Alcohol and Drug Counseling

"This program has challenged my intellect, encouraged my natural counseling abilities, and prepared me toward legally and ethically practicing in the State of California. It is with pride and confidence that I have been able to put the knowledge gained at LMU Extension into action."

 —Michael Caruso, Student

Obtain your education to join this worthwhile field!

  • Do you want challenging and interesting work?
  • Do you want to help others? 
  • Are you concerned about the substance misuse in your community?  
  • Do you know people who have misused substances? 

The job growth for this field is at 23% (compared to 7% for all occupations).  Wages are on the rise.  In 2018 the national median wage was $22.98 hourly or $47,790 annual.  In the Los Angeles area, the top 25% of Alcohol and Drug Counselors are earning more than $60,000 a year; with the top 10% earning more than $84,000 a year. 

There is a strong need for excellent counselors in the field of alcohol and drug treatment. Find out why obtaining education through LMU Extension will help you to thrive as a counselor in this field.

  • Workshops and Information Meetings

    Current Events   

    Information Meeting - A focused meeting about the program at LMU. Click here for more information about this event.

    The Path toward Being an Alcohol and Drug Counselor Workshop - An interactive meeting designed to provide guidance about the Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification process, the types of employers, job expectations, who must become certified to work in the field.  At the close of the workshop, focused information about the program at LMU is provided.  Click here for more information about this event.   

    Information Meeting

    When:  Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

    Where:  LMU Campus, University Hall, room 1859

    RSVP:  Email to    

    Join this meeting to obtain focused information about the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate offered at LMU Extension.  Learn:

    • How does the program meet California requirements?
    • What makes LMU Extension standout as an excellent choice?
    • What courses are required?
    • When are courses held?
    • What makes LMU Extension Instructors better than others?
    • How much does the program cost?
    • How do I obtain tuition assistance?
    • What do I need to know about the program application?
    • What do I need to know to succeed in the program?


    Path toward Being an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (Free Workshop)

    When:   Watch this site for the next workshop date. 

    Where:  LMU Campus, University Hall, room 1859


    Join this meeting to obtain information about the field plus information about the program at LMU Extension. Learn:

    • The process of becoming an Alcohol and Drug Counselor within the state of California.
    • The organizations legally authorized to certify Alcohol and Drug Counselors within California and what they expect.
    • What you can anticipate about employment and wages.
    • Tips about succeeding while becoming an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. 

    What people have said was valuable about this workshop:

    • Many aspects were valuable - what is required, where one can work, income possibilities.
    • The information was clear and easy to interpret.  All questions were welcomed.
    • The self-evaluation process for reasons for wanting to become and AOD counselor.
    • Opportunities for growth in the Alcohol and Drug Counseling field.
    • Extremely thorough and valuable.  Organized information and informative. 
    • It was extremely valuable for me as I consider if this is the path for me or not.
    • Excited about the journey of discovery.





    For a description of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate Program at LMU Extension, click here. 



  • Program is a Premier Training Opportunity

    "I want to thank you & all the instructors at LMU A&D counseling program for all the encouragement & support. I was able to pass the test on the first attempt & have received my A&D counseling certificate. I have received a top quality education in the field at a very reasonable price. Now, I can pursue my goal of trying to help others."
    —John Totten, alumni.

    You will gain a firm understanding of the knowledge needed to be an effective Alcohol and Drug Counselor. But knowledge alone is not enough; to be an outstanding counselor you must develop an understanding of the application of the learned knowledge. The courses at LMU Extension are designed to prepare you to apply what you have learned. During the practicum portion of the course you will demonstrate your "voice" as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor, as well as deepen your knowledge through direct hands-on experience. In this program you will learn to have the presence reflecting an integrated understanding of what it means to be an Alcohol and Drug Counselor. 

    The quality of the education received in the LMU Extension program will serve you well in your employment settings. Employers seek counselors with the type of training you receive in this program. Feedback from treatment centers report that the LMU Extension students demonstrate a solid knowledge base and exhibit the skills they are seeking. 

    The long history of quality training Alcohol and Drug Counselors at LMU Extension is demonstrated in the skills of our alumni. For example (before the IC&RC exams were computerized) in the last written IC&RC exams our students had a 100% pass rate. We do not have the statistics for the computerized exams. The written exams with 100% pass rate for LMU students were for June and December 2009 and the March 2010. Students taking the computerized exams have reported that the material presented in the LMU Extension courses covered the exam content and prepared them to succeed in the field.  

  • Class Size

    Our classes are sized so students are able to ask questions during classes; while participating in the program you will get to know your classmates and your instructors. Our classrooms are designed to offer the latest technology, while providing an intimate setting. The maximum number of students possible in each classroom is between 30 and 35 students. Generally the courses which are held once a year have a larger number of students than classes meeting twice a year. The minimum class size is 5 students. 

  • Program Application + Admission Requirements

    An application:

    • Can be downloaded at: Application Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate
    • If you are not able to download the application, you may request an application be emailed to you by sending an email to or by phoning 310-338-2812.  
    • There is no application fee.
    • The completed and signed application must be submitted to the Program Coordinator.
    • All applications require the approval of the Program Coordinator. 

    You must have English writing skills including the ability to punctuate, spell, create sentences and paragraphs, and to convey a tangential thought process. 

    If you have a history of substance abuse, six months of sobriety is expected.  If you have less than six months sobriety and wish to join the program, please contact the Program Coordinator. 

    Attendance at "Being a Substance Abuse Counselor Workshop" is strongly recommended. 



  • Tuition

    Single-course tuition is paid at the time of enrollment into each course. Tuition varies according to the number of hours per course. Based on the Spring 2020 tuition rate, the total for all the currently required CCAPP (CAADAC) courses is estimated to be $5,240. This is not a per semester cost. There is no fee to submit your application, obtain your certificate document, or digital transcript.  Rates are subject to change.

  • Tuition Assistance

    Here are ways you can obtain help with your tuition. 

    Thomas P. Pike Scholarship

    Partial assistance available depending upon financial need, how many students are applying for assistance, and how much money is available in the fund.  If you qualify assistance is available with the first course you take in the program. To obtain a tuition assistance application, please send an email request to Pat Ranftl at  Details are available by clicking here.   

    WIOA Funds

    The program is an approved course on the Workforce Investment Board's I-train and the Employment Development Department's Cal Jobs sites for funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds.  The Workforce Investment Board is part of the California Employment Development Department. Requests for WIOA funds are done at an America's Job Center.  Click here for a search engine to obtain a location of an America's Job Center of California. 

    The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is a federally funded training and job program, providing workforce investment activities through statewide and local systems. Authorized workforce investment activities provided at the local level benefit job seekers, dislocated workers, youth, foster care participants, incumbent workers, new entrants to the workforce, veterans, persons with disabilities, and employers. Click here to learn more.

    Intrastate Training Resources and Information Network (I-Train):

    • Vendor Name: LMU Extension
    • Vendor Number: 0086022
    • State Provider ID: 2480

    Third Party Payors

    LMU Extension will work with a variety of programs such as California State Disability, insurance organizations such as for worker's compensation, or other funding sources. To arrange payment through a third party payor, please contact Beverly Brown (email:; phone: 310-338-1971)

    • While the program is designed to be fully completed (including your practicum experience) within a four semester time frame (about 14 months), you can take longer to complete the program. Speak to the Program Coordinator about reducing the number of courses you take each semester in order to match your budget. 
    • We will work with a variety of other third party sources.   


  • Our Program

    Plan a pace that works for you!

    Choice One

    A 12-month, nine course program, starting from either the fall or spring semesters. While attending, plan to take courses three nights a week. 

    Choice Two

    A slower paced program which works for your life style.  You can take one course a semester or even take a semester off, provided you complete all nine courses within a 5 year period. 

    Both choices are designed to provide a quality education to individuals wishing to become certified as an Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) counselor. The classes provide a total of 325 classroom hours or 32.5 continuing education units. 


  • Register for Courses

    Enrollment for Spring 2020 is now open.  

    Click on the name of the course to register.

    By clicking on the name of the course, you go to a page providing you with information about:

    • Room Number 
    • Start and End Dates,
    • Course Hours,
    • Holidays,
    • Name of Instructor,
    • Text Books,
    • Tuition
    • Other Important Information - such as,  
    • How to Register for Your Desired Course. 

    Most - but not all - courses meet 7:15 pm to 9:45 pm. The exceptions are:  Family Counseling starts at 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm (depending on the night).  Supervised Practicum meets 6:45 pm to 9:45 pm.   

    To receive updates about course enrollments, please send an email to Please include your name, email address and a note that you are interested in enrollments for the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate program.  


    Course TitleDACX # Start DateStart TimeDayTuition
    Professional and Personal Growth for AOD Counselors 809.01 2-20-20 7:15 pm  Thu $725
    Case Management in the Treatment of Substance Misuse  802.01 2-24-20  7:15 pm   Mon  $725
    Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling 800.01 2-26-20  7:15 pm  Wed  $725
    Basic Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment  804.01  2-11-20  7:15 pm  Tue  $405
    Group Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment 807.01 4-14-20 7:15 pm  Tue   $405 
    Family Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment* 808.01 4-16-20 7:00 pm Thu $320 
    Supervised Practicum*  810.01  2-5-20 6:45 pm  Wed  $725

    * Basic Counseling has a prerequisite of Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling.  (May be taken in the same semester as Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling.)

    * Family Counseling has a prerequisite of Basic Counseling.

    * Supervised Practicum has a prerequisite of all other courses, except either Family Counseling or Group Counseling may be completed within the same semester in which you take Supervised Practicum.  While in Supervised Practicum, in addition to class hours, you must perform 255 practicum hours. Practicum hours cannot start prior to the first day the the course. 

     Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. For additional information, contact the LMU Extension at (310) 338-1971 or, or contact the program coordinator, Ms. Fay Craton, directly at (310) 338-2812 or


  • Required Courses, Schedule and Tuition


    The Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate includes nine courses.  The program can be completed within 12 months.    

    Course TitlePrerequisiteTuition*
    Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling None  $725 
    Ethical and Legal Aspects of Substance Misuse Treatment None  $485
    Case Management in the Treatment of Substance Misuse None  $725
    Professional and Personal Growth for AOD Counselors None  $725
    Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs None  $725 
    Basic Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling (Or, taken within same semester as Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling)


    Group Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment Basic Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment $405 
    Family Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment Basic Counseling Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment $320
    Supervised Practicum, plus 255 practicum hours All courses.  (Group Counseling or Family Counseling can be taken in the same semester as you take Supervised Practicum.)   $725

     * Tuition is paid at the time you register for a course.  The projected tuition for all nine courses is $5240.  Projected and posted tuition is based on Spring 2020 tuition rates and is subject to change.

    What Will Your Schedule Look Like?

    While you may complete the program within 12 months, you may take up to five years to complete the course work.  When planning your schedule you need to take into account which semester the course is offered and whether or not you have completed the course prerequisite. 

    The program offered by LMU Extension is approved by CCAPP. Changes made in the requirements and/or processes of CCAPP may result in changes to the program. CAADAC merged into CCAPP. 


  • Is The Field Right For You?

    If you wish to counsel or provide emotional support to people who are struggling with an alcohol or drug abuse challenge or are in treatment or recovery.  Individuals working in the field find great satisfaction in the work they are performing. 

    If you are providing counseling in alcohol and other drug recovery and treatment programs, and you are not a state of California licensed mental health practitioner, you are required by law to be registered to obtain certification and to be certified within five years of becoming registered. (California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 8)

    In addition to those who wish to become Certified Alcohol and Drug (AOD) Counselors, people who find the courses of value are:

    • Licensed mental health professionals wishing to deepen their skills to establish substance abuse treatment as a specialty - Certification as an AOD Counselor will add to your ability to obtain employment at facilities providing treatment. 
    • Staff members of community-based organizations or government agencies working with individuals in substance abuse intervention, treatment and recovery. 
    • Medical physicians, nurses and other health care specialists. 
    • Teachers
    • Anyone who coaches, counsels or mentors people who may abuse, or is in treatment or recovery for abuse, of alcohol or another substance.

    Employment settings include:  

    • Substance abuse treatment centers  
    • Sober living settings   
    • Drug courts  
    • Hospitals  
    • Mental health agencies   
    • Community-based organizations 
    • Schools
    • Government agencies   
    • Any social service setting  

    Once our students become alcohol and drug counselors, they are on the front line at recovery centers, turning around lives and saving families. The work they do transforms lives and builds careers.

  • Accreditation

    Accreditation is a seal of approval by professional peers indicating that an institution or program meets the quality standards of the group conferring the accreditation. Loyola Marymount University is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition, it is approved by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals - Education Institute (CCAPP-EI).

    CCAPP was established when the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) merged with the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources (CAARR). Those who successfully complete the certificate program at LMU Extension will fulfill the current education requirements to submit a portfolio to CCAPP to take the IC&RC Examination. The program may evolve to maintain compliance with CCAPP standards and/or to increase student capabilities to excel in the field of Alcohol and Drug Counseling.

  • Contact Us

    Please contact Fay Craton for any inquiries. Fay's direct phone number is 310-338-2812. Emails sent to are forwarded to her. The LMU Extension Office is located at 1 LMU Drive, Suite 1863, Los Angeles, CA  90045.  It is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The phone for LMU Extension is 310-338-1971. 

    You can join our mailing list by clicking here.