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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

Certificate Benefits:
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

Target Audience:
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.

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.

Program At-A-Glance
  • # of courses: 13
  • Total units: 33
  • Estimated cost: $5,100
  • Time to Complete: 1.5 years
  • Delivery: in-person with some courses available online
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
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.

There will be a $95 fee upon acceptance into the program

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