by the Canadian Problem Gambling Certification Board for 30 specific hours of continuing education.

ADD 400 Practical Experience Elective (2 Units)

This course integrates theory learned in the classroom with the practical experience of a clinical setting. Permission of Program Manager required.

ADD 470 EAP I: Wellness & Work: Introduction to Employee Assistance Programs (2 Units)

Explore the concept of wellness, understand the history, growth and development of Employee Assistance Programs (EAP), and gain a framework to develop and implement programs through problem-solving activities.

ADD 813 Adult Children of Alcoholics (2 Units)

Examine the phenomenon of ACOAs from three theoretical perspectives: Developmental Theory, Role Theory and Stress Theory. Patterns of behaviour and key issues in treatment are explored.

ADD 879 Working with Families & Addiction (2 Units)

Be introduced to working with families and addictions, including a systemic approach to the dynamics of families when substance abuse is present.

ADD 892 Working with Women & Addiction (2 Units)

Examine social and economic issues, and statistical information related to chemical use in women. Explore women-positive methods of intervention, treatment and self-help.

ADD 894 Youth & Addiction (2 Units)

Study aspects of working with young people experiencing difficulties from substance use, focusing on strategies to change behaviours, and assessment and treatment techniques within a framework of cognitive-behavioural interventions.


Students have until August 31, 2019 to complete their courses. Applications are no longer open.