Alcohol Drug Studies

The Alcohol and Drug Studies program is the study of chemical addiction and treatment. Career paths chosen by students pursuing undergraduate studies in alcohol and drug studies commonly include supervised alcohol and drug counseling. Even students who choose not to major in alcohol and drug studies find that coursework in the field can improve their ability to understand the issues surrounding chemical dependency and treatment. Student learning outcomes include the ability to: recognize the philosophy, values, terminology, and practice of the field of addiction studies; describe and interpret theory and research in areas relating to addictive behavior in individuals, families; groups, and communities; Identify and describe addiction-related social policy; and identify knowledge, skill, and attitudes as they apply to the roles and responsibilities of the helping profession.

The College offers a Certificate of Achievement in Alcohol and Drug Studies and a non-transferable Associate of Science degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies. The Certificate of Achievement is designed to provide students with skills necessary for employment as supervised chemical dependency counselors, as well as advancement toward the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) and California Association of Alcohol and Drug Educators (CAADE) certification. Students earning the certificate may also choose to continue their study toward an Associate of Science degree in the field. Past recipients of the COD Certificate of Achievement in Alcohol and Drug Studies have obtained positions as supervised chemical dependency counselors, locally and throughout California.

Upon completion of the HSAD program students will able to: transfer to a higher level learning institution; fulfill the requirements for an entry-level position in their field; apply critical thinking skills to execute daily duties in their area of employment; apply critical thinking skills to research, evaluate, analyze and synthesize information; demonstrate the skills and aptitude necessary to pass certification exams in their field; and exhibit effective written, oral communication and interpersonal skills.

Furthermore, students completing the entire HSAD program at College of the Desert will demonstrate competency in the following areas as related to the treatment of substance use disorders: individual, group and family counseling; case management; pharmacology; law and ethics; dual diagnosis; personal and professional development; and cultural competence.

Students earning an associate’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies may pursue entry level positions as supervised chemical dependency counselors or may choose to continue their study in the discipline toward a bachelor’s or graduate degree in psychology or social work.

Transfer requirements at four year colleges and universities vary from institution to institution; students should consult with an academic advisor for specific information regarding the transfer requirements of their preferred college or university.

Requirements for Internship

  1. Completion of the COD application.

  2. Completion of the eight core courses - HSAD 001, HSAD 002, HSAD 004, HSAD 020, HSAD 022, HSAD 024, HSAD 030, and HSAD 034 with a minimum grade of “C”.

  3. Students who have completion of HSAD 036 will receive placement priority.

  4. Course currency - completing the eight core courses within five years of applying for the internship OR currently working directly with clients at a substance abuse facility.

  5. 24 months of continuous sobriety – required for placement in many facilities.

  6. There is a 75% attendance requirement for HSAD courses to earn credit.

  7. Many facilities require interns to have evidence of student registration with a certification organization: ex: CCAPP-Registered Alcohol Drug Trainee (RADT -1) at the students’ expense.

  8. LiveScan – background checks are also required by the majority of the facilities (at the students’ expense).

Please contact program advisors with questions and concerns.
For more information, please call 760.773.2574.