Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment (3 hours)

Robert Shearer


SKU: 5e50abce51e9 Category:


Course Summary: Based on TIP 50
Persons with substance abuse problems who are in treatment consistently
show a high prevalence of suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts. This
course is designed for frontline counselors in substance abuse treatment
programs, individuals who work with individuals who have both a
substance abuse and mental health disorder, or individuals who provide
supervision or consultation to counselors.

The course provides information on the link between substance abuse and
sucidality, types of suicidal thoughts and behavior, warning signs, reasons
for suicide, suicide procedures, screening procedures, procedures for
administrators, and suicide prevention and intervention in an agency.


Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
• Show increase knowledge about suicidality
• Understand the link between substance abuse and suicidality
• Identify the types of suicidal thoughts and behaviors
• Understand the warning signs for suicide
• Understand the risk factors for suicide
• Identify the protective factors
• Distinguish between suicide and suicide attempt
• Identify suicide procedures
• Understand how to screen for suicide
• Identify actions that can be taken by a substance abuse counselor
• Understand suicide documentation
• Understand the competencies needed for working with clients who are suicidal
• Understand the benefits of addressing suicidality in substance abuse treatment programs
• Understand Level 1 and Level 2 programs
• Understand the legal and ethical issues regarding suicide for substance abuse programs
• Understand how to conduct an organizational assessment, plan, and implementation for change
• Identify how a counselor can help an agency develop and improve its response to suicidal crises

Your Course Instructor:
Robert Shearer, PhD

Dr. Robert A. Shearer is a retired professor of criminal justice in the College of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University. He has been teaching, training, consulting, and conducting research in the fields of criminal justice, human behavior, and addictions for over thirty-six years. He is the author of over sixty professional and refereed articles in criminal justice and behavior. He is also the author of Interviewing: Theories, Techniques, and Practices, 5th edition published by Prentice Hall. Dr. Shearer has also created over a dozen measurement, research, and assessment instruments in criminal justice and addictions including Law Enforcement Strategies Scale (LSS), Correctional Strategies Scale (CSS), Probation Strategies Scale (PSS), Correctional Treatment Resistance Scale (CTRS), the Comprehensive Substance Abuse Counseling Orientation Inventory (CSACOI), and the Substance Abuse Consequences Scale (SACS).

He has been a psychotherapist in private practice and served as a consultant to dozens of local, state, and national agencies. He has taught courses in interviewing, human behavior, substance abuse counseling, drugs and crime, and correctional counseling. He is currently developing an Interrogation Tactics Scale that measures levels of approval of coercion in interrogations with suspected offenders.

He has been the president of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counseling and editor of the Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling. Recently, Dr. Shearer completed a survey of the beliefs of over 300 substance abuse counselors in a large correctional system in the southwestern U.S. He is a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation of Oklahoma.

Additional information


CD ROM, Hard Copy, Internet