Addiction Education courses through McMaster University

Many CAW Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) or Substance Abuse Representatives have taken or are taking the McMaster courses on Addiction. These continuing education distance learning or in class courses are highly recommended as a follow-up to basic introductory union programs like the CAW's 1 day EFAP awareness course and the CLC's three level Union Counselling course.
(See the rest of Employee and Family Assistance/ Substance Abuse at this website for more info on the CAW's 1 day EFAP awareness course and the CLC's three level Union Counselling course.)
The Addiction Education Program is run through the Centre for Continuing Education at McMaster University. EFAP representatives gain knowledge and skills that can be applied directly back to the workplace. The program allows students to become comfortable with counseling techniques, assessment of addiction, involving the family in support, wellness in the workplace and many others. It gives students the opportunity to understand the continuum of treatment and the referral process, how to intervene in a crisis situation, the complexities of relapse. Topics are addressed from the a holistic viewpoint or biopsychosocial model.

The courses may be taken as part of the Certificate or Diploma, or they may be taken as one-off courses. These courses are academic credit and upon completion of the entire Certificate or Diploma, they may be applied towards many undergraduate degrees. Courses are taught at an undergraduate level.

The McMaster program is very flexible. Courses may be taken in distance format, or in condensed into weekend lectures that run over two full weekends.

The lecture courses can also be taken off-site and run in other locations across Canada if there's a minimum of 15 people willing to enroll. Students are welcome to take as many or as few courses as they wish in any given year and there is no deadline by which the program must be completed.


Many opt for the Certificate. The Certificate is an elective program and students select any 15 units that interest them. Here is an example of courses that a typical EFAP representative might choose for the Certificate:

611-427 Introduction to Addiction (3 units)
611-430 Solution Focused Approaches (3 units)
620-488 Assessment of Addictive Behaviour (2 units)
620-470 Wellness and Work: Introduction to EAP (2 units)
620-471 Counselling for the Workplace: Principles of EAP Intervention (2 units)
620-879 Working with Families and Addiction (2 units)
611-412 Understanding and Preventing Relapse (2 units)

McMaster can also customize sessions on virtually any addiction or counseling based topic.

For more information on the offerings, please visit the Addiction-Education at McMaster's website at:

Christie McGaghran, Program Manager, Centre for Continuing Education is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Christie McGaghran
Program Manager, Centre for Continuing Education
Addiction Education, French General Interest

McMaster University
Downtown Centre, 2nd floor, 50 Main Street East, Hamilton
P: 905-525-9140 ext. 23329 F: 905-546-1690
Mail: 1280 Main Street West, DTC 2nd floor, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8

Here is the website that discusses all the McMaster University Addiction studies courses:

Whether or not an employer will reimburse tuition and book costs depends on the collective agreement language or local negotiation. If an employer does agree, the members would likely have to pay the tuition and book costs up front and provide proof of tuition payment and course completion before they could claim reimbursement.