Substance Use Disorders 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 a challenging and interesting job?
  • Do you want to help others? 
  • Are you concerned about substance misuse in your community?  
  • Do you know people who have misused substances? 

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

For more information contact us at 


  • Current Events   

    Zoom Information Meetings

    Learn about the Substance Use Disorders (Alcohol and Drug) Counselor certification process, the types of employers, job expectations, who must become certified to work in the field.  

    • How does the program meet California requirements?
    • What makes LMU Extension 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?
    • 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 a Substance Use Disorders Counselor. 

    To request a zoom meeting with an instructor send an email to  



  • "I want to thank you & all the instructors at the LMU A&D counseling program for all the encouragement & support. I was able to pass the test on the first attempt & have received my SUD 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 SUD 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 program, you will demonstrate your "voice" as a SUD Counselor, as well as deepen your knowledge through direct hands-on experience. 

    One-year program

    This cohort program is designed to provide the tools and skills required to become certified as a Substance Use Disorders counselor in one year. The program provides a total of 315 classroom hours and 255 hours of supervised practicum. 



    Professional Literacy:

    Introduction to Substance Use Disorder Counseling

    Case Management

    Counseling (Basic, Family and Group Counseling)


    Ethical and Legal Standards in SUD's Counseling

    Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs

    Professional and Personal Growth for SUD Counselors


     Supervised Practicum (fieldwork)




    You must have a High School or GED degree.

    If you have a history of substance abuse, six months of sobriety is expected.

    The classes are online and instructor-led.

    Basic computer skills required. 

  • Thomas P. Pike Scholarship

    Tuition scholarship awards are available depending upon the successful completion of the application, and financial need. To request an application please email     

    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. 

    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 email:, or call 310-338-1971

    • While the program is designed to be fully completed (including your practicum experience) within a 3-semester time frame (about 12 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.   


  • Registration for Spring 2022 coming soon!

    The total tuition for the one-year program cohort is $5,600.00 

    For those who qualify, LMU Extension offers scholarship awards that range from 20% to 50% and payment plans.

    To be considered for the Thomas P. Pike Fund award you must request an application to

    If you would like to set up a payment plan also contact


    Click here to review all policies prior to enrollment. 

    The certificate includes 7 modules:      

    Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Counseling Spring/Fall
    Case Management in the Treatment of Substance Misuse Summer/Fall
    Physiology and Pharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs Fall 
    Counseling in Substance Misuse Treatment (Group & Family) Spring
     Ethical and Legal Aspects of Substance Misuse Treatment Fall
    Professional and Personal Growth for AOD Counselors Fall
    Supervised Practicum, plus 255 practicum hours Summer/Spring  

    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. 

  • If you wish to counsel or provide emotional support to people who are struggling with substance use disorders challenges 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 (A&D) 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 A&D 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 substance use disorders.

    Employment settings include:  

    • Substance use disorder 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 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.