The Substance Abuse Track offers opportunities for working with adult and adolescent patients in both civilian and veteran outpatient settings using a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities and models. The multidisciplinary focus provides excellent opportunities for consultation with, and learning from, other professions focused on the management of addictions.
The Center for Drug and Alcohol Programs (CDAP) is an academic medical treatment center providing both inpatient and outpatient treatment as part of a full spectrum of care for addicted patients. It is the clinical arm of MUSC’s Addiction Sciences Division (ASD), which specializes in basic and clinical science approaches to understanding addiction and recovery. The ASD includes a wide range multidisciplinary faculty representing the fields of clinical psychology, experimental psychology, psychiatry, pharmacology, and neuroscience. The ASD also houses the Alcohol Research Center (ARC), directed by Howard Becker, Ph.D., a translational research program that has been specializing in the treatment of alcohol use disorders since its initial funding by NIAAA in 1995. As the clinical extension of the ASD, CDAP actively seeks to translate the latest research findings into clinical practice.
Psychology interns who rotate at the CDAP clinic will receive experience in diagnostic interviewing and assessment as well as the application of evidence-based treatments in outpatient clinical programs. Active intern participation is encouraged in the clinical treatment programs including:
- Motivational Enhancement Therapy Program
- Goal-Based Individual Counseling
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Opioid Recovery Program (Buprenorphine)
- Sober Living Program
- Relapse Prevention Alumni Group
During the CDAP rotation, interns will gain experience in:
- Diagnostic interviewing, assessment, triage, and treatment engagement as part of daily Walk-In Clinic;
- Applying evidence-based treatment approaches as part of individual and group counseling for patients with substance use and a range of co-occurring disorders;
- Utilizing a wide range of objective biomarkers to inform assessment and measure treatment progress through coordination with the MUSC Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory;
- Conducting specialty assessments and consulting with professionals across disciplines for unique and/or complex populations (e.g., transplant, forensic, recovering professionals, athletes);
- Adjunctive coordination of medication-assisted treatment using FDA-approved pharmacotherapies; and
- Interprofessional team-based approaches to treatment, by learning alongside psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, pharmacists, and laboratory technicians.
Location of Rotation
Medical University of South Carolina, CDAP Outpatient Clinic
Official CDAP hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Joshua Smith, Ph.D.
The purpose of this rotation is to provide extensive clinical experience in substance abuse during the VA rotation. The training experience is based on a "scaffolding approach" in which interns start out observing, then co-leading, then running groups. Interns usually come into a rotation with their own set of skills and experiences, and it is a goal of this rotation to provide an opportunity in which interns can apply and incorporate those skills into the rotation experience whenever possible.
Primary goals of this rotation:
- Interns observe groups that use a variety of evidence-based approaches and techniques, including motivational enhancement, cognitive-behavioral, psychoeducational, and process-oriented.
- Interns will be able to independently conduct groups for patients with chronic substance dependence and addiction, using any combination of the techniques described above. Demonstrating the ability to run groups from all four orientations listed above is necessary to merit an "advanced" competency rating.
- Interns will have a working knowledge of the content and philosophy of the 12-step approach to recovery.
Secondary goals of this rotation will vary depending on the educational needs and preferences of the individual interns. These goals may include the following:
- Interns may follow individual patient progress from initial assessment/evaluation, detoxification/inpatient stay, through intensive outpatient treatment, all the way through aftercare.
- Interns may see patients for individual treatment of substance abuse.
- Intern can observe treatment of addiction from the medical model by attending rounds and team meetings on the inpatient unit.
- Interns may assist the psychologist in program development and/or implement new groups and interventions.
- Interns may assist the faculty in outcome monitoring.
What is expected from the intern:
- Desire to provide the best care possible for our veterans.
- Desire to assist in developing the rotation to provide the optimal training experience for future interns.
- Enthusiasm for group treatment.
- Desire to be an integral member of the treatment team (attend at least one STAR team meeting per week).
- Desire to share knowledge and skills with other member of the team, if applicable.
At the end of the rotation, interns will be able to:
- Accurately diagnose substance use-related disorders among adult veterans.
- Develop evidence-based treatment plans addressing comorbidity between substance use disorders and mood/anxiety disorders (particularly SUD/PTSD) among adult veterans.
- Deliver and monitor individual psychological treatments targeting comorbidity between substance use disorders and mood/anxiety disorders utilizing motivational enhancement, CBT, and exposure therapies.
- Deliver group-based psychological treatments for alcohol and illicit drug use disorders focused on motivational enhancement, addiction therapy, and relapse prevention.
- Deliver group-based psychological treatments for smoking cessation.
- Effectively communicate with interdisciplinary treatment team, supervisors, and other hospital-wide providers via completion of CPRS notes and relevant non-chart communication including encrypted emails, and consultation via phone call and responding to pages.
- Effectively provide evidence-based treatments to underserved populations, including veterans who are sexual/racial/ethnic minorities, homeless, unemployed, at economic disadvantage, and low literacy to overcome barriers to the implementation of evidence-based treatments.
Location of Rotation
Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
STAR hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.