Substance Use Counselor Training is a combination of education and supportive services designed to help you become a certified substance use counselor. We cover all expenses, including tuition, registration as a substance use registered counselor, textbooks and certification.

The Process

Substance Use Counserlorjourney

Application To apply for the Substance Use Counselor Training program, fill out the application form. You then receive a link to schedule an appointment with a program specialist who assists you throughout the program and places you at one of our two partnering education providers. 

Education Depending on your eligibility, you receive training at either Palomar College or UC San Diego, Division of Extended Studies. 

Registration The first step to becoming a substance use counselor is to register with California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP). To do this, you must first complete the 9.5-hour ethics course. A program specialist will guide you through this process. 

Internship You need to commit to completing a total of 2,650 hours of combined formal education and supervised work experience to become a certified substance use counselor. Completing 2,650 hours can take up to 18 months on a full-time schedule. Our team helps place you in a paid internship throughout the course of the program.  

Certification After you’ve completed all required hours, you are eligible to take the certification exam. Certification is offered through California Association of DUI Treatment Programs and the cost is covered by the Workforce Partnership. 

Certification offered through Palomar College Community College 

Semester Application window
Spring 2024: 1/29/24–5/25/24 Applications closed
Summer 2024: 5/28/24–8/17/24 2/26/24–4/26/24 or until full
Fall 2024: 8/26/24–12/21/24 6/3/24–6/28/24 or until full

Eligibility requirements: To be eligible for enrollment in courses at this college, you must be 18+, fully vaccinated, and live in and plan to work in San Diego County.

Course options: Courses are available in-person and online; some online courses require live instruction. 

Course overview: 

  • Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Studies  
  • Physiology/Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs 
  • Prevention, Intervention, and Education  
  • Group Leadership and Process  
  • Case Management, Law and Ethics  
  • Chemical Dependency Family Counseling ONLY 
  • Directed Field Experience  
  • Directed Field Experience ll   
  • Introduction to Psychology 
  • Psychology of Abnormal Behavior  
  • Social Problems or Introduction to Sociology III 

Timeline: 11 courses over 18 months 

Certification offered through UC San Diego Division of Extended Studies

Semester Application window
Spring 2024: 3/25/24–6/14/24 1/16/24–3/4/23 or until full
Summer 2024: 6/24/24- 9/14/24  2/26/24–4/26/24 or until full 
Fall 2024: 9/23/24–12/14/24 Due 7/23/24 or until full

 

Eligibility: To be eligible for enrollment in courses at this college, you must be 18+, fully vaccinated, Unemployed or underemployed and live in and plan to work in San Diego County.

Course options: Courses are available In-person and online; some online courses require live instruction. 

Course overview: 

  • Cultural, Social, and Historical Overview of Alcohol and Drug Related Problems 
  • Introduction to Counseling Models 
  • Addiction and Recovery: Etiology and Physiology  
  • Addiction Science: Psychology and Pharmacology  
  • Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery  
  • Applied Skills for Group Dynamics and Facilitation 
  • Co-Occurring Disorders  
  • Addiction Problems: Prevention, Public Health, and Public Policy 
  • Advanced Intervention  
  • Crisis Intervention: Theory and Practical Skills  
  • Basic and Advanced Counseling Skills and Characteristics  
  • Practicum for the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor 

Timeline: 12 courses over 18 months 

Certification offered through San Diego City College

Semester Application window
Summer 2024: 6/3/24–8/10/24 2/26/24–4/26/24 or until full
Fall 2024: 8/6/24–12/16/24 Due 7/6/24 or until full

Eligibility requirements: To be eligible for enrollment in courses at this college, you must be 18+, fully vaccinated, and live in and plan to work in San Diego County.

Course options: Courses are available in-person and online; some online courses require live instruction. 

Course overview: 

  • Introduction to Chemical Dependency 
  • Chemical Dependency Family Counseling Techniques 
  • Law, Ethics, and Skills in Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling 
  • Principles of Sociology 
  • General Psychology 
  • Case Management in Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling 
  • Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs 
  • Co-Occurring Disorders in Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling 
  • Group Dynamics in Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling 
  • Introduction to Counseling 
  • Internship Seminar: Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling 
  • Internship: Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling OR Work Experience in Chemical Dependency 

Timeline: 12 courses over 18 months 

Email hello@workforce.org or call (619) 319-WORK (9675) with any questions.


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