Mar 03, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counselor, AS (DARC-AS)

Location(s): Gateway, Manchester, Naugatuck Valley

CT State Community College Catalog 2023-2024

  • New students enrolling for the first time in Fall 2023 will begin as students of Connecticut State Community College under this catalog. 
  • Continuing students from one of the 12 community colleges will be transitioned into a CT State program in this catalog as of the start of the Fall 2023 term.
  • The policies, courses and programs described are applicable as of the Fall 2023 term and may be updated as circumstances require.

The Drug and Alcohol Recovery Counseling (DARC) program provides the education and training needed to work effectively in the field of substance abuse disorders and recovery counseling. Students examine the techniques of professional counseling, current public health, trends and issues affecting the science of substance abuse disorders, counseling theories, continuum of care, environmental and familial risk factors contributing to substance use disorders, and counselor code of ethics. Students develop an understanding of the process of substance use disorders such as problem gambling, trauma-informed care, and knowledge of multicultural aspects of working with clients; and apply knowledge in a clinical setting by participating in two semesters of internships and seminar. The DARC program may also be ideal for professionals with advanced degrees who seek specialization in substance abuse counseling and certification as a Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) from the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) or licensure as a LADC (licensed alcohol and drug counselor) from the Department of Public Health (with a qualifying Master’s degree).

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of a DARC Program graduate should be able to:

  • Describe the physiological, emotional, physical, and psychological basis of substance abuse disorders.
  • Define the causes and characteristics of substance dependence and addiction relevant to various populations and cultures.
  • Define, examine, and apply counseling theories to substance abuse disorders counseling sessions.
  • Define, demonstrate, and apply ethical principles and practices according to the CCB, and professional behavior for working directly in the counseling field.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and skills related to relapse prevention education and strategies.
  • Describe the categories of drugs and effects on psychological functioning.
  • Describe characteristics of persons with a substance abuse disorder(s) and specific treatment strategies for working with this population.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop, draft, and implement individual treatment plans.
  • Discuss the purpose of clinical supervision, participate in two internships, and co-facilitate group counseling sessions under supervision.
  • Describe and demonstrate the use of case management including screening, intake, evaluation, accurate records, treatment, and discharge in the treatment of persons with one or more substance abuse disorders.
  • Describe and demonstrate skills involved in crisis intervention.
  • Describe the purpose and availability of self-help groups for persons with substance abuse disorders.
  • Describe the effects of substance abuse on the family and community including education, health care, and the economy.
  • Describe the stages of change model and recovery for families and their application to treatment of substance abuse disorders.
  • Describe the use of multicultural counseling skills to assessment, treatment, and aftercare for persons of different gender/gender identity, ethnicity, disability, race, sexual orientation, ages including the elderly, and stages of life including homeless populations.
  • Describe the transdisciplinary foundations and competencies required of alcohol or drug counselor.
  • Describe the use of medication in the treatment of substance abuse.
  • Develop 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).


All DARC course instructors are licensed drug and alcohol counselors by the State of CT Department of Public Health. Additionally, while certification is preferred for DARC course instructors it is not required. All DARC courses have a didactic component and most include experiential skill building. Students intending to graduate with a degree in DARC should earn a minimum grade of C in order to be adequately prepared for a career in addiction counseling and successfully complete the Counselor Certification Examination through CCB (Connecticut Certification Board).


Students must complete and submit a formal DARC internship application prior to the interview. Acceptance into a DARC internships with a seminar (DARC 2095 DARC 2195 ) is selective and not guaranteed. All interested students participate in a screening and interview process which is intended to evaluate whether the applicant possesses the skills, behaviors (practices), and attitudes necessary for work with individuals with a substance use disorder and/or co-occurring disorders. Interested applicants must have completed ENG 1010 , DARC 1001 DARC 1011 DARC 1012  and DARC 1058  with a grade of C or better and the restricted elective DARC 2011  may be completed concurrently during the first or second semester of internship. DARC coursework older than 5 years need to be re-taken prior to the internship. After the interviews, students are formally notified regarding acceptance to internship and ability to register for DARC 2095 . Students who complete DARC 2095  successfully and without incidence are then eligible for DARC 2195 . During the internships, students are required to carry malpractice liability insurance (average yearly cost $15.00). Students are billed separately for this coverage and will be asked to pay the premium at the time of registration.

Articulation Agreements

There are active articulation agreements with the University of Bridgeport (Goodwin University) and the BSW program at Southern Connecticut State University.


Graduates with a DARC associates degree are highly sought after for entry level opportunities as substance abuse counselors in public and private agencies such as community and residential health facilities, hospitals, prevention organizations, rehabilitation, youth services, government, and the criminal justice system. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2016-17 Ed.), employment of addiction/substance abuse 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.