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Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling

Professional Certificate

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About the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Program

Professionals working in the field of chemical dependency have one of the most demanding and challenging jobs in all of healthcare. The combination and variety of skills called upon each day in professional practice necessitates a diverse educational background.

The UC San Diego Extension certificate program is designed for counselors working in a variety of settings with chemically dependent Individuals and is approved to meet the educational requirement to become a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) through the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).

Students cover topics such as

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Recovery
  • Treatment team coordination
  • Counseling
  • Community services
  • Group leadership

Through the course of the certificate program, students will

  • learn to operate in real-world situations, culminating with field-based practical experience
  • obtain focused career-oriented training in a field with increasing demand for trained professionals
  • receive the educational background to enter into or advance within the addiction counseling discipline 
  • meet CCAPP CADC-I certification educational requirements

The program is designed for individuals interested in entering into or advancing within the field of alcohol and drug abuse counseling. This includes those looking to complete an educational program that meets CCAPP minimum requirements to become a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I).

Note: Individuals entering the program should have at least one year of sobriety, if applicable. Having less than that will make it very difficult to secure a practicum site, which could significantly delay or prevent completion of the program.

Format: In-Person, Online

in-person with some courses available online

Estimated Cost: $5,100

Duration: 1.5 years

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid

All courses are required.

Cultural, Social, and Historical Overview of Alcohol and Drug Related ProblemsFPM-40552

Units: 3.00

$385

(Formerly "Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Studies") How history, culture, and context frame the social and policy response that enables substance abuse treatment is the focus of this course. T...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Introduction to Counseling ModelsPSY-40346

Units: 3.00

$385

This introductory course covers the theory and philosophy of counseling, the distinction between counseling and psychotherapy, personality types and development, learning theory, and trait theory. Stu...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Addiction and Recovery: Etiology and Physiology (formerly Chemical Dependency I)PSY-40214

Units: 3.00

$385

This course focuses on the disease of chemical dependency and corresponding symptoms. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the disease concept of chemical dependency and drugs...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Addiction Science: Psychology and Pharmacology (formerly Chemical Dependency II)PSY-40215

Units: 3.00

$475

This course provides a deep dive into the psychological foundations and evidence base for understanding substance use, misuse and recovery. This wholistic approach will not only investigate the mech...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery (formerly Case Management: Assessment and Orientation)PSY-40377

Units: 3.00

$475

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of modern approaches to the delivery of professional substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery services. Students will learn ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Applied Skills for Group Dynamics and FacilitationPSY-40070

Units: 3.00

$385

Counseling is a relationship in which the counselor helps the client mobilize resources to resolve problems or modify attitudes and values. Group counseling is an integral part of that process. This c...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Dual Diagnosis: The Synergism of Chemical Dependency and Psychiatric IllnessPSY-40221

Units: 2.00

$395

This course provides a basic differential diagnosis framework for counselors working with a chemically dependent population. It introduces the major psychiatric disorders and how they mirror/interact ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Addiction Problems: Prevention, Public Health, and Public PolicyFPM-40054

Units: 2.00

$335

This course presents the individual as well as the societal consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs through an exploration of contemporary patterns of legal and illegal consumption and their...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Advanced InterventionPSY-40213

Units: 2.00

$395

Substance and Process Use Disorder Treatment has a checkered history, containing a series of harmful and helpful interventions. In this course you will learn this history and how to reduce and avoid r...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Law and Ethics for Addiction ProfessionalsFPM-40536

Units: 1.00

$325

This course familiarizes students with both legal and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of substance abuse disorder treatment. Students learn about appropriate roles and behavior t...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Crisis Intervention: Theory and Practical SkillsFPM-40345

Units: 2.00

$395

This course presents a basic crisis intervention model along with appropriate clinical presentations of persons in crisis in a variety of settings, e.g., loss, AIDS and HIV related, substance abuse, p...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Basic and Advanced Counseling Skills and CharacteristicsPSY-40374

Units: 1.00

$325

Use of effective counseling skills enables counselors to communicate with clients effectively, deal with client resistance, and develop enhanced therapeutic relationships. The focus of this three-day ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Practicum for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse CounselorPSY-40321

Units: 5.00

TBD

A field-based, practical experience for the counseling student, who has completed required coursework. Participants work with a chemical dependency or similar agency under the direct supervision of th...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

The following courses are electives and are not required for certificate completion.

Fundamentals of Opiate AddictionFPM-40646

Units: 3.00

TBD

This 10-week course provides graduate-level students with an advanced exploration of opiate addiction. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of the many aspects related to opiate addiction ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

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Demand and Job Prospects

According to recent U.S. Department of Labor projections, employment of substance abuse counselors is projected to grow 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies.

Important Information Regarding the Practicum

Students must select a Practicum site prior to enrolling into the section. For questions or to enroll, please contact the Program Manager, Debbie Ortuño, at dortuno@ucsd.edu.

Once enrolled in the Practicum, students must complete the Practicum within three (3) quarters.

Military spouses are eligible to use My CAA $4000 scholarship. Apply at MyCAA.
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Conditions for Admission

Extension doesn't have academic prerequisites related to the certificate, with the exception of a high school diploma or equivalent.

Complete the application and pay application fee.

Certificate Guidelines

To earn the certificate you must complete 33 (quarter) units of study consisting of 13 required courses including a practicum.

For the certificate, a grade of C- or better is required in all courses.

Industry Requirements

To become a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I). you must successfully complete the certificate program and pass the portfolio review and written examination of the California Consortium of Addiction programs and Professionals (CCAPP). Please visit www.ccapp.us for information and to download the CCAPP Certification Application.

CCAPP does not have an academic degree requirement related to associate-level certification, for which Extension’s certificate program prepares individuals.

To receive credit toward CCAPP certification you must enroll in courses for a letter grade. Of course, As and Bs are looked upon more favorably by CCAPP during the portfolio review.

In addition to meeting Extension's unit requirement to earn the certificate, the course work/practicum must also meet the educational and training requirements of the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) to obtain the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) designation.

New Course

Watch for a 10-week, online course on The Fundamentals of Opiate Addiction. This course is NOT required as part of the certificate in Alcohol and Drug Abuse, but it provides an advanced exploration of the historical origins and development of the current opiate addiction epidemic, including sociocultural factors effecting use and progression for those who wish to expand their knowledge in this area.

Advisory Board

Brian Couey, Psy.D., LAADC

Director, Outpatient Services

Betty Ford Center

John de Miranda, Ed.M.

Executive Director

Peninsula Health Concepts

Valerie Gruber, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry

University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine

Igor Koutsenok, MD

Professor of Psychiatry

University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry

Donald Myers, MSW, LCSW, MBA

District Director

Center for Behavioral Health, Palomar, Escondido and Poway

Jerry Synold, M.A., CADC, CCS

Deputy Director

Naval Drug & Alcohol Counseling School

Noble White, SUDRC

Director of Clinical Outreach

Jackson House and Jackson House Recovery Centers

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.