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Alcohol and Other Drug Studies

The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program consists of 21 units of study consisting of 7 required courses including the practicum companion course (total of 315 instructional hours). The practicum companion course consists of 45 educational hours that occur during the additional 255 hours spent working in the field. A grade of C or better is the minimum academic requirement for all courses. In addition to meeting the requirement to earn the certificate, the coursework also meets the educational and training requirements of the California Consortium of Addiction programs and Professionals (CCAPP) for certification as a Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor I (CADC I).

Admissions and Academic Policies


AOD101 Introduction and Overview of Alcohol and Drugs 45 3
AOD102 Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs 45 3
AOD103 Law and Ethics 45 3
AOD104 Case Management 45 3
AOD105 Counseling Theories and Techniques 45 3
AOD106 Personal and Professional Growth 45 3
AOD120 Supervised Practicum Companion Course 45 3
AOD121 Supervised Internship 255 N/A
Total    570 21

Module Descriptions

AOD101: Introduction and Overview of Alcohol and Drugs – 3 Credit Units

This module will examine the history of alcohol and other mood changing drugs in the United States, the myths and stereotypes of alcohol and drug use, sociocultural factors that contribute to the use of drugs, and the patterns and progression of alcoholism. Special focus will be given to cultural and lifestyle considerations, issues specific to special populations, theories of personality, emotional states, and motivation, and treatment modalities. Students will gain a broad understanding of many facets of the addiction process, which will serve as a foundation for information presented in all other modules in the course.

AOD102: Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs – 3 Credit Units

This module presents an overview of the physiological processes and impacts of psychoactive drugs on the brain and body. Topics include basic principles of physiology and pharmacology, neurobiological modes of action of commonly abused drugs, and disease models of addiction. Students will gain a deep understanding of the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties of drugs, and will be able to apply this knowledge to improve treatment of substance use disorders.

AOD103: Law and Ethics – 3 Credit Units

This module will introduce the national and state standards for the counseling profession and will examine laws and regulations governing ethics and conduct. Topics include clinical confidentiality, patient rights, professional liability, drug abuse prevention in the community, and legal sanctions. Furthermore, students will gain an understanding of legal and ethical issues associated with screening, crisis counseling, and interventions.

AOD104: Case Management – 3 Credit Units

This course will examine the fundamentals of case management, including intake, assessment, orientation, treatment planning, record keeping, and aftercare. Topics relevant to each stage of the case management process will be discussed, and students will gain a familiarity with and competency for the techniques of case management.

AOD105: Counseling Theories and Techniques – 3 Credit Units

This course will examine a variety of counseling approaches, including theories and techniques associated with individual, family, and group counseling. Special focus will be given to counseling theories with proven efficacy in treating substance use disorders. This course will include practical applications of counseling techniques in a role-play setting.

AOD106: Personal and Professional Growth – 3 Credit Units

This course will introduce common personal and professional growth issues faced by counselors and will provide strategies for dealing with these problems. Topics include professional standards of conduct, counselor burnout, recognizing personal strengths and limitations, stress management, self-care, and wellness. Special focus will be given to the limitations and liability associated with being a “recovering counselor.” Additionally, this course will familiarize students with the CCAPP career ladder so they can establish a tentative professional plan for the next two years.

AOD120: Supervised Practicum Companion Course – 3 Credit Units

This 15-week course meets for 3 hours each week to discuss issues and experiences that arise during the co-occurring supervised internship. By actively analyzing these issues and experiences, students will gain a deep understanding of the 12 Core Functions of an Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor, as defined by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC): screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, referral, report and record keeping, and consultation with other professionals.

AOD121: Supervised Internship

The student will obtain a minimum of 255 hours of practical experience at a site approved by the course instructor. Each core function requires a minimum 21 hours of practice (21 hours x 12 core skills = 252 hours + 3 hours for site orientation, in total 255 hours).

Students are expected to work at the internship site for approximately 17 hours per week, and to prepare verbatim accounts of experiences encountered during the internship practicum in all 12 core functions.