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Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC)


Organized by

Ecolink Institute of Well-being, India in collaboration with

The Colombo Plan-Drug Advisory Programme & Los Altos, Mexico


•    Online Course starts on 29 March 2021.
•    Limited seats.  Admission on a ‘first Come first served basis’

•    Medium of Instruction: ENGLISH

•    Total 160 hours of training, all live sessions (No recorded sessions)
•    Classes two days a week (Monday & Friday),

•    Time: 6 - 8 am (Mexican Time) 
•    Sessions by ICAP Certified Global Master Trainers of the Colombo Plan & UNODC
•    Curriculum 1 - 8 with 48 Modules, detailed training manuals, and live zoom sessions for 6 months 

​⦁    Office hours after each Curriculum to clarify doubts and discussions

Global Master Trainers: 

⦁    Dr. Thirumagal V., Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan
⦁    Ms. Aditi Sanika, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan
⦁    Dr. Damber Nirola, Psychiatrist, Government of Bhutan
⦁    Mr. Sonam Jamtsho, Government of Bhutan
⦁    Mr. Francis Moothedan, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan
⦁    Ms. Susmita Bannerji, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan
⦁    Dr. Thomas Scaria, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer & Director, Ecolink
⦁    Ms. Reshma Malick, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer 

Course Fees:
⦁    USD 360 for the entire course. (Those recommended by Los Altos will pay only $300)
⦁    Fees can be paid either in lump sum or in two installments.
⦁     The course fee includes the entire sessions, participant’s manuals for each curriculum, and its examinations and 4 Certificates of Completion

ICAP Credential:
•   The participants appearing for the International Credentialing Examination (ICAP) conducted by the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) will need to pay an additional examination fee of USD 125, which need to be paid directly to the Colombo Plan or GCCC before the exam date after the completion of the course.

Stories from around the Globe 

Regina Nova Indradewi.jpeg

Regina Nova Indradewi,

Jakarta, Indonesia

"A great experience as well as very rewarding. At first I was worried because of language barriers, but it seemed that my ...

Anacleto Clent Banaay Jr.jpeg

Anacleto Clent Banaay Jr, Cebu, Philippines

"The online UTC course gave me the opportunity to learn addiction management in a wider perspective ( international perspective).....

Odireleng Kasale-Botswana.jpeg

Odireleng Kasale, Botswana, South Africa

"I enrolled to the course very last minute after stumbling across the autumn mind on the ISSUP Facebook page. From....


This Course on Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) is specially designed for the Addiction Practitioners in Mexico in collaboration with Los Altos, Mexico and the ISSUP National Network of Mexico. 

Globally, more than half of the population (57%) over 15 years of age drank alcohol in the last year. It is estimated that 283 million people in the world have an addictive alcohol use disorder, that is, around 3.7% of the total world population (WHO, 2018). In the case of tobacco, it is estimated that there are currently 1.3 billion people in the world with addictive tobacco use disorder, about 16.8% of the world's population. In Western countries, 3 out of 10 adults smoke and 5 out of 10 people die from their use (WHO, 2019). According to the World Drug Report 2020, from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), an estimated 269 million people in the world used drugs in 2018 (such as cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy, opioids and other new psychoactive substances), at least once in the past year. This figure corresponds to 5.4% of the world population between 15 and 64 years old, that is, 1 out of every 19 people. In the period from 2009 to 2018, the number of people who used drugs in the world increased by 28%, from 210 million to 269 million. Of this estimate, some 35.6 million people suffer from an addictive disorder, which corresponds to 0.7% of the world population between 15 and 64 years of age.
In Mexico, the National Survey on the Consumption of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco (ENCODAT) (2017) estimated that 2.9% of the population had consumed some type of drug at least once in the previous year. For its part, substance addictive disorder was estimated at 0.6% of the population between 12 and 65 years of age (ENCODAT, 2017), that is, approximately 750,000 Mexicans. This figure is in line with the global estimates mentioned above (0.7%).

Regarding the consumption of illegal drugs, ENCODAT 2016-2017 indicates a constant increase over the years for the case of any drug, estimating a prevalence of 8.6% of the total population in 2016. For its part, the prevalence of drug use medical practice remains practically unchanged.  In Mexico, drug dependence is reported in 0.6% of the population (1.1% in men and 0.2% in women) (figure 8). This data is similar to 0.7% of the world population with dependence on illegal drugs (World Drug Report, 2020). The average age of beginning of consumption in Mexico is around 17.8 years.

Substance use disorder is also a major mental health issue in the world, which claims millions of deaths annually and causes several health-related ailments. Some 35.6 million people suffer from drug use disorders globally, according to the World Drug Report 2020 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Globally, more than 3 million people die of alcohol use every year, and nearly 8 million dies from tobacco-related ailments. 

Chemical Dependency is a complex brain disease, which is relapsing and associated with both physical and psychological co-occurring disorders. Since addiction is a complex process, recovery is also complex, which involves a whole-person wellness and reintegration. Recovery from substance use disorders is a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. 

A person undergoes several emotional and physical issues during recovery, which requires professional care and support. There is an acute shortage of qualified professionals and recovery coaches with proper training and experience to deal with addiction management and recovery.  The Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) is specially designed by global experts under the supervision of the Colombo Plan and the US Department of State, through years of research and based on Evidence Based Practices.

Training goals: 

⦁    To provide participants with an understanding of the physiology of addiction as a brain disease; 
⦁    To provide participants with information about the pharmacology of psychoactive substances.
⦁    To provide participants with a comprehensive overview of the nature of change;  „ 
⦁    To provide participants with an understanding of the process and elements of treatment for SUDs.
⦁    To provide an overview of commonly co-occurring mental and medical disorders; 
⦁    To provide an overview of treatment models and principles for co-occurring disorders
⦁    To provide an opportunity for participants to learn and practice basic skills they will need in all settings and models of treatment;
⦁    To teach and provide an opportunity for participants to practice basic group counseling skills.
⦁    To introduce participants to ways to implement recovery concepts in screening, assessment, and treatment planning;
⦁    To familiarize participants with the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST);
⦁    To provide an overview of basic principles, functions, and models of case management; 
⦁    To provide an opportunity for participants to apply information about case management to their own practices.
⦁    To provide an overview of the importance of ethical guidelines and ethical decision-making models;  
⦁    To provide participants a specific decision-making tool and practice in using it and to provide an in-depth overview of a professional code of ethics.


The Training Design: 

The eight curricula and their modules in this training series are designed for 4 months as online live sessions at the Zoom platform with participatory activities, home assignments, etc. Your trainers have provided you with a specific agenda for each curricula with trainer-led presentations and discussions, frequent use of creative learner-directed activities, small-group and partner-to-partner exercises and presentations, reflective writing exercises, periodic reviews to enhance learning retention, and learning assessment exercises. Your active participation is essential to making this a positive and productive learning experience!


Participants will receive a Participants Manual with detailed resources, PPTs, and activity guidelines for each curriculum. In total, participants will receive eight (8) such manuals running into nearly 300 pages each. The whole curriculums are divided into 4 courses which will end with a post-test and completion Certificates. These Completion Certificates are required for applying to ICAP credentialing.

The title of the training program: Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorder

The OrganizersEcolink Institute of Well-being, India in Collaboration with  The Colombo Plan-Drug Advisory Programme

Duration of the training:  Six Months Online Course from 29 March, 202

Eligible groups: Addiction practitioners attached to addiction recovery centres, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Doctors, Social workers, Recovery coaches

Minimum Qualification:        A University Recognized Bachelors’ Degree or more

Proposed starting Date29 March 2021

Training Days: Monday & Friday,

Training Hours: 6 - 8 AM (Mexican Time) 

Selection Process: Selection is done based on a written test and interview by the Ecolink Institute, India. Initial Screening will be done by Los Altos, Mexico

What the participants gain:
  1. The participants will get a soft copy of “participant’s Manual” for each curriculum with more than 300 Pages of matter, PPTs, and reference materials completely free. (total 8 such manuals)

  2. The course is implemented in four  parts with culminating examinations & certificates

  3. The participants will get four completion certificates with marks cards

  4. Completion Certificates will have the list of topics and modules covered

  5. Completion Certificates will carry the logo of the Colombo Plan and authorized Training Provider.

  6. Those completing the course successfully can sit for an international credentialing examination online from Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) and  get an International Credential (ICAP- Internationally Certified Addiction Professional), which is approved in all major countries including the west.

The Resource persons:

Globally Certified Addiction Trainers for Universal Treatment & Prevention Curricula, promoted by the Colombo Plan & US Department of State with several hours of training and counselling experience around the world. Most Trainers are also Certified Trainers for UNODC.

  1. Dr. Thirumagal V, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan

  2. Ms. Aditi Ghaneker, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan

  3. Mr. Francis Moothedan, ICAP-III certified Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan

  4. Ms. Susmita Bannerji, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan

  5. Dr. Thomas Scaria, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer & Director, Ecolink

  6. Dr. Damber Kumar Nirola, Psychiatrist and ICAP Certified Trainer (Bhutan)

  7. Ms. Reshma Malick, ICAP-III Certified Addiction Trainer

  8. Mr. Sonam Jamtsho, ICAP-III Certified Addiction Trainer (Bhutan)


Moderator: Dr. Thomas Scaria, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer & Director, Ecolink

The Syllabus (Curricula and Modules)

The syllabus is designed by international experts based on evidence based approaches and years of research. The overall goal of the training series is to reduce the significant health, social, and economic problems associated with substance use disorders (SUDs) by building international treatment capacity through training, professionalizing, and expanding the global treatment workforce. 

Curriculum 1: Physiology and Pharmacology for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2—Introduction to Psychoactive Substance Use 

Module 3—The Science of Addiction

Module 4—Social Stigma

Module 5—Substances of Abuse: Characteristics and Consequences

Module 6—Integrating Learning Into  Practice

Participants who complete Course 1 will be able to: 

  • Name and briefly describe four classes of psychoactive substances;

  • Describe the ways in which psychoactive substances may be taken; 

  • Define substance use disorders; 

  • Define physiological dependence; 

  • Define addiction; 

  • Briefly describe the ways in which substance use affects normal brain communication;

  • Define and describe the concept of stigma; and

  • Describe the effects and consequences of at least six psychoactive substances.

Curriculum 2: Treatment for Substance Use Disorder, Continuum of Care

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— Recovery and Recovery  Management

Module 3_ Factors Affecting Treatment Outcomes

Module 4— Introduction to Motivation and Stages of Change

Module 5— Treatment: An Overview

Module 6— Components of Treatment: The Continuum of Care

Module 7_ Evidence-Based Practices for Treatment Intervention

Module 8 _ Integrating Learning Into Treatment

Participants who complete Course 2 will be able to: 

  • List and briefly describe two overall goals of treatment; 

  • Name the six stages of change and describe at least one characteristic of clients in each stage; „

  • Name at least eight of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse principles of treatment; Describe the components of treatment; 

  • Define and provide examples of the continuum of care; 

  • Briefly describe five evidence-based treatment interventions; and 

  • Name at least five factors that can affect a person’s success in treatment.


Curriculum 3: Common Co-Occurring Mental and Medical Disorders—An Overview for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— History of, Vulnerabilities to, and Impacts of Co-Occurring Disorders

Module 3— Assessment and Treatment Options and Models

Module 4— Specific Mental Disorders and Common Issues

Module 5— Substance-Induced Mental Disorders

Module 6— Common Co-occurring Medical Disorders

Module 7_ Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 3 will be able to: 

  • Explain key terminology and concepts used in the co-occurring disorders field; 

  • Describe the biological and environmental risk and protective factors involved with co-occurring disorders; 

  • Describe six major mental disorders and SUD counseling approaches for each; 

  • Explain what is meant by substance-induced mental disorders; 

  • Describe three major medical disorders that impact SUDs; and 

  • Integrate these concepts into their roles as SUD counselors

Curriculum 4: Basic Counseling Skills for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— The Helping Relationship

Module 3— Core Counseling Skills

Module 4— Stages of and Strategies for Change

Module 5— Group Counseling: Basic Skills

Module 6— Psycho-education Groups for Clients and Families Module

Module 7_ Teaching Clients Skills

Module 8 _ Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 4 will be able to: 

  • Describe the concept and importance of counselor style; 

  • List at least five characteristics of effective counselors; 

  • Define helping relationship; 

  • Describe the three types of reflective listening; 

  • Demonstrate basic competence in reflective listening; 

  • Describe and demonstrate asking open-ended questions, affirming, summarizing, and rolling with resistance; 

  • Identify at least two effective counseling strategies for each stage of change; 

  • Demonstrate basic competence in three types of skills-based counseling:

    • Relapse prevention

    • Problem-solving

    • Goal-setting; 

  • Describe at least two basic issues or tasks for each typical group phase; and Demonstrate basic competence in group facilitation.


Curriculum 5: Intake, Screening, Assessment, Treatment Planning and Documentation for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— Environment, Treatment Engagement and Retention

Module 3— Intake, Screening and Brief Intervention

Module 4— Assessment

Module 5— The Addiction Severity Index

Module 6— Person-Centered Planning

Module 7_ Record keeping (Documentation)

Module 8 _ Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 5 will be able to: ­

  • Describe the principles for assessment; ­

  • List the four main domains of assessment; ­

  • Describe and demonstrate two effective strategies for collecting information; ­

  • Describe the goal of screening and brief intervention; ­

  • Demonstrate ability to screen clients using the ASSIST; ­

  • Demonstrate beginning ability to use the ASI as part of assessing clients; and ­

  • List the five essential elements of a self-directed goal.


Curriculum 6: Case Management for Addiction Professional

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— Overview of Case Management

Module 3— Models of Case Management

Module 4— Steps of Case Management

Module 5— Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 6 will be able to: 

  • Describe the concept and importance of case management; 

  • Define “case management”; 

  • Understand how case management helps coordinate services and reduce fragmentation; 

  • Understand how case management is currently being performed in their program; and 

  • Apply the principles of case management to their own practice.


Curriculum 7: Crisis Intervention for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— What Causes a Crisis?

Module 3— 20 Guidelines for Crisis Management

Module 4— Managing Suicide Risk.

Module 5— Avoiding Personal Crisis: Counselor Safety and Self-Care

Module 6 _ Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 7 will be able to: 

  • Define crisis and crisis intervention; 

  • Describe steps to managing a crisis; 

  • Demonstrate awareness of suicide intervention and prevention; and 

  • Demonstrate awareness of how to handle difficult or hostile clients while ensuring counselor and client safety.


Curriculum 8: Ethics for Addiction Professionals

Module 1—Training Introduction

Module 2— Foundations for Ethical Thinking

Module 3— A Model for Ethical Decision-Making

Module 4—NAADAC Ethical Principles, I-IV

Module 5— NAADAC Ethical Principles, V-VII

Module 6— NAADAC Ethical Principles, VIII-IX

Module 7_ Case Studies

Module 8 _ Integrating Learning Into Practice

Participants who complete Course 8 will be able to: 

  • Explain the importance of ethical guidelines for avoiding discrimination and stereotyping; 

  • Describe and demonstrate ability (using a case study) to use a model for ethical decision-making; 

  • Explain guidelines for confidentiality and the circumstances when confidentiality may be ethically breached; 

  • Explain standards for developing and maintaining healthy relationships with clients and colleagues and for protecting clients from harm; and 

  • Demonstrate awareness of the various country or local laws and regulations that apply to SUD treatment.


Methodology for training:

The training will be imparted through zoom video conference, and the link will be sent through email and WhatsApp 3 hours prior to the scheduled time of the sessions. The students can click the link and the host will admit them to the classroom from 15 minutes prior to the session. The training sessions will be from 6 pm to 8 pm with a break in between.


The training will be using power point presentations, interactive sessions, activities, and will be following a detailed manual with PPT and other instructions which will be made available to the participants before the session begin. The modules will be taken by expert resource persons who are recognized by the Colombo Plan and UNODC, most of them serving as global trainers. There will be 8 curricula with 6-8 modules which will be imparted on one module-one day basis. Certain modules will be split into two days depending on its content. There will be home works and activities related to the sessions and reference materials will be provided. Hours spent on Home assignments will be also added to the hours of training.


Sessions will be provided live and not through any recorded video. Students are expected to learn not only through the zoom sessions, but through prescribed activities, home works and reading reference materials from the participants manual and references provided.


The training is imparted in four parts of two curriculums each and participants will get completion certificates upon successful completion of each part. In addition to these completion certificates, participants will be given opportunity to appear for an international examination, conducted by GCCC for credentialing and certification. There will be a feed back session and online model examination after each curricula to help participants successfully pass through the ICAP examination at the end for credentialing as an internationally certified Addiction Professional (ICAP).

Background of the Agencies:

Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CP-DAP)

( )

The Colombo Plan is a Commonwealth initiated Inter-Governmental Organization which was established on 1 July 1951 by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom. Colombo Plan currently has expanded to 27 member countries including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation). The Colombo Plan was originally started for the socio-economic development of its member countries with  a partnership concept of self-help and mutual-help, but currently its activities are extended to more than 62 countries.

The Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) was established in 1971 as the first Inter-Governmental initiative in Drug Demand  reduction under the Colombo Plan. The Inter-Governmental Organization has approved Ecolink Institute of Well-being as an official “Training Provider” for Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC) and Universal Prevention Curricula (UPC) as well as various other addiction management training series developed for the countries around the globe. The curricula is developed by the Colombo Plan in collaboration with INL, US Department of State and implemented by the approved Training Providers. United States is the major donor for the Drug Advisory Programme under the Colombo Plan.


The International Society of Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP)


The International Society of Substance Use Prevention and Treatment Professionals (ISSUP) is a global, not for profit, non-government organisation to support the development of a professional drug demand reduction workforce. It is a free, international, membership organisation, bringing together the range of workers from the prevention, treatment and recovery fields to inform, connect and strengthen their research, practice and policy making. ISSUP’s establishment and development have been the Colombo Plan and its Drug Advisory Programme (DAP) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) who have been the originator and major funder of the initiative.

ISSUP had been able to implement its activities in consultation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the African Union.  These organisations have now become International Observers to ISSUPs Board of Directors. Other major regional and national country agencies have also played a significant role in supporting the establishment of ISSUP. These include the European Drug Monitoring Centre (EMCDDA), the Canadian Centre of Drug Abuse (CCSA), the Society for Prevention Research (SPR), the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) and Applied Prevention Science International (APSI).

Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC):

( )

By becoming a Training Provider for the Colombo Plan, Ecolink becomes a collaborating partner for the GCCC which is established by the Colombo Plan and the US Government to certify addiction professionals internationally. Those participants completing UTC or UPC can get credentialed by the GCCC by attending an online examination conducted by the GCCC. The Headquarters of GCCC is in London, UK and it envisions a world where everyone has access to quality services that promote the health and well-being of individuals, families, and communities. GCCC provides experience verification and appropriate exams to ensure that Governments and other employers are hiring and utilizing the most qualified professionals to improve the likelihood of positive outcomes for individuals, families and communities.

Ecolink Institute of Well-being: 

(,   )

Ecolink Institute of Well-being is a center for psychological wellness, counseling, education and training, registered and based at the coastal city of Mangalore. The main objectives of the Institute is to promote a climate for positive mental health and well-being among people through varieties of programs related to well-being. The Institute runs an Online Counselling portal named, with over 25 well qualified Counsellors and psychologists who deal with mental health issues, addiction Management, relationship matters and child and adolescent counseling. It also runs a face-to-face counseling and therapy program and a training center too.

Ecolink is also an approved “Training Provider” by the Colombo Plan for imparting Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC) and Prevention Curricula (UPC) for Substance Use Disorder, an evidence based training series developed and promoted by the Colombo Plan, UNODC and the US Department of State. It is also affiliated to International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP), as worldwide network of addiction professionals and the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC). The key founder of the Institute is Dr. Thomas Scaria, an Internationally certified Addiction Professional and trainer with over 30 years of experience in social developmental programs India and several Asian countries. He is also the founding member of Link De-addiction Center established in 1992 with nearly three decades of outstanding services. Dr. Thulitha Wickrama and Ronnie Thomas are the co-founders of Ecolink.

Los Altos:

Los Altos, Mexico and its Chairman PhD. Christian Alejandro Martinez Leyva are the local coordinators for this training course, working closely with the ISSUP Mexico Chapter. Mr. Martinez Leyva is already a student of the UTC course with Ecolink Institute. Los Altos is a multidisciplinary group of health professionals, dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of mental health and addictions in the state of Sonora, in Mexico. Los Altos evidence based program is designed to introduce new habits and wellness techniques you can use to conquer cravings, identify addiction triggers, prevent relapse, and manage co-occurring conditions such as anxiety and depression.

For more details, please contact:

Ronnie Thomas,

Correspondent, Ecolink Institute of Well-being,

2/98/17, G.M. Arcade, Airport Road, Yeyyadi,




Phone: +919448327209, +91 8073168164 (whatsapp)


Acknowledgments: Universal Treatment Curricula for Addiction Professionals is part of an eight-volume training series developed for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) by the Colombo Plan

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