SAMHSA's Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) is pleased to announce its newest online training, Ethics in Prevention: A Guide for Substance Abuse Prevention Practitioners. Appropriate for anyone working in the field of substance abuse prevention, this interactive, case-based course invites participants to explore the six principles of the Prevention Code of Ethics and a four-step decision-making process designed to help practitioners navigate the ethical dilemmas they face.
"As substance abuse prevention professionals, we regularly face situations that involve ethics," explains CAPT Products and Communication Manager Melanie Adler. "Often it's clear how to act ethically, but sometimes it’s not. We’re not always aware of our ethical responsibilities in a given situation, or we allow our emotions to cloud our thinking."
The exercises and tools included in this 6-hour, moderated course are designed to help practitioners be more intentional and objective about the decisions they make. Over a period of two weeks, participants are invited to explore more than 75 case examples, including two videotaped scenarios, on topics ranging from confidentiality and integrity to ethical obligations and non-discrimination. Participants are also required to complete five online learning assignments designed to promote a deeper understanding of course content through personal reflection and group discussion.
According to course moderator Jill Parker, "The online discussion is where the real learning happens. We’ve piloted the course twice now, and in both cases I've been thrilled by the depth and thoughtfulness of the online discussion, and by participants’ willingness to share their "aha" moments as they moved through the course materials."
Based loosely on two earlier CAPT trainings, the online Ethics in Prevention course is grounded in the realities of everyday substance abuse prevention work. "We knew it was important for participants to recognize and relate to the situations we presented," Adler says. "So we worked closely with a host of very experienced practitioners to develop scenarios that truly reflected the field of prevention."
Perhaps the most important lesson of the course is that acting ethically is as much a pro-active as reactive process. As one course participant wrote: "Ethics are woven through all the work we do. [This course] helps us to slow things down a bit and make sure we’re doing what is best for the populations we’re serving."
Ethics in Prevention has been endorsed by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). Participants who complete the course can earn 6 credit hours towards the IC&RC’s prevention ethics education/training requirement for prevention specialist credentialing.
For more information, contact Carol Oliver, CAPT Director of Training and Technical Assistance at Samhsa_capt@edc.org.