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Universal Treatment Curriculam (UTC)

For Substance Use Disorders (Curriculum 1 - 4)

Organized by :
Ecolink Institute of Well-being, India 

In collaboration with
Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Programme (CP-DAP)

Curriculum developed by:
INL, US Department of State & The Colombo Plan

ICAP Examination conducted by:



ICAP Credentialing by:

Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC)

Our Trainers:

Colombo Plan certified Global Trainers



Our Courses:

  • Aligned with the globally recognized Universal Treatment Curriculum on Substance Use Disorder, customized for diverse professionals (Nurses, psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists (PGs), & general students).

Curriculum Structure:

  • Curriculums 1-4 with 25 Modules cover addiction science, treatment, co-occurring disorders, and counseling theories and skills.

Upcoming Live Online Course:

  • Commenced on 13 May 2024, Mondays and Thursdays (or upon filling seats for each target group).

  • Curriculum 3-4 Starting on July 8th 2024.

  • Limited seats available; admission follows a 'First Come, First-served' basis.

Training Details:

  • 60 hours of live online sessions (No recorded sessions).

  • Two sessions per week or tailored to the convenience of participating institutes.


  • Sessions conducted by ICAP Certified Global Master Trainers of the Colombo Plan & national trainers.

Comprehensive Resources:

  • Participant manual with detailed course materials, summaries, PPTs, etc. (Approximately 250 pages in PDF format).

Support and Interaction:

  • Office hours provided after each Curriculum for doubt clarification and discussions.


  • UTC Certificates approved by WHO, UNODC, and various inter-governmental organizations globally.

Medium of Instruction:

  • English.

Course Fees:​

  • Curriculum 1-4 only (USD 180 for Internationals & INR 10,000 for Indian Citizens)

  • Course fee per Curriculum: Rs. 2750 per Curriculum

  • Course fee for Curriculum 3 and 4 is INR 5500/-

  • Fees can be paid either in a lump sum or in two instalments. 

  • The course fee includes the entire sessions, participant’s manuals for each curriculum, and its examinations and 2 Certificates of Completion. 

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....


Explore firsthand experiences by checking out our Ecolink Institute UTC training Google reviews. Dive into the insights shared by our participants to understand the impact and quality of our programs

Why Choose Us?  

Welcome to our exceptional learning community, where excellence is not just a goal but a proven reality. As proud recipients of the 2022 ISSUP-Global award for "Excellence in Training Provision" and an approved training provider for the esteemed Colombo Plan Drug Advisory Program, we stand as pioneers in globally recognized online Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) training. With seasoned Global Master Trainers offering their wealth of clinical experience, our courses have garnered acclaim from over 300 satisfied students across 24 countries. Join us for an education experience that not only transcends borders but also boasts an impressive 90% pass rate for Ecolink students in the International Certified Addiction Professional (ICAP) Global Professional Credentialing program. Opting for our courses isn't just a choice; it's a journey toward excellence in substance use disorder education.

How It Benefits Students

  • Relevant Topics: Tailored for mental health practitioners, our courses cover highly pertinent subjects.

  • Internationally Recognized Certificates: Earn certificates recognized by WHO and UN, adding prestige to your qualifications.

  • Comprehensive Global Syllabus: Access a detailed global syllabus alongside participant manuals, ensuring a thorough understanding of the material.

  • Career Advancement: Gain added value for your psychology or healthcare career, providing a competitive edge for opportunities abroad.

  • Expert Guidance: Study under the mentorship of Global trainers endorsed by the Colombo Plan and UN, ensuring a world-class learning experience.

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. 

Training goals
The Resource persons
What the participants gain
The Training Design
Proposed starting Date
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

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

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

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

Curriculum 1
Curriculum 2

The Resource persons:

Globally Certified Trainers for Universal Treatment Curricula with several hours of training and counselling experience around the world.

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

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

  3. Dr. Damber Nirola, Psychiatrist and Master Trainer, Government of Bhutan 

  4. Dr. Sivakumar Anoop Yella, Psychiatrist, Aster Hospitals

  5. Mr. Francis Moothedan, Global Master Trainer, Colombo Plan 

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

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

  8. Ms. Reshma Malick, ICAP Certified Addiction Trainer  & Certified National Master trainers

Course Fees:

  • Curriculum 1-4 (USD 180 for Internationals & Rs. 10,000 for Indians):

    • Gain access to a comprehensive education experience covering all four curriculums.

  • Flexible Payment Options:

    • Choose between a lump sum or two convenient instalments for your ease.

  • Inclusive Package:

    • Your course fee encompasses all sessions, participant manuals for each curriculum, examinations, and two Certificates of Completion.

ICAP Credential:

For participants undertaking the International Credentialing Examination (ICAP) by the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC), an additional examination fee of USD 110 is required. This fee is to be paid directly to the GCCC before the exam date, following the completion of the course from Curriculum 1-8.


Substance use disorder stands as a significant global mental health challenge, contributing to millions of annual deaths and various health-related issues. The World Drug Report 2020 by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reveals that 35.6 million people globally grapple with drug use disorders. Moreover, alcohol-related fatalities surpass 3 million annually, and tobacco-related ailments claim nearly 8 million lives worldwide.

In the face of this crisis, there exists a critical shortage of qualified professionals and recovery coaches equipped with the necessary training and experience to address addiction management and recovery. The Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC), meticulously designed by global experts under the supervision of the Colombo Plan and the US Department of State, emerges as a vital response. Crafted through years of research and grounded in Evidence-Based Practices, this certificate course offers students not only an opportunity for academic enrichment but also significantly enhances their prospects for better career opportunities and improved remuneration.

Training Design:

This course offers four curricula in the Universal Treatment Curriculum on Substance Use Disorder. For ICAP Certification (International Credentialing), participants can access eight curricula.

Curriculum Agenda:

Trainers provide a specific agenda for each curriculum, featuring trainer-led presentations, creative learner-directed activities, small-group exercises, and learning assessments. Active participation is crucial for a positive learning experience, and a certificate is earned with an 80% or higher attendance record.

What Participants Gain:

  • Participant's Manual:

    • Receive a soft copy of the "Participant's Manual" for each curriculum.

    • Access more than 250 pages of resource materials, PPTs, and reference pages.

    • A total of 8 manuals are provided completely free of charge.

  • Two-Part Course Implementation:

    • The course is divided into two parts.

    • Culminates with examinations and certificates.

  • Completion Certificates:

    • Certificates include a comprehensive list of covered topics and modules.

  • International Credentialing Opportunity:

    • Successful completion allows participants to sit for an online international credentialing examination.

    • Conducted by the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) and NAADAC (US).

    • Attain an International Credential (ICAP - Internationally Certified Addiction Professional), recognized in all major countries.

Methodology for training

Methodology for training:

The training will be conducted via Zoom video conference. Participants will receive the session link through email and WhatsApp three hours before the scheduled time. Students can click the link, and the host will admit them to the Zoom session 15 minutes prior. Sessions will run from 6 pm to 8 pm IST with a 5-minute break in between.

Training Features:

  • Utilizes Zoom video conferencing for an interactive and accessible learning experience.

  • Session link sent three hours in advance via email and WhatsApp.

  • Admission to Zoom session 15 minutes before scheduled time.

  • Sessions run from 6 pm to 8 pm IST with a 5-minute break.

Interactive Approach:

  • Trainers employ PowerPoint presentations, interactive sessions, and activities.

  • Detailed manual with PPTs and instructions provided before each session.

Expert Resource Persons:

  • Modules delivered by expert resource persons recognized by the Colombo Plan.

  • Many of them serve as global trainers, ensuring high-quality training.

Background of the Universal Treatment Curriculum:

The Universal Treatment Curriculum for Substance Use Disorders comprises an 8-curricula syllabus with 48 modules. It was developed for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL). Global experts, under the supervision of the Colombo Plan, played a pivotal role in crafting this comprehensive curriculum.


We would like to thank the following members of the Peer Review Panel and Treatment –Expert Advisory Group for their significant contributions in the revision of this Course:

Peer Review Panel:

Dr. Igor Koutsenok, Professor of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego, USA 
Dr. Randy Koch, Associate Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA 
Stephanie Lusk, Ph.D., CRC, University of Arkansas, USA 
Special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Saenz, Project Coordinator, Olga Parakkal and Sanita Suhartono, Prevention, Treatment and Rehabilitation Unit of UNODC for organizing and spearheading the peer review process. 

Treatment - Expert Advisory Group: 
Sadie Thimsen, Foreign Affairs Officer, INL 
Tay Bian How, Former ICCE Director, Colombo Plan 
Winona Pandan, Curriculum Development Coordinator, Colombo Plan 
Dr. Elizabeth Saenz, Project Coordinator, UNODC 
V. Thirumagal, Ph.D, Consultant-Trainer, India
Beatrice Kathungu, Ph.D, Lecturer, Kenyatta University 
Prof. Dr. Mahmood Nazar Mohamed, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Asia Metropolitan University 
Shirley Mikell, Project Manager, SME Consulting, LLP 
Martha Hurley, Ph.D., Department Head and Professor, Texas A&M University Commerce 
Hendrée Jones, Ph.D, UNC Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Special thanks to Brian Morales, Division Director, INL Global Drug Demand Reduction Programs, and Charlotte Sisson, Senior Foreign Affairs Officer and Team Lead, Drug Demand Reduction, INL for their guidance and support in the overall curriculum development process. 

Background of the Agencies:

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 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.  

Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC):

( )

The Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC) is established by the Colombo Plan and the INL, US Department of State for promoting certified and qualified SUD professionals around the globe. Those participants completing UTC or UPC can get credentialed by the GCCC by attending an online examination conducted by the GCCC from time to time. 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, based in Mangalore, India, holds the esteemed status of an approved "Training Provider" by the Colombo Plan, specializing in delivering Universal Treatment Curricula (UTC) and Prevention Curricula (UPC) for Substance Use Disorder. Additionally, the institute proudly aligns itself with global networks, affiliating with the International Society for Substance Use Professionals (ISSUP) and the Global Center for Credentialing and Certification (GCCC).

Founded by Dr. Thomas Scaria, an Internationally Certified Addiction Professional with over three decades of experience in India and several Asian countries, Ecolink Institute boasts a rich legacy. The co-founders, Ronnie Scarl Thomas, Dr. Thulitha Wickrama, and Tomy Mathew, contribute to the institute's leadership and vision.

The International Consultative Committee, featuring eminent individuals such as Dr. Thirumagal V, Dr. Guy Paillard, John Smith, Odireleng Kesale, Johann Coetzer-Liversage, and Ashwin Thind, adds significant depth to Ecolink's global presence.

Ecolink Institute serves as a center for psychological wellness, counseling, education, and training in the coastal city of Mangalore. The institute's commitment extends to managing ARCO (Addiction Recovery Coach Online), an online therapy platform for addiction therapy. This platform not only amplifies Ecolink's outreach but also provides trained students with the unique opportunity to serve as addiction professionals, embodying the institute's dedication to holistic well-being.

For more details contact:

Ronnie Scarl Thomas,

Correspondent, Ecolink Institute of Well-being,

Mangalore, India -575008,


Phone: Ronnie: +91 8073168164 (WhatsApp) 

Dr Thomas Scaria: +91 9448327209


Acknowledgements: 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

Ecolink Institute
Background of the Universal Treatment Curriculum:
Curriculum 3
Curriculum 4
Curriculum 5
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