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Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use (UTC)

UTC Curriculum


Basic Level

The Basic Level UTC consists of eight courses that cover the broad spectrum of addiction treatment. The content and methodology of the UTC training series is designed to ensure that addiction practitioners develop a balanced perspective of the principles relating to both the science and art of addiction treatment. Each course is intended to enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies of addiction professionals, as well as promote evidence-based practice for the enhancement of service delivery and treatment outcomes. Moreover, each course underwent the rigorous process of reviews to ensure the outstanding quality of content, as well as identify and address existing gaps prior to its application by training. The eight existing courses are as follows:

Course 1: Physiology and Pharmacology for Addiction Professionals (20 hours)

This course presents a comprehensive overview of addiction; provides an understanding of the physiology of addiction as a brain disease; and describes the pharmacology of psychoactive substances.

Course 2: Treatment for Substance Use Disorders – The Continuum of Care for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course provides the foundation for learning about SUD treatment. It gives an overview of recovery and recovery management, stages of change, principles of effective treatment, components of treatment and evidence-based practices.

Course 3: Common Co-occurring Mental and Medical Disorders - An Overview for Addiction Professionals (20 hours)

This foundational course provides an overview of the relationship of co-occurring mental and medical disorders, and SUD-related treatment issues.

Course 4: Basic Counselling Skills for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course provides an overview of the helping relationship and opportunity to practice core counselling including basic skills in motivational interviewing, group counselling and implementation of psychoeducation sessions.

Course 5: Intake, Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course is a skills-based course that teaches effective and integrated intake, screening, assessment, treatment planning and documentation procedures to addiction professionals.

Course 6: Case Management for Addiction Professionals (13 hours)

This is a foundational and skills-based course that provides an overview of case management in SUD treatment and provides skills practice in case management functions.

Course 7: Crisis Intervention for Addiction Professionals (13 hours)

This course addresses the concept of crisis as a part of life and provides guidelines for crisis intervention including managing suicide risk. It also addresses ways in which counsellors can avoid personal crisis situations by providing information and exercises about counsellor self-care.

Course 8: Ethics for Addiction Professionals (26 hours)

This course addresses professional conduct and ethical behaviour in SUD treatment that covers confidentiality, ethical principles and professional code of ethics. It provides the opportunity to learn and practice the use of an ethical decision-making model through case study analyses.

Advanced Level

The Advanced Level UTC is a set of 14 courses, which is developed to provide a more comprehensive and theoretical foundation in the clinical practice of substance use disorder treatment. It is a specialised training course that aims to provide an in-depth continuing education with the latest information and skills-based activities to further enhance the capacity of the treatment workforce and standardise the quality of care and services they provide for their clients. The 14 existing courses are as follows:

Course 9: Pharmacology and SUD (33 hours)

The Course provides an understanding of the role of pharmacotherapy and pharmacological interventions on a continuum of recovery-oriented interventions by introducing practitioners to the neurochemical processes involved in the development of substance use disorders and medications utilised in the management of psychoactive substances and co-occurring disorders.

Course 10: Managing Medication Assisted Treatment Programs (33 hours)

The Course explores the integration of medication assisted treatment (MAT) services into a comprehensive system of care by identifying the phases of care involved in MAT programmes and explaining the psychosocial benefits of MAT.

Course 11: Enhancing Motivational Interviewing Skills (20 hours)

The course presents a comprehensive understanding of the theory and key principles of Motivational Interviewing (MI) thereby increasing competence of the application of MI strategies and providing practical skills in the recognition and use of MI in treatment settings.

Course 12: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (20 hours)

The Course describes the theoretical basis and core components of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) allowing the integration of CBT into SUD treatment settings as well as exploring the research base for CBT.

Course 13: Contingency Management (20 hours)

The Course introduces the theoretical foundation of Contingency Management with an overview of established interventions in treatment to provide a working knowledge of the principles of contingency management and how it maybe applied in treatment settings.

Course 14: Working with Families (33 hours)

The Course presents an overview of issues related to substance use in the context of the family thereby providing an understanding of interventions that can be utilised with families affected by SUD.

Course 15: Skills for Screening Co-occurring Disorders (20 hours)

The Course provides an in-depth understanding of the common co-occurring mental and medical disorders with the intention of enhancing understanding and skills in the management of co-occurring disorders in substance use treatment.

Course 16: Intermediate Clinical Skills and Crisis Management (33 hours)

The Course reviews the guiding principles of clinical skills in order to expand knowledge on counselling theory and enhance clinical skills by applying knowledge of theoretical orientations to SUD with a special focus on crisis management.

Course 17: Case Management Skills and Practices (33 hours)

The Course provides an overview of the definition and functions of case management and related practices by providing a comprehensive understanding of the roles, skills and competencies required of case managers.

Course 18: Clinical Supervision for SUD Professionals (33 hours)

The Course introduces the fundamentals, principles, models and methods of supervision in clinical practice thereby enhancing the role, functions and competencies of clinical supervisors.

Course 19: Enhancing Group Facilitation Skills

The Course provides practitioners with the knowledge and skills to effectively facilitate group counseling in SUD treatment settings by reviewing the concepts of building, leading and ending a group within a treatment setting.

Course 20: Populations with Special Clinical Needs

The Course introduces knowledge and concepts important in the provision of treatment services and interventions for individuals with SUD and special clinical needs with an emphasis on the development of skills for use in practice.

Course 21: Trauma-Informed Care for Adults

The Course presents substance use treatment practitioners with the skills to effectively address trauma in adults with SUD by enhancing the sensitivity and understanding required when dealing with trauma in a treatment setting.

Course 22: Recovery Management and Relapse Prevention

The Course provides an understanding of the concepts of relapse and recovery by shifting the paradigm for treating substance use disorders from an acute to a chronic illness management model.