Porn, Internet, food addiction included in program rebranding

JONNY WALKER, Channels Contributor

City College has noticed the evolution of addiction and is adapting to the change by re-identifying the Alcohol and Drug Counseling department as Addictive Disorders Counseling.

Assistant Professor Gordon Coburn, who has worked for more than 20 years as a certified addiction therapist and has a master’s degree in psychology, said the name change more accurately describes the diversity of the department.

“There are so many process addictions; shopping, the Internet, or pornography. Certainly gambling,” Coburn said. “We also cover eating disorders, relationships in recovery, and even sex addiction. The name Alcohol and Drug Counseling doesn’t include them, and we wanted to fix that.”

City College offers an associate’s degree through the ADC program and became accredited in 2006 by the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators to train addiction counselors for state certification. But Coburn said his students are more than just future counselors.

“Many students come and take some of our courses not intending to become counselors,” he said. “But they take them for their own edification. I’d like to encourage that.”

The Addiction Disorder Counseling web page notes that the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics ranks Substance Abuse Counselors as one of the top ten fastest growing occupations through the year 2016.

Coburn said almost everybody has suffered from an addiction or knows somebody suffering from an addiction. Most people don’t really understand the effect that an addictive parent has on a family, he added.

“People think once the addiction is gone that everything is okay,” Coburn said. “It isn’t. Family members suffer long and hard.”

When asked which addictions he thought were most prevalent among City College students, he said Internet addiction was the most widespread.

“But with substance addiction, alcohol is by far the most.” Coburn said.

Coburn said he wants to encourage more students to take his courses. Students have a lot to benefit by learning more about their own or others’ addictions.

“There is a lot of misunderstanding about addictions, like marijuana in particular,” he said.

A student who is suffering from addiction, or knows somebody who is suffering from an addiction can get help at City College. Two counselors are on campus that have already completed the ADC program and provide assistance to students dealing with addiction.

Coburn also added that City College has the Helping Others through Peer Education program also on campus. HOPE also provides assistance to students who are having trouble dealing with addictions and other pressures of college life.

For more information about the ADC, visit their web page at http://adc.sbcc.edu/index.html