Successful recovered addicts

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SJCC offers programs to become substance abuse counselors




The Alcohol and Drugs Studies program at San Jose City College offers two certificates and two associate degrees. The associate degree is transferable to four-year University. By graduation, students would be ready and prepared to work at treatment centers.

The Alcohol and Drugs Study Coordinator Mary Cook, 52, has been at SJCC since 1990. Her warm and helpful learning environment helped students become substance abuse counselors. “Two-thirds of the students experienced recovery and one-third of students have family members who are addicts. Most of these people take these courses because they want to make a difference.” “Santa Clara has the largest addicts in the Bay Area,” Cook said. Cook trains students to become substance abuse counselor, licensed therapist, including studying the treatment and prevention and the 12-step program.

Two SJCC students Antoinette Martinez, 34, and Alice Davis, 42, are true testimonies of recovered addicts. Martinez returned to school to pursue her A.A after she graduated from SJCC in 2014. She is passionate about her work as an alcohol and drug counselor.

“After being repeatedly in jail, there was a verse written inside the jail room Ephesians 4:22 ‘That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts’ turned my life around.” “Drugs impact the behavior causing changes in our way of thinking permanently. With God, in my life, I was able to overcome the strongholds in my mind. Drugs made me think opposite of what God has designed me to be in His image,” Martinez said.

“I was heavily involved with weed and meth from 22 till 30 years old. I overcame my addiction through the power of God, encouragement and support of my friends and husband. My favorite verse is Philippians 4:13 ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’,” said Davis who will be graduating in spring 2017.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there will be 22 percent employment growth rate by 2024. Substance abuse counselor jobs are growing at faster rate than many other occupations. In the program, each semester has between 100 and 200 students and about 25 students graduate per year.

Interested in the subject but do not want to take the major? Intro to Dependence Chemical class is offered at SJCC, helps understand how chemical affects people. This can help you gain more knowledge about how addicts are addicted to drugs and alcohol.