HSCD 303

Cultural Considerations for Alcohol and Drug Counseling

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 5, 2015 – December 17, 2018

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course brings students an understanding of race and racism while it explores the cultural dynamics of alcohol and drug counseling for diverse groups. It examines the intersection between cultural identity and the knowledge, skills and attitude necessary for addressing unique counseling issues for different cultural groups. The class reviews the history of how racist agendas have shaped the fabric of the systems that serve our clients. Students review the concept of white privilege and how it is reflected in the disparity of treatment opportunities. It also provides students with information on the history, cultural distinctiveness, and counseling concerns for the following cultural groups: African-Americans, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, Lesbian Gay Bi-Sexual and Transgender, Women and Feminism, and Men.

Special information

Note: Attendance at the first class meeting is mandatory unless approved beforehand by the instructor.

Learning outcomes


  • Have an understanding of the history, concepts, and terminology of racism in the United States and how that has affected the systems that treat and funded treatment for clients.
  • Develop knowledge, skills and attitudes for dealing with racism and other forms of oppression when working in the field of addictions counseling and advocate for social justice.
  • Understand and become sensitive to their own individual implicit biases, unintended racism, and social influences that could affect individual effectiveness as counselors.
  • Develop and articulate a sense of personal responsibility to respond to client issues of trauma as a result of oppression as a result of racism.
  • Develop an understanding of the interrelatedness of a persons culture and substance abuse as demonstrated by class discussions and writing assignments.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed for applying alcohol and drug counseling to diverse cultural groups as demonstrated by class assignments in assessing cultural group and historical trauma counseling needs.