If you are compassionate, a patient listener, enjoy building relationships, easily relate to
others, and have a belief in hope, you should look into the demanding, yet rewarding career of
being a Substance Use Disorder Counselor.

Substance Use Disorder Counselors see patients in both an office setting and in the field, and have
appointments with individuals and groups. It involves listening and building trust to help a person
break the cyclical nature of substance use disorder. It's about being their advocate and
identifying what is needed to help them rebuild their relationships and
their lives.

In our Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program, you'll gain knowledge of addiction, and
the role family and social networks play in an individual's addiction. We'll help you develop
professional maturity and an understanding of the ethical issues of substance use disorder
counseling. With these skills, you'll have the opportunity to receive hands-on training through our
internship program.

After graduating with a Certificate of Achievement or Associate of Science Degree, you may be
eligible for an entry-level position as a substance use disorder counselor.
However, the state of California requires additional credentialing for employment. You will have
five years to become fully certified, and most employers want their counselors to be certified
within a year of being hired. Certification is only available through private organizations that
are approved both nationally and by the state of California. Our program will prepare you to apply
to all three credentialing organizations.

We offer an Associate in Science and a Certificate of Achievement in Alcohol and Other
Drug Studies.

Gainful Employment links: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm,


This program is vocational, academic, and clinical in nature. It trains students in the practice dimensions and core competencies of alcohol and other drug counseling while providing a theoretical foundation in the behavioral sciences and human service professions.


Upon completion of the certificate of achievement or associate degree, students may be eligible for entry-level employment as an alcohol and other drug counselor. However, the State of California requires additional credentialing in order to maintain employment in this field. Persons hired as alcohol and other drug counselors have five years to become fully certified and most employers will want counselors to be certified within a year of being hired. California does not license alcohol and other drug counselors at this time. Certification is accomplished through private credentialing organizations that are nationally approved and approved by the State of California. The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program specifically prepares students for application to three certifying organizations: the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE), the California Association of DUI Treatment Providers (CADTP), and the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). CAADE offers certification as a Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC), CADTP offers certification as a Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor (SUDCC), and CCAPP offers certification as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC). Each organization offers several levels of certification depending on
experience and academic achievement. Students who complete the certificate of achievement in AODS will have met the educational requirements for all three certifying organizations.


Students who complete the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program will:

  • Identify diagnostic criteria, apply assessment skills, and describe scientifically validated models of substance use disorder treatment.
  • Identify the behavioral, psychological, physical health, and social effects of psychoactive substances on the person and their significant others.
  • Explain the potential for medical and mental health conditions to coexist with substance use disorder.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the laws, regulations, and ethical codes of the substance use disorder treatment profession.
  • Practice in an internship the eight addiction counselor practice dimensions: clinical evaluation; treatment planning; referral; service coordination; counseling; client, family, community education; documentation; professional and ethical responsibilities.