Colombo Plan
Drug Advisory Programme (DAP)


Basic Level Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders (UTC)

The Basic Level UTC consists of eight courses that cover the broad spectrum of addiction treatment. Each course consists of a Trainer and Participant Manual. The content and methodology of the UTC training series is designed to ensure that addiction practitioners develop a balanced perspective of the principles relating to both the science and art of addiction treatment. Each course is intended to enhance the knowledge, skills and competencies of addiction professionals, as well as promote evidencebased practice for the enhancement of service delivery and treatment outcomes. Moreover, each course has been piloted to ensure outstanding quality of content, as well as identify and address existing gaps prior to its application by training. The eight existing courses are as follows:

Course 1: Physiology and Pharmacology for Addiction Professionals (20 hours)

This course presents a comprehensive overview of addiction; provides an understanding of the physiology of addiction as a brain disease; and describes the pharmacology of psychoactive substances.

Course 2: Treatment for Substance Use Disorders – The Continuum of Care for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course provides the foundation for learning about SUD treatment. It gives an overview of recovery and recovery management, stages of change, principles of effective treatment, components of treatment and evidence-based practices.

Course 3: Common Co-occurring Mental and Medical Disorders – An Overview for Addiction Professionals (20 hours)

This foundational course provides an overview of the relationship of co-occurring mental and medical disorders, and SUD-related treatment issues.

Course 4: Basic Counselling Skills for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course provides an overview of the helping relationship and opportunity to practice core counselling including basic skills in motivational interviewing, group counselling and implementation of psychoeducation sessions.

Course 5: Intake, Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation for Addiction Professionals (33 hours)

This course is a skills-based course that teaches effective and integrated intake, screening, assessment, treatment planning and documentation procedures to addiction professionals.

Course 6: Case Management for Addiction Professionals (13 hours)

This is a foundational and skills-based course that provides an overview of case management in SUD treatment and provides skills practice in case management functions.

Course 7: Crisis Intervention for Addiction Professionals (13 hours)

This course addresses the concept of crisis as a part of life and provides guidelines for crisis intervention including managing suicide risk. It also addresses ways in which counsellors can avoid personal crisis situations by providing information and exercises about counsellor self-care.

Course 8: Ethics for Addiction Professionals (26 hours) This course addresses professional conduct and ethical behaviour in SUD treatment that covers confidentiality, ethical principles and professional code of ethics. It provides the opportunity to learn and practice the use of an ethical decision-making model through case study analyses.

Advanced Level Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC)

The Advanced Level UTC is a set of ten courses, which is developed to provide a more comprehensive and theoretical foundation in the clinical practice of substance use disorder treatment. It is a specialised training course that aims to provide an in-depth continuing education with the latest information and skills-based activities to further enhance the capacity of the treatment workforce and standardise the quality of care and services they provide for their clients. The ten existing courses are as follows:

Course 9 – Pharmacology and Substance Use Disorders

The course provides an overview of pharmacology through the identification of the classification of drugs based on their effects on the central nervous system and addiction potential. It provides an understanding of the role of neurotransmitters in the development of addiction and the psychological implications on substance use disorders.

Course 10 – Managing Medication Assisted Treatment Programs

This course provides an understanding of the importance of medication in SUD treatment and its benefits when used in conjunction with psychosocial interventions.

Course 11 – Enhancing Motivational Interviewing Skills

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the theory and application of Motivational Interviewing strategies and interventions for SUD treatment.

Course 12 – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This course provides an overview of cognitive –behavior therapy goals and techniques and its application to treatment of people with substance use disorders and comorbid disorders.

Course 13 – Contingency Management

This is a foundational course that provides an understanding of the theories and principles of reinforcement-based treatment, in general, with specific focus on the Contingency Management approach. The course covers the use of behavioral interventions in the treatment of SUD, and the basic components of CM and its application.

Course 14: Working with Families

The course provides a comprehensive overview for SUD treatment practitioners working with families dealing with substance use disorders. The discussion covers the impact of SUD on family, its coping mechanisms, recovery issues and interventions that can be implemented.

Course 15 – Skills for Managing Co-Occurring Disorders

This skills-based course is meant to enhance participants understanding of co-occurring disorders, substance-related disorders, and mental disorders, develop skills to identify and provide intervention to people with SUD and other co-occurring medical and mental disorders.

Course 16- Advanced Clinical Skills and Crisis Management

This course provides an understanding of the theories of counselling and the application of its therapeutic techniques in SUD treatment.

Course 17 – Case Management Skills and Practice

This course is designed to provide the opportunity to enhance competency in case management through a better understanding of the important roles and skills of case managers.

Course 18 – Clinical Skills for Substance Use Disorder Professionals

This course provides an overview of the fundamentals, principles, models and methods of clinical supervision. This is also meant to lay out the roles, functions, skills and competencies of clinical supervisors.

Course 19 – Group Facilitation Skills

This is a skills-based course that enhances group facilitation skills of SUD treatment practitioners through understanding of group processes, concepts, models and methods through experiential learning. These skills will enable practitioners to guide a group through the complex stages of group development that is built on trust and safety, creating cohesion among members that learn from experience.

Course 20 – Populations with Special Clinical Needs

This course provides basic tools necessary to help meet the needs of a broad and diverse array of individuals with substance use disorders, provide and/or improve access to quality treatment services that address the issues of diversity and address the unique mental health needs of the communities’ different population groups. It promotes respect and the practice of cultural humility as it highlights the importance of understanding different groups’ health beliefs, practices, and cultural and language needs that contribute to individuals relapsing to substance use and engaging in and maintaining recovery.

Course 21 – Trauma-Informed Care

This course provides an understanding of trauma, its prevalence among people with substance use disorders, and impact on treatment and recovery allows treatment and recovery support service providers to develop and integrate trauma-informed care into the overall treatment system and make it available to all clients with SUD.

Course 22 – Relapse Prevention and Recovery management

This course provides a foundational understanding of recovery management and relapse prevention. It covers discussion on the roots of recovery, its process and how it differs from treatment as well as the elements of relapse and relapse prevention. It differentiates recovery from recovery management and cover key elements of recovery management. It also presents challenges and issues that are sometimes encountered in recovery management – issues such as dealing with mental health and physical health issues, the role that medication assisted treatment can play in recovery management and very importantly, the role of addressing trauma in recovery. This course also examines the role of peer support specialists and recovery coaches in helping support recovery from substance use disorders.