Assessment and Treatment of the Chemically Dependent

I.     Course Prefix/Number: HSV 122

       Course Name: Assessment and Treatment of the Chemically Dependent

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

HSV 121; Recommended - PSY 120 and PSY 235

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course increases proficiency in utilizing various instruments and associated interviewing techniques to assess alcohol and other drug abuse or dependence disorders. Content includes development of increased understanding of criteria for placement in differing levels of treatment, and understanding dual disorders. Focus is on learning how to determine treatment needs based upon proper assessment, becoming familiar with differences in attitude and behavior patterns of special populations in order to provide meaningful quality care.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. explain the function of DSM IV.
  2. identify 11 classes of substances associated with Substance Related Disorders.
  3. identify the clinical features of Substance Dependence and criteria for diagnosis.
  4. identify the clinical features of Substance Abuse and be able to differentiate between abuse and dependence.
  5. describe the diagnostic features of Substance Intoxication and be able to identify criteria for diagnosis.
  6. explain the diagnostic features of Substance Withdrawal and be able to identify criteria for diagnosis.
  7. describe the significance of rate of administration of substance(s) when providing a clinical assessment.
  8. describe the significance of speed of onset with a class of substances when providing a clinical assessment.
  9. describe the duration of effect(s) of substances when providing a clinical assessment.
  10. describe the significance of associated mental disorders when providing a clinical assessment.
  11. describe the significance of culture, age, and gender when providing a clinical assessment.
  12. identify the role of patient impairment when providing a clinical assessment.
  13. know, understand and be familiar with differences in attitude and behavior patterns of special populations in order to provide meaningful quality care.
  14. explain what differential diagnosis is and identify several complicating factors.
  15. describe what Substance-induced Mental Disorders are and their significance in providing clinical assessment and treatment.
  16. list symptoms of intoxication and withdrawal for/from the following: alcohol, amphetamines, caffeine, cannabis, cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, nicotine, opiates, phencyclidine (.PCP) and sedatives.
  17. demonstrate proficiency in utilizing DSM IV to provide Substance Use Disorder assessments.
  18. demonstrate proficiency in utilizing "CAGE" as a screening instrument to aid in providing a clinical assessment.
  19. demonstrate a working knowledge of MAST/SMAST.
  20. demonstrate understanding of NCA criteria and Trauma Index as tools for assessment.
  21. define the terms primary, secondary, and co-primary disorders.
  22. describe the following psychiatric disorders which can accompany Substance Use Disorders:  Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Anti-social Personality Disorder, Major Depression, Anxiety Disorders, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
  23. identify placement criteria (and associated treatment needs) for the following treatment modalities:
    1. Outpatient
    2. Intensive Outpatient
    3. Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient
    4. Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient
  24. identify aftercare/continuing treatment needs.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Substance-related Disorders
    1. Overview of DSM IV
    2. Overview of 11 classes of substances
  2. Substance Dependence
    1. Features for diagnosis
    2. Seven criteria for diagnosis
    3. Course specifiers
  3. Substance Abuse
    1. Features for diagnosis
    2. Differences between abuse and dependence
  4. Substance Intoxication
    1. Diagnostic features
    2. Criteria for diagnosis
  5. Substance Withdrawal
    1. Diagnostic features
    2. Criteria for diagnosis
  6. Associated Features of Substance Dependence, Abuse, Intoxication and Withdrawal
    1. Assessment issues/history taking
    2. Route of administration
    3. Speed of onset within a class of the substance
    4. Duration of effects
    5. Use of multiple substances (Polysubstance Related Disorder)
    6. Role of laboratory tests/physical examinations
    7. Associated mental disorders
    8. Specific culture, age, and gender features
    9. Impairment and complications
    10. Familial pattern
    11. Overview of differential diagnosis
  7. Substance Induced Mental Disorders
    1. Awareness of and brief overview
  8. Assessment of Chemical (Class) Specific Intoxication and Withdrawal
    1. Alcohol
    2. Amphetamine
    3. Caffeine
    4. Cannabis
    5. Cocaine
    6. Hallucinogen
    7. Inhalant
    8. Nicotine
    9. Opiate
    10. Phencyclidine (PCP)
    11. Sedative, Hypnotic or Anixiolytic
  9. Screening Instruments
    1. DSM IV
    2. CAGE
    4. Trauma Index
    5. NCA
  10. Dual Disorders
    1. Primary, Secondary and Co-primary disorders
    2. Overview of common psychiatric disorders
      1. Schizophrenia
      2. Bipolar Disorder
      3. Major Depression
      4. Anxiety Disorders
      5. Anti-social Personality Disorder
      6. Borderline Personality Disorder
    3. Need for Multi-disciplinary treatment team
    4. Role of medication
    5. Role of the alcohol and other drug abuse counselor
  11. Placement Criteria and Treatment Needs
    1. Outpatient Treatment
    2. Medically Monitored Intensive Inpatient Treatment
    3. Medically Managed Intensive Inpatient Treatment
    4. Aftercare/continuing Treatment

VII.  Methods of Instruction

The class will focus on lectures, discussion, analysis of written material, role-plays, and group processing.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to write for the class the equivalent of 12-15 typed pages of material that will be graded.  This writing may take the form of a research or term paper, summaries of journal articles, and/or a series of shorter, analytical papers.  Each instructor will determine specifics insofar as reading, writing, and other assignments.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Miller, William R. and Rollnick, Stephen (2002). Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People for Change (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press

American Psychiatric Association (2000).  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (4th ed.).  Washington, D. C.:  American Psychiatric Association.

Handouts from the American Society of Addiction Medicine placement criteria and associated treatment needs.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grades will be based on class participation, written assignments, exams and classroom role-plays.  Examinations will be given to determine competency in required skills.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.