Addiction Studies

Addiction Studies Extension Certificate


Enhance your understanding of current addiction approaches and trends. Learn about the issues of prevention, treatment, youth, physical and psychological addiction, mental health and family dynamics. This comprehensive online program is designed for professionals and para-professionals in the human service field as well as those interested in addiction studies.

SSADATA_CE_ADDICTIONS_CACCFAll courses in the Addiction Studies Extension Certificate are approved for 20 continuing education hours (CEUs) each through the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF).

For information about the CACCF and their certifications, visit

CE Icon - Read Article - jpeg Article about the Addiction Studies program

CE Icon - Read Article - jpeg Article about the Addiction Studies program

  • Gain valuable skills and knowledge of the processes of addiction and recovery for personal interest or to further your health and human service career
  • Explore current practices in the field of addiction treatment and prevention
  • Understanding addiction issues as they relate to the fields of health, mental health, social work, human resources and law enforcement
  • All required materials are provided online as a part of the listed course fees. There are no additional costs for materials in this program

All required materials are provided as part of the listed course fees. There are no additional costs for materials in this program.

  • Complete the 6 required courses (120 hours)
  • Can be completed within 2 semesters up to a maximum of 3 years
  • You may take individual courses for general interest
  • The listed course hours indicate the estimated time for students to review the online learning units. Your actual time spent completing assignments may vary.

Required Courses
(Sept. - Dec.)
(Jan. - April)
(May - June)
Addiction Studies: Overview
Drugs and the Brain
Addiction Prevention
Addiction and the Family
Understanding Adolescents
Addictions and Concurrent Mental Health Disorders
The above schedule is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester.
Fall schedule and registration available in June. Winter schedule and registration available in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available in March.

Addiction Studies: Overview
Gain an understanding of several topics related to addiction, including theories and models of substance abuse, indicators of dependence, and intervention and treatment strategies. Examine the stages of change model, motivational interviewing and its application to the addictions field. An overview of the other courses in the program including adolescents, prevention, family and drugs will also be covered.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10010 20 Hours. Fee: $395 Choose one of the CRNs below
CRN 90187 
Online Sept. 14 - Oct. 13
CRN 90188 Online Nov. 2 - 30

Addiction Prevention
Prevention programs are designed to prevent or reduce the risk of developing substance abuse problems. Examine models and critical success factors of prevention programming, health promotion and harm reduction.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10015 20 Hours: Fee $395
CRN 90340 Online Oct. 19 - Nov. 16

Drugs and the Brain
Acquire basic knowledge of drug classification systems and their physiological effects. Examine drug dependence, tolerance, withdrawal, methods of administration and motivating factors for drug use. Topics include simple pharmacology and biological factors of the recovery process.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10011 20 Hours. Fee: $395
CRN 90259 Online Oct. 19 - Nov. 16

Understanding Adolescents and Addiction
Work towards understanding adolescents and the unique considerations for this age group and addiction. Examine the biological, cognitive and social development of adolescents. Consider substance use and abuse through the adolescent lens, and learn more about the important considerations for treatment and intervention with this population.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10013 20 Hours. Fee: $395
CRN 90235 Online Nov. 9 - Dec. 7

Addiction and the Family
Examine the nature and structure of families, and the potential impacts on the family unit and individual family members when a family member has an addiction. An introduction to how families influence and are influenced by addiction, the power of the family in recovery, and current recommendations for best practices will be reviewed.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10012 20 Hours. Fee: $395
CRN 90233 Online Sept. 28 - Oct. 26

Addiction and Concurrent Mental Health Disorders
Gain skills and knowledge to better identify and understand people with concurrent disorders. Examine the prevalence of concurrent disorders and learn about the most commonly assessed mental health and addiction related issues. Explore assessment, treatment and recovery issues for the individual who is dealing with recovery from concurrent disorders.

Subject (for registration): Addiction Studies

Subject code: XADD 10014 20 Hours. Fee: $395
CRN 90234 Online Nov. 9 - Dec. 7


Ben Gallivan, MA, R. Psych. SSDATA_CE_GALLIVAN

Ben Gallivan has an undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology. He is a Registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta and has worked for over 17 years in the addiction and mental health field. Aside from instructing in both the Addiction Studies and Children's Mental Health Certificate Programs, Ben also works for Athabasca University, supervises an addiction and mental health treatment program for Alberta Health Services and runs a successful private practice.

Over two decades Ben has presented at international conferences, taught both classroom and online courses on a variety of subjects, and mentored many emerging therapists. Ben is currently a member of the Psychologists Association of Alberta and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. In his free time Ben enjoys traveling and wandering through the hills with family and friends.

Tami Reid, MA, R. Psych. SSDATA_CE_REID

Tami has a graduate degree in Counselling Psychology and has been working in the field of addictions and mental health for more than 20 years. After 7 years working in an inpatient mental health setting, Tami began to transition through roles in school- and community-based addiction and mental health services with the former Alberta Mental Health Board and Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. Tami has engaged with clients in her private practice and she currently supervises a team of addiction counsellors providing outpatient services with Alberta Health Services.

Tami is a Registered Psychologist in the province of Alberta and a member of the Psychologist Association of Alberta. Over the years, Tami has supported the field of addictions by developing curriculum, facilitating professional development courses and supporting the development and implementation of National and Provincial initiatives related to Substance Abuse Prevention. Tami has worked in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse (CCSA) and since 2014 has been a working member of the Canadian Sport and Youth Substance Abuse Prevention network.

Lorell Thoms, BA, BSW, RSW

Lorell is a Registered Social Worker (RSW) who started her career in the 1990s as a client care counsellor at AIDS Calgary. In her first experiences as a counsellor, Lorell was introduced to the health promotion perspective and found the approach fit well with her personal perspective on change and individual choice.

When she began her career with AADAC Adult Services, Lorell was introduced to the stages of change model and motivational interviewing. These approaches have enhanced Lorell's ability to engage clients and have been effective in her work in addictions and corrections.

Prior to working as the program coordinator and a program facilitator at Calgary Correctional Centre, Lorell worked for Corrections Services Canada as a program officer and a motivational interviewing trainer.

In more recent years she completed the Adult Educator program at MRU and has attended further training on the topics of motivational interviewing, concurrent disorders and trauma.

Cheryl Houtekamer, MPH ssadata_ce_cheryl_houtekamer

Cheryl Houtekamer has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in public health. She has worked with children, youth and families, and those who serve them, for over 30 years. For the past 15 years she has supervised a team of health promotion facilitators working in youth substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion within Calgary and the surrounding area.

Over the course of her career, Cheryl has served on a number of committees, coalitions, and advisory groups. She has presented at international, national, and provincial levels, as well as contributed to curriculum and program development related to youth substance abuse treatment and prevention. Cheryl regularly facilitates professional development courses and training for numerous organizations, committees and events. She enjoys instructing and has taught both in-person and online courses in public health and addiction prevention. In her spare time, Cheryl participates in a range of physical activities, and enjoys gardening, travel and photography.
"I felt the Addictions study course had great material, it was current and relative to the industry. The instructors were great - with constructive feedback. I would recommend this course to anyone in the industry." - Peter L. Sheridan

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Contact us

For information about this program:
403.440.6867 or 1.888.392.3655
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB T3E 6K6

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