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Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance Abuse Counseling


A 20-credit Certificate of Competence in Substance Abuse Counseling is offered for students interested in a career in substance abuse counseling. Credit and non-credit courses are offered for in-service substance abuse, human service, and criminal justice professionals seeking to develop and/or upgrade their skills in working with individuals and families who suffer as a result of chemical abuse or dependency. Students who successfully complete these courses are eligible to receive additional studies and/or fieldwork hours that can apply towards obtaining a State Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate as required by the State of Hawai‘i Department of Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD), the National Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor Credentialing Board, and the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. Students completing the CC in Substance Abuse Counseling along with an associate’s degree are eligible to receive 2,000 hours toward the ADAD Substance Abuse Certification.

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Upon successful completion, students are prepared to:

  • Satisfy the addiction studies educational requirements for Hawaii State Department of Health Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division’s (ADAD) Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) and/or Certified Drug Prevention Specialist (CDPS).
  • Identify and articulate medical, social, and/or psychological aspects of addiction.
  • Apply the Twelve Core Functions of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor, and practice within the legal and ethical parameters of the substance abuse counseling profession.
  • Perform basic individual or group counseling and interviewing/facilitation skills, and reflect on personal values and issues that may enhance or interfere with effectiveness as a counselor.
  • Develop career plans for entry-level positions in substance abuse, criminal justice, and human services organizations that service substance abusing populations, or transfer to a 4-year college to continue education in SUBS related fields.

Course Learning Outcomes

Proficiency levels in reading, writing and/or mathematics are required to register for some or all of the Program courses:

Reading Eng 21 or ESL 21 Eng 102
Writing Eng 22 or (ESL 22G and ESL 22W) Eng 100


The Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Hawai‘i CC are an integral part of the local community and reflect its day-to-day life. Close cooperation among the faculty, employers, and employees in the community is maintained. One of the most effective formal means of providing for this type of cooperation is the Program Advisory Council. These groups advise their respective programs of training needs and new developments in the field. Councils include employers, alumni, and others knowledgeable about the field. 

Substance Abuse Counseling Program Advisory Council:

  • Rachel Kruse, Clinical Supervisor, Hui Ho‘ola O Nahulu O Hawai‘i 
  • Denise Oguma, HOPE Services HI, Inc. 
  • Jan-Marie Osorio, Special Events Coordinator, Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, County of Hawai‘i 
  • Valerie Poindexter, Councilwoman, County of Hawai‘i
  • Jasmine Staup, Assistant Supervisor, West Hawai‘i Public Health Nursing