South Carolina Statewide Training Initiative

The Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Training for Addiction Professionals is sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS).

With the rapidly changing world of healthcare, DAODAS is committed to moving the SUD treatment system in South Carolina forward by working within it to define the model, establish evidence-based best practices, and move to active implementation.

This training is a bold undertaking with the power to change the way the treatment community in South Carolina understands SUDs. By changing the  ways of thinking about SUDs as a disease, we can significantly improve the way treatment is administered, providing better outcomes for the patients.

The goal is to empower treatment professionals by providing them with an instructional, working definition of addiction that can be applied to existing routines by utilizing Modified Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (MIGP), thus enabling them to become true change agents of the Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.

Through a three-year process, we will:

  • Demonstrate an evidence base, explainable in medical/physiological terms.
  • Teach treatment values and behaviors consistent with the evidence, and empower participants to internalize those values and behaviors to deeply impact a treatment system focused on meeting patients where they are, and is free of provider-induced shame.
  • Empower  trained clinicians to return to their agencies throughout the state and implement these clinical practices with fidelity.
  • Develop a treatment system that is unified, consistent among all providers, explicable and easily marketed to an increasingly discerning and diverse patient population, and is aligned with the values of Recovery Oriented Systems of Care.
  • Document patient outcomes in order to track and show to funders that what we do works, and is cost effective.

Training Overview

The first year of the training experience spans 12 full days of instruction providing a comprehensive definition of the Disease of Addiction and a group model congruent with the definition. The training sessions are divided into a series of two-day sessions, allowing participants to integrate new information and practice what they have learned during the sessions and between them at their home agencies. All sessions are conducted by Jeff Georgi. The training directly challenges an oversimplified monolithic vision of addiction, providing clinicians with a depth of understanding that integrate applied science into treatment processes. Utilizing evidence-based group intervention, Modified Interpersonal Group Process (MIGP), participants learn how the conceptualization of the disease informs the modalities of treatment.  Participants are taught how to incorporate spirituality into the treatment experience of their patients—as a direct challenge to the symptoms of SUDs, such as isolation, fear, shame, and hopelessness.

The first cohort began its training in June, 2012 with many of its participants currently moving toward certification. In August, 2014, the second cohort began its training and has joined the group of 2012 in the Regional Learning Teams. Development of a Community of Practice with the two cohorts deepens their understanding of the model and brings energy of transformation to their regions and agencies.

Addiction Framework: The first two days of the training series introduces the working definition of Substance Use Disorders. By giving specific attention to the biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual and experiential (BPSSEM) expressions of the disease, the implications for treatment and recovery, it provides a common foundation and language for future training sessions.

Modified Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy (MIGP):  The training experience consists of a broad introduction to the process of group psychotherapy and defines the participant training group for utilizing and practicing the Modified Interpersonal Group Psychotherapy model.

Training Commitment: For implementation purposes, clinicians must have approval and the support of their respective agencies. Agencies participating will provide time and support for their staff not only to consistently attend the remainder of the training events, but also to complete assignments in between sessions. Additionally, agencies will allow for taped group experiences in order for supervision to take place. If you have further questions about the role and responsibilities of state agencies in supporting a substance abuse professional in this training, please contact: Kaitlin Blanco-Silva, kblancosilva@daodas.sc.gov.