Alcohol and Other Drug Studies

This program prepares students for certification as Alcohol and/or Drug Abuse Counselors. The Certificate of Achievement is designed to prepare students for entry level alcohol and drug counselor employment. The associate degree provides academic preparation for baccalaureate study in psychology, social work and related disciplines.

Program Emphasis

This program is both vocational and academic. It trains students in the core functions of an alcohol and drug counselor while providing a theoretical foundation in the behavioral sciences and human service professions.

Career Options

Upon completion of the certificate of achievement or associate degree, students may be eligible for entry level employment as alcohol and/or drug counselors. However, most students find that further credentialing is required. The California Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) offers the Certified Alcohol Counselor (CAC), the Certified Drug Counselor (CDC) and the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) Credentials. The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies program satisfies academic requirements for all seven California Alcohol and Drug Counseling credentialing agencies. This includes opportunities for continuing education and/or credentialing in nursing, drunk driver education programs, American Indian Certification and others.

Student Learning Outcomes

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

  • Recognize, describe, and explain a variety of models and theories of substance use, abuse, and dependence.
  • Identify diagnostic criteria and apply assessment skills for substance abuse and dependence.
  • Describe and explain the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts within which substance use, abuse, and dependence exist, including the risk and resilience factors that characterize individuals and groups and their environments.
  • Identify the behavioral, psychological, physical health, and social effects of psychoactive substances on the person and their significant others.
  • Recognize the potential for substance use disorders to mimic a variety of medical and mental health conditions.
  • Explain the potential for medical and mental health conditions to coexist with substance use, abuse, and dependence.
  • Assess and evaluate the philosophies, practices, policies, and outcomes of the most accepted and scientifically validated models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for addiction and other substance-related problems, and value an interdisciplinary approach to addiction treatment.
  • Explain the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the treatment and recovery process.
  • Apply research and outcome data in clinical practice.
  • 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.