Drug And Alcohol Recovery Counselor (Darc) | Naugatuck Valley Community College

Academic Catalog

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Download the 2019-20 College Catalog in PDF format.

Liberal Arts and Behavioral/Social Sciences Division

Drug And Alcohol Recovery Counselor (Darc)

Program Description

The Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor (DARC) program is nationally accredited through the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) and provides education and training for persons who want to become a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC). The DARC curriculum (30 credits) meets the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) requirements (300 hours of education, 300 hours of supervised practicum) to become a CAC. The DARC program is currently the only nationally accredited “Addiction Studies” program among all two and four year colleges in Connecticut.


Students with a DARC Certificate are highly sought after for entry level opportunities as substance abuse counselors in public and private agencies such as community and residential health facilities, local hospitals, prevention organizations, youth service agencies, and criminal justice system. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2016-17 Ed.), employment of addiction counselors is expected to grow by 22 percent from 2014-2024, much faster than average as addiction counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance. Connecticut is considered one of the states with the highest concentration of jobs in this field with a mean average wage of $46, 920.


The DARC Certificate can be completed in 1 ½ or 2 years by completing the core DARC courses (DAR*H101, DAR*H111, DAR*H112, DAR*H158) in spring and completing the internship and remaining classes in the next academic year. All DARC courses (DAR*H101, DAR*H111, DAR*H112, DAR*H158, DAR*H213, and DAR*H220) are open to any student at the college, provided they pass the prerequisite of ENG*H096 with a C or better or test into ENG*H101. The internship runs fall/spring of each academic year.

DARC Internship Admission Process

Acceptance into the DARC Internship (DAR*H251, DAR*H252) is selective and not guaranteed. All students participate in a screening and interview process (spring semester) which is intended to evaluate whether the applicant possesses specific skills, behaviors and attitudes that are necessary to work with persons with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Interested applicants must have completed or be enrolled in DAR*H101, DAR*H111, DAR*H112, DAR*H158 and ENG*H101, and pass with a C or better prior to their internship. Students must complete and submit a formal DARC Application prior to the interview. Applications are distributed during the spring semester (Feb/March) each year. After the interviews, students are formally notified regarding acceptance to internship and ability to register for DAR*H251 - Counseling Internship I.

Program Requirements

Course No. Title Credits
DAR*H101 Public Health Issues in Abuse and Addiction 3
DAR*H111 Addiction Counseling I 3
DAR*H112 Group Counseling Theory and Techniques 3
DAR*H158 Biology of Addiction 3
DAR*H213 Addiction Counseling II 3
DAR*H251 Counseling Internship I 6
DAR *H220 Co-Occurring Counseling 3
DAR *H252 Counseling Internship II 6
Total Credit Hours 30

Program Outcomes


Upon successful completion of the DARC Certificate the successful graduate should be able to:

  1. Describe the physical, emotional and psychological basis of addiction
  2. Define the causes and characteristics of substance dependence and addiction relevant to various populations and cultures
  3. Define and apply counseling theories to addiction counseling including Adlerian, Existential, Person-Centered, Harm Reduction, Motivational Interviewing, Gestalt, Reality, Behavior, Cognitive Behavioral, Solution Focused, and Feminist perspectives
  4. Define, demonstrate and apply ethical principles and practices according to NAADAC, the CCB, and professional behavior for working directly in the counseling field
  5. Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to relapse prevention education and strategies
  6. Describe the categories of drugs and effects on psychological functioning
  7. Describe characteristics of individuals with co-occurring disorders and specific treatment strategies for working with this population
  8. Demonstrate the ability to develop, write and implement treatment plans for individuals with addiction and co-occurring disorders
  9. Co-facilitate group counseling sessions under supervision
  10. Describe the use of case management in the treatment of persons with addiction and co-occurring disorders
  11. Demonstrate ability to develop discharge plans for persons with addiction and co-occurring disorders
  12. Demonstrate understanding of the screening, intake and evaluation process in addiction and co-occurring disorders treatment
  13. Demonstrate ability to keep accurate records of group/individual process, treatment and discharge planning
  14. Describe and demonstrate skills involved in crisis intervention
  15. Describe the purpose and availability of self-help groups for persons with addiction/co-occurring disorders
  16. Describe the effects of substance abuse on the family, educational needs and stages of recovery for families
  17. Describe the stages of change model and its application to treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders
  18. Describe the use of multicultural counseling skills to assessment, treatment and aftercare issues of persons of different gender, ethnicity, disability, adolescents, the elderly, GBLT and homeless
  19. Describe the transdisciplinary foundations and competencies required of addiction counselor (TAP 21)
  20. Describe the use of medication in the treatment of addiction and co-occurring disorders
  21. Demonstrate engagement in community service activities to educate others about the process, dangers and treatment of addiction
  22. Discuss the purpose of clinical supervision and participate in the supervision process
  23. Write a comprehensive case study based on a biopsychosocial assessment, including diagnosis, treatment plan goals and interventions acceptable for submission to the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB).

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