CCC offers online substance abuse prevention course


MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College is offering an online substance abuse prevention certificate course.

The certificate training prepares human services workers to assist individuals with issues related to drug and alcohol dependency, which is a mission for Kathy Foster, chairperson of the college’s human services technology program.

Ms. Foster also serves as the vice chairperson of the Carteret County Consolidated Human Services Board. When she became aware of the death rate in Carteret County and the nation due to the opioid crisis, she said she wanted to try to make a difference.

“As vice-chair of the Carteret County Consolidated Human Services Board, each month the board is briefed about the deaths that occur in Carteret County along with the cause of death,” she said. “I also serve as a member of the Carteret Collaborative where we discuss the Carteret County mental health needs each month. This includes the number of residents who are involuntarily committed, as well as the number of clients administered Narcan, which reverses the effects of opioids. As a concerned citizen and professionally trained counselor, I felt compelled to try to help my community by adding the Substance Abuse Certificate to our offerings.”

The county has several treatment facilities. Through the human services technology and substance abuse prevention programs, CCC is providing paraprofessionals for the workforce. Ms. Foster said the new certificate offering will broaden the skill sets of the students, thereby making them more valuable to local providers.

“A common occurrence for individuals completing a recovery program is the desire to help others find a pathway out of addiction,” Ms. Foster said. “The human service education program of study has experienced much success, as evidenced by several of our graduates moving on to Lees-McRae University pursuing bachelor’s degrees.”

For the fall 2021 semester, CCC students will be able to access the online program remotely. CCC secured nearly $1 million through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Distance Learning and Telemedicine grant to install computer equipment at the Marine Science and Techologies Early College, CCC, East Carteret High School, The Bridge Downeast, Croatan High School, County Department of Social Services, Fort Benjamin Recreation Center, Harlowe Community Center and Western Carteret Library.

“Many of my students live far from campus,” Ms. Foster said. “Creating a remote learning site could allow the residents of Carteret County to make significant progress on their personal journeys.”

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