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Certified Alcohol &
Drug Counselor

Leadership Studies Program

New courses now available!


Enroll in Kairos University of California's Leadership Studies Program with CADC (The Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor) concentration program for a fulfilling career addressing substance abuse. As a licensed CADC, guide individuals through recovery, addressing mental health issues, and contributing to healing in families affected by addiction. The program, overseen by CCAPP, ensures comprehensive training for impactful counseling, preparing you for the challenges of this vital role.

At The Pathway Program, our dedicated staff holds or is working towards a CADC certification, ensuring expertise in substance abuse counseling. When seeking a counselor, check for certifications listed on CCAPP's website for a qualified and experienced professional. The comprehensive program covers essential topics, providing the necessary skills for effective alcohol/drug counseling. Pursue a CADC career to make a positive impact, contributing to the well-being of individuals and communities grappling with substance abuse challenges.

You will learn and grow in a Christ-Centered Community where every student, staff, and faculty member is committed to a Christian faith. Your degree will include a Biblical Studies minor and faith integration weaved throughout each course. Courses are taught with a Pentecostal perspective, preparing you to be a Spirit-empowered leader.


6 weeks
AA/BA: 2-4 years
CADC License: 6-12 months
Under 25 students


Equips students with the education and experience you need to become a qualified counsellor

Gain valuable insights and leverage the industry networks of our experienced faculty members.

This program offers flexibility and can be successfully completed part-time within an estimated two to four-year timeframe.

You will learn and grow in a Christ-Centered Community where every student, staff, and faculty member is committed to a Christian faith.

Preparation for CADC certification, ensuring qualification as recognized professionals in the field.

Integration of faith and leadership development, nurturing compassion and spiritual insight.

Ready to Apply

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CADC Program - 2 Options

AA/BA in Leadership Studies with an Emphasis in

CADC from Kairos University of California.

Stand alone License requires 6 courses + 300 hours.

Information Required to take a CADC state exam.

Kairos Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Program

Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (Level I) (CADC I) | California Alcohol & Drug Counselor Requirements:

- Registration with a Counselor Certification Organization: California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE), California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP), or California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).

- 315 hours approved education.
- 255 hour field practicum.
- A passing score on the ICRC written exam. There is an exam fee paid directly to ICRC.
- 3,000 hours of supervised work experience (an AA degree in SUD/AMHP may be substituted for 1,000 hours).

Students will learn Motivational Interviewing skills, assessment of clients, and treatment planning; practice learned skills during a supervised practicum and receive coaching and feedback on skills utilized; meet California educational and practice requirements for certification; training and coaching in individual, group, and family counseling; and learn interventions, case management skills, and screening/assessment skills.

The required educational classes are as follows:

CADC 101: Introduction and Overview of Drug and Alcohol Addiction
CADC 102: Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs
CADC 103: Law and Ethics
CADC 104: Case Management
CADC 105: Individual, Group, and Family Counseling
CADC 106: Personal and Professional Growth
CADC 107: Supervised Practicum (Internship)
CADC 108: Supervised Fieldwork Practicum (Internship)

Seven Substance Abuse Counselor Requirements.


One. The Skill Set

These tasks are known as the 12 Core Functions of Addiction Counseling, and they include everything from patient screening to assessment to treatment planning and more.
These core functions are foundational in addiction counseling and are required day-to-day skills and tasks. Each function actualizes a set of global criteria, and these 12 core functions are used by addiction professionals worldwide.

1. Patient Screening: Each patient is evaluated for signs of alcohol and drug use and any co-
occurring disorders.
2. Intake: The admissions or intake process begins once the initial screening indicates that the
patient is a good match for the program.
3. Orientation: During this process, the counselor helps the patient understand the program. With an outpatient program, you will provide information about daily services, hours of operation, and so forth.
4. Assessment: This is similar to screening but dives deeper into your patient’s history.
5. Treatment Planning: Each core function builds on the previous function, and once you have completed a detailed assessment, it’s time to work on planning the patient’s treatment.
6. Counseling: Counseling can involve many different options, including individual, family, and
group counseling. Various types of therapy may be involved, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, to help patients deal with their issues.
7. Case Management: A certified addiction counselor creates a plan for each patient that
includes various services and treatment options.
8. Crisis Intervention: A crisis can occur at any point during rehab or recovery, and steps will
need to be taken as quickly as possible to mitigate the situation.
9. Client Education: Part of the job of an addiction counselor is helping to educate the patient
about support services as well as about addiction in general.
10. Referral: There are times when a patient’s needs exceed a certified drug and alcohol
counselor & scope of practice, and it is essential to identify these areas and find appropriate services to help them.
11. Reporting & Record Keeping: Maintaining records, including assessments, treatment
plans, discharge summaries, and reports, is necessary for addiction counseling. All paperwork must be carefully organized while maintaining patient confidentiality at all times.

12. Consultation With Other Professionals: Consultation includes working with other
professionals at your facility and contacting and collaborating with outside professionals.

TWO. Education Requirements

The core requirements are 315 educational units, including those noted above. Coursework covers counseling, professional ethics, case management, and much more.

THREE. Practicum Experience

After finishing the first course, the student can begin working toward completing the practicum
requirement for experience. The 255 practicum hours will include at least 21 hours using each of the 12 Core Functions.

FOUR: Work Experience

Paid work is available once the student has completed the education and practicum. This work will be the supervised experience necessary to earn the certification.
A CADC-I will need to complete 3,000 hours of supervised work experience hours. An associate’s degree in behavioral science or an allied mental health profession reduces this requirement to just 2,080 hours. For CADC-IIs, any earned college degrees do not impact the 6,000 hours of supervised work experience required to become a CADC-II.
CADC-III requires a bachelor’s degree and 4,000 hours of supervised work experience.

FIVE: Testing Requirements

CADCs must pass the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. IC & RC is an internationally recognized testing organization and offers the ADC exam for CADCs.

SIX: Apply For Certification

Certification by the California Association for Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE), California
Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP), or California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).

SEVEN: Continuing Education

Continuing Education is required for all substance abuse counselors. In most cases, a license must be renewed every two years in addition to completing a defined number of continuing education (CE) units.


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