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Program Mission
Program Mission

The mission of the Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program is to prepare students with academic training and hands on experience for employment in various substance abuse treatment settings and obtain California state certification as a drug and alcohol counselor.  The Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Program facilitates and enhances student learning in a supportive environment, through comprehensive education, utilizing academic courses and field placement experiences. 

Program accredited by CAADE, California Association of Alcohol/ Drug Educators,

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs requires that counselors who are employed in agencies providing alcohol and drug services must be certified to do so by having passed an approved state examination, or that they are enrolled as students in an accredited program such as Palomar College provides to prepare for those exams.

CAADE California Association of Alcohol/ Drug Educators and CAADAC California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors are both professional organizations that offer a state board certification examinination. To be eligible for the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor written exam, CAADAC requirements include the completion of AODS courses: 150, 155, 160, (140 or 298), 250,255, 260, and the Supervised Practicum AODS 299. Students should also complete Psych 100 or Soc 100. Students must complete 255 hours of internship work at an approved agency.


To be eligible for the Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (C.A.T.C.), CAADE requires that students must complete the courses listed above and additional requirements to obtain the Certificate of Achievement in AODS.


Certificate of Achievement - Alcohol and Drug Studies

The AODS Certificate consists of an 11-course curriculum accredited by CAADE in 2004 after their extensive review. Palomar College (AODS) courses prepare students to provide services in court-mandated, public, and private agencies for alcohol and drug intervention, treatment, and prevention. Students are prepared to work in agencies that provide intake, assessment, detoxification, impaired driver interventions, drug testing, crisis intervention, inpatient and outpatient rehabitation, sober living services, relapse prevention, counseling, and perinatal and family recovery.

A grade of ‘C’ or higher must be achieved in all certificate courses. A Department Chair/Director may waive one (1) ‘D’ grade with written justification

AODS 150 Introduction to Chemically Depenency 3 units Fall, Spring
AODS 155 Physiology/Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs 3 units Fall, Spring
AODS 160 Prevention, Intervention, and Education 3 units Fall, Spring
AODS 250 Group Leadership and Process 3 units Fall, Spring
AODS 255 Treatment Modalities, Law and Ethics 3 units Fall
AODS 260 Chemical Dependency Family Counseling 3 units Fall,Spring
PSYC 100 Introduction to Psychology 3 units Fall, Spring, Summer
PSYC 225 Psychology of Abnormal Behavior 3 units (prerequisite: Psychology 100) Fall, Spring
AODS 299 Directed Field Experience ll 6 units Spring
Group One (Select 3 units)
SOC 110 Social Problems 3 units Fall, Spring,
SOC 100 Introduction to Sociology 3 Fall, Spring, Summer
Group One (Select 4-5 units)
AODS 140 Intro to Psychological and Social Services 4 units Fall, Spring
AODS 298 Directed Field Experience I 5 units Fall
Total Units 37-38 Units
Course Descriptions
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AA Degree - Alcohol and Drug Studies

Palomar College offers an AA Degree in Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (AODS). The AA Degree Major in AODS requires the same 11 courses as the Certificate of Achievement above. In addition, the Associate in Arts degree requires completion of a minimum of sixty (60) degree-applicable semester units to include the district requirements and general education requirements listed below. Courses numbered 1-49 do not count in the sixty (60) units toward the degree.

It is advisable to make an appointment with a Palomar College counselor for details about educational planning for an AA, including English, Math and Reading assessment testing. To make an appointment go to Palomar College Counseling Center . To sign up for the placement testing, go to Assessment Office .

Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (‘C’ average) or higher for all degree-applicable course work attempted.
Complete the AA Degree District Requirements.

Complete English 100 with a grade of ‘C’ or better.
Competence in Mathematics
Competence in American History and institutions/california Government
Competence in Health and Physical education
Competence may be demonstrated by course completion, examination,
or military service.

Multicultural Requirement. Students may satisfy this requirement by completing a minimum of 3 units from the approved courses listed in the current catalog.

Complete the AA Degree General Education Requirements.

See the current catalog for courses approved to meet the AA General Education requirements:
A1. English Composition,
A2. Analytical Thinking and Oral Communication
B. Natural Sciences
C. Humanities
D. Social and Behavioral Sciences
E. Integrated Self and Life Long Learning

Complete 11 courses for the AA degree major. Psyc 100, Psyc 225, AODS 150, 155, 255, (140 or 298), 250, 255,160, 299 and Soc 100 or 110.
AODS Resource Links
Occupational Information
Federal Agencies