Alcohol and Drug Counselor

2017-18 Edition

Cascade Campus
Technology and Education Building (TEB), Room 103
971-722-5667 - Program Admissions Specialist, prior to being accepted to the program
971-722-5427 - Program Advisor, once accepted into the program.
Program information and application materials can be found at:

Career and Program Description

Alcohol and drug counselors work in public and private sector organizations to provide diagnosis, assessment, education, referral and treatment services to clients with alcohol and other drug problems.  The Alcohol and Drug Counseling Program at Portland Community College provides students with the educational coursework and a portion of the supervised client contact hours needed to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in the State of Oregon through the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO).

Anyone interested in working in the addiction counseling profession in the State of Oregon should be aware that a Criminal History Check as a condition of employment is a standard practice. A conviction does not automatically disqualify someone from obtaining employment. Each situation is evaluated on a case by case basis and therefore, the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Program cannot determine in advance who is or is not employable due to their criminal history. It is commonplace for individuals with a conviction on their record to be employed in the addiction counseling profession. 

Recovery status from nicotine addiction is not required but it is highly recommended.  Active nicotine addiction can be a barrier to employment and is an ethical issue to be considered for the addiction counseling specialist. 
Using technology to create medical records is an important part of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling field. It is strongly recommended students have strong computer skills. Those students with few skills should consider taking CAS 100A. Those who have basic skills, but know they could improve should consider taking CAS 133. See an Alcohol and Drug Counselor Advisor for more direction in choosing the right class for you.

Program courses are usually offered in afternoons or evenings but attendance for some Saturday courses is required. A few courses are offered via distance learning format. 

A number of four-year institutions accept the program’s credits for application toward their degree. Students interested in pursuing their four year degree should contact a representative of their college of choice. Transferability of credits to another institution is subject to the approval of that institution.

Degrees and Certificates Offered

Associate of Applied Science Degree

Addiction Counselor

Less than One-Year Certificate

Addiction Studies

Admission Prerequisites

Academic Prerequisites

  • Completion of LIB 101, with a C or better.
  • Completion of WR 121, with a C or better.
  • Complete the Addiction Counselor Program application.
  • After a complete application is approved, the student should schedule an advising session with a program adviser.

Other Prerequisites

  • Documentation of not abusing alcohol or drugs for 18 months prior to admission.

Program Requirements

Academic Requirements

  • Prior to being accepted into either the degree or certificate programs, students may enroll in AD 101, AD 102, AD 103, AD 104, AD 106, AD 184, AD 153, AD 160, any course from the Addiction Counselor Program elective list, any General Education course and, any course needed to meet the Math Competency requirement.

Other Requirements

  • While participating in the program, recovering students will agree to abstain from alcohol and illicit drug use. All other students must agree to not abuse alcohol and other drugs while in the program.
  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Examination (CADC)
    • The CADC is granted by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon (ACCBO Completion of The Alcohol and Drug Counselor Program does not result in completion of the CADC. The programs coursework is designed to meet the educational requirements for the CADC II. All practicum hours contribute towards the work experience requirement for the CADC I.

Addiction Counselor AAS Degree

Minimum 91 credits. Students must also meet Associate Degree Comprehensive Requirements and Associate of Applied Science Requirements. Students must complete a total of sixteen credits of General Education. Some courses specified within the program may be used as General Education. In addition to required courses in the program of study, students must satisfy MTH 58/65 competency. Students should consult with program advisors for course planning.

Addiction Counselor Degree Courses

AD 101Addiction3
AD 102Drug Use and Addiction3
AD 103Women and Addiction3
AD 104Multicultural Counseling3
AD 106Nicotine Cessation1
AD 152Group Counseling and Addiction3
AD 153Theories of Counseling3
AD 154Client Record Management and Addiction3
AD 156Professional Ethics and Issues in Addiction Counseling3
AD 160Basic Counseling4
AD 161Motivational Interviewing and Addiction4
AD 184Men & Addiction3
AD 202Trauma and Recovery3
AD 255Multiple Diagnoses3
AD 270APracticum: Addiction18
AD 270B 1Practicum: Addiction - Seminar8
AD 278Practicum Preparation1
Addiction Counselor Degree Electives6
General Education16
Total Credits91

Students attend a concurrent two credit seminar each term. Students who complete practicum in three terms only need six credits of AD 270B.

Addiction Counselor Degree Electives

AD 105 1Aging & Addiction3
AD 107 1Addiction Recovery Mentor3
AD 108 1Adolescence and Addiction3
AD 109 1Criminality and Addiction3
AD 110 1Substance Abuse Prevention3
AD 256 1Advanced Counseling and Addiction4
MTH 105Math in Society4
SOC 204Sociology in Everyday Life4
SOC 205Social Change in Societies4
SOC 206Social Problems4
Any 2nd year Foreign Language course4
Any 4 credit Science Course with Lab4

Students must take at least one AD course from the Addiction Counselor Degree Electives list.

Addiction Studies Less than One-Year Certificate

Minimum 44 credits. Students must meet all certificate requirements.

Addiction Studies Certificate Courses

AD 101Addiction3
AD 102Drug Use and Addiction3
AD 106Nicotine Cessation1
AD 152Group Counseling and Addiction3
AD 153Theories of Counseling3
AD 154Client Record Management and Addiction3
AD 156Professional Ethics and Issues in Addiction Counseling3
AD 160Basic Counseling4
AD 161Motivational Interviewing and Addiction4
AD 255Multiple Diagnoses3
AD 270APracticum: Addiction9
AD 270B 1Practicum: Addiction - Seminar4
AD 278Practicum Preparation1
Total Credits44

Students attend a concurrent two-credit seminar each term.

AD 101. Addiction. 3 Credits.

Provides a basic overview of addiction. Considers the contribution of early childhood trauma on the developing brain and its influence on addictive behaviors, the signs and symptoms of addiction, the continuum of addictive behaviors, treatment, prevention, recovery and relapse. Audit available.

AD 102. Drug Use and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Considers current drug use and psychological/behavioral aspects of client misuse or addiction. Includes drug chemistry, physiological effects of drug use upon the body and specific treatment formats and techniques. Audit available.

AD 103. Women and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Investigates patterns of alcohol and drug use and abuse by women in our society. Explores models of treatment and recovery specific to the needs of women and the relationship of substance abuse to social issues. Audit available.

AD 104. Multicultural Counseling. 3 Credits.

Focuses on diversity of populations using addiction counseling services. Emphasizes developing sensitivity to relevant cultural differences and building skills in addressing them. Audit available.

AD 105. Aging & Addiction. 3 Credits.

Covers drug and alcohol addiction among older adults, including prescription and other drugs and alcohol, used either alone or in combination. As tolerance to the effects of alcohol and other drugs decline, aging adults have higher risk factors. Addresses issues specific to aging, including late onset addiction, effects of use on performance of activities of daily living, treatment issues and co-occurring disorders such as depression or other chronic illnesses. A multicultural perspective is used, including the role of social class and gender issues. Audit available.

AD 106. Nicotine Cessation. 1 Credit.

Presents an overview of nicotine addiction and specific evidence-based practices that have been demonstrated to contribute to successful nicotine cessation efforts. Audit available.

AD 107. Addiction Recovery Mentor. 3 Credits.

Presents an overview of Addiction Recovery Mentor skills, resources and evidence-based practices that have been demonstrated to contribute to successful Peer Mentor Programs. Audit available.

AD 108. Adolescence and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Examines addiction, substance use and abuse from the adolescent point of view. Includes assessment and treatment planning appropriate to this population and considers ethical and legal ramifications. Audit available.

AD 109. Criminality and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Examines the relationship between substance abuse issues and criminal behavior. Includes assessment of risk for criminal behavior and the likelihood of reoffending. Explores evidence-based treatment protocols relevant to the addicted criminally involved person with special emphasis on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Audit available.

AD 110. Substance Abuse Prevention. 3 Credits.

Presents an overview of substance abuse prevention theories and prevention programming applications. Emphasizes theories and models basic to prevention, evidence-based prevention strategies and model programs, strategic planning and outcome evaluation. Audit available.

AD 152. Group Counseling and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Provides exposure to the concepts of group process, group development and leader facilitation skills. Emphasizes group therapy and the addiction counselor. Prerequisite: AD 101 and acceptance into the Addiction Counseling Program. Corequisites: AD 270A. Audit available.

AD 153. Theories of Counseling. 3 Credits.

Covers basic theories of counseling, emphasizing treatment of addiction. Uses the developmental model of recovery as a basis for discussion and comparison of the various theories. Prerequisite/concurrent: AD 101. Audit available.

AD 154. Client Record Management and Addiction. 3 Credits.

Covers the knowledge and skills needed to plan individual treatment and manage client records. Covers all aspects of client record management including federal and state regulations and American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) placement criteria. Prerequisite: AD 101 and acceptance in to the Addictions Counseling Program. Audit available.

AD 156. Professional Ethics and Issues in Addiction Counseling. 3 Credits.

Covers ethical and legal issues relevant to the alcohol and drug counselor. Prerequisite: AD 101 and admission to the Addiction Counseling Program. Audit available.

AD 160. Basic Counseling. 4 Credits.

Introduces basic skills required for establishing an effective professional helping relationship. Emphasizes in-class practice and feedback. Audit available.

AD 161. Motivational Interviewing and Addiction. 4 Credits.

Provides an opportunity to demonstrate a minimum level of facilitative skills required for Motivational Interviewing (MI) as adapted with the Anchor Point System (APS). Prerequisite: Acceptance into the Addiction Counseling Program.

AD 184. Men & Addiction. 3 Credits.

Provides an in-depth view of the biological, cultural, and sociological origins of male roles and behavior and explore the implications of this for understanding mental health, sexuality, addiction, and criminal behavior of men. Develops a framework for the essential elements of gender-specific treatment for boys and men. Audit available.

AD 202. Trauma and Recovery. 3 Credits.

Explores the neurobiology of attachment and reward as they relate to the addictive experience. Presents models of relational healing with a strong emphasis on specific skill acquisition that can be used in treatment settings. Utilizes trauma informed and wellness informed approaches targeted to working with families in the process of recovery from addictive disease. Prerequisite: AD 101, AD 151 and (AD 160 or AD 150). Audit available.

AD 255. Multiple Diagnoses. 3 Credits.

Covers assessment of chemical dependency clients for communicable diseases and co-existing mental disorders, effective intervention, and referral of clients to optimum resources for resolving coexisting diagnoses. Develops clear ethical guidelines for alcohol and drug counselors practicing within an area of competence. Prerequisites: AD 101, AD 102, AD 151, (AD 160 or AD 150), WR 121 and Admission to the Addiction Counseling Program. Prerequisite/concurrent: PSY 239. Audit available.

AD 256. Advanced Counseling and Addiction. 4 Credits.

Enhances the professional knowledge and skills of counselors preparing to enter the field. Focuses on current evidence-based practice/best practice models in addiction counseling, integrating a variety of conceptual theories into a comprehensive framework for human behavior, addiction, and change. Prerequisites: AD 160 and admission into the Addictions Counseling Program.

AD 270A. Practicum: Addiction. 3-6 Credit.

Provides clinical educational experience in an addiction treatment or DUII educational facility under the supervision of personnel who meet ACCBO requirements. Provides the opportunity to meet the ACCBO work experience requirements. Prerequisites: AD 102, AD 153, AD 154, AD 156, AD 157, AD 278 and (AD 161 or AD 155). Corequisite: AD 270B.

AD 270B. Practicum: Addiction - Seminar. 2 Credits.

Focuses on the integration and synthesis of academic preparation with "real world" addiction counseling experience. Includes consideration of counselor self-care, healthy work practice, professional ethics and ongoing professional development. Corequisite: AD 270A. Audit available.

AD 278. Practicum Preparation. 1 Credit.

Provides the opportunity to demonstrate facility with the documentation required for the Alcohol and Drug practicum course. Requires the development of an individualized plan for success in practicum. Prerequisite/Concurrent: AD 102, AD 151 and (AD 160 or AD 150).