Professional Technical Degree

Addiction Studies, Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree

Area of Study
Healthcare
Program Coordinator

Stacie Bell 
(360) 417-6377
sbell@pencol.edu

Program Description

Complete your Addiction Studies, Associate in Applied Science (AAS). This program competencies can be attained through an extensive array of educational courses offered. The program contains classes suggested to begin internships in chemical dependency agencies in the public and private sectors and fulfill chemical dependency professional status in accordance with current certification requirements. Course content includes counseling, case management, psychology, sociology, ethics, law, and physiology as well as internships in a variety of work environments. Students are encouraged to begin the program in either fall or winter quarter.

Program Length: 6 Quarters
Program Code: SAAASAPT

Career Opportunities and Earnings 

Clallam and Jefferson counties offer internships in inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities for students to gain experience as they transition to a chemical dependency professional. There continues to be a strong need for addiction professionals throughout the state.

  • Case manager at emergency shelter
  • Case worker for state agencies (i.e., Department of Social and Health Service, mental health agencies, etc.)
  • Chemical dependency counselor
  • Intervention specialist

For current employment and wage estimates, please visit and search for the relevant occupational term: bls.gov/oes/.

Program Outcomes

  • Identify basic facts on addiction and effect on individual, family, and society; chemical dependency theory and therapy models; dynamics of teenage substance abuse
  • Maintain accurate case management records
  • Utilize knowledge of state laws and court procedures regarding alcohol/drug offenses
  • Apply basic counseling skills in a therapeutic setting
  • Explore dynamics of chemically dependent family
  • Recognize the relapse process and its impact on recovery and family-of-origin issues
  • Examine ethical principles and rules of conduct for the chemical dependency counselor
  • Address cultural awareness as it relates to working with others
  • Apply basic computer skills to practical applications
  • Communicate in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Demonstrate competencies to succeed in the selected career pathway workplace
  • Interpret human interaction with others
  • Recognize and formulate an information need
  • Report the actions of drugs on the body
  • Identify AIDS and Hepatitis C as diseases
  • Summarize assessment and treatment issues specific to individuals with co-occurring disorders

Special Features

  • This program offers a special 14-credit certificate for persons interested in enhancing their potential entry into training positions. Coursework includes Introduction to Addiction Studies, Physiology of Drugs, and Counseling I.
  • The Addiction Studies program offers the student a unique opportunity to develop self-awareness regarding valuable choices for a healthy lifestyle.
  • Students interested in pursuing both an Addiction Studies AAS degree and an Associate in Arts, Direct Transfer Agreement (AA-DTA) degree simultaneously should contact the program advisor.
  • Students can continue their academic studies at Peninsula College in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Behavioral Healthcare degree (BHAV). Students interested in this option should complete MATH& 107 or above instead of AMATH 121. Please contact the program advisor for additional prerequisite requirements at BAS@pencol.edu.  

Approximate Additional Costs

  • Books, supplies and miscellaneous fees (per quarter): $250 - $300
  • Application for Chemical Dependency Professional: $250
  • Initial Chemical Dependency Professional Certificate: $275
  • Chemical dependency counselor trainee application: $110

Sample Schedule  

This sample schedule is provided as a guide for a full-time student starting in fall quarter whose goal is to earn the AAS. The typical student schedule is based on entering the program during the fall quarter, however some programs allow students to enter in the winter or spring as well. Since not all do, please confirm with an advisor whether this program must be started during a specific quarter or not. 

First Quarter (Fall)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
5

Active reading, effective writing, and critical thinking, using subjective and objective approaches. Introduction to research techniques. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Communication Skills)

Credits: 5

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5

Definitions of alcohol and other drug use and abuse; alcoholism and other addictions; history and types of chemical dependency; impact on individual, family, and society. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Elective)

Credits: 5

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Sub-Total Credits
16

Second Quarter (Winter)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
FA 100 or FA 180  +
1
4

Familiarization with skills commonly used for individual and family counseling. Includes attending, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings, summarizing, probing, self-disclosure, interpreting, and confrontation. HSSA& 101 and HSSA 105 or permission of instructor is recommended. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 4

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3

Chemical dependency case management and record keeping. Provides working knowledge of a system for up-to-date, accurate, and usable case files and records. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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3

Knowledge and strategies needed to become more culturally sensitive. Focuses on integration of cultural competence in an AOD curriculum and development of effective prevention messages and treatment modalities within a cultural context while identifying ethnically challenging issues. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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5

Introduction to science of behavior. Emphasis on biological foundations of behavior, cognition, learning, intelligence, motivation, memory, personality, and psychological disorders. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)

Credits: 5

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Sub-Total Credits
16

Third Quarter (Spring)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
3

Exploration of dynamics of chemically dependent family during addiction and recovery. Includes therapy models useful in supporting individuals through recovery process and for restoring relationships within family. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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3

Learn identifying signs and symptoms of teenage substance abuse, appropriate intervention, family dynamics, defense mechanisms and emotional honesty, treatment facilities, aftercare, and family’s progress toward health. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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5

Scientific study of human growth, development, and change throughout life cycle. Physical, cognitive, social, personality, and other aspects of the individual examined through successive stages, from prenatal development until death. This class may include students from multiple sections. (Social Sciences, Elective)

Credits: 5

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Sub-Total Credits
16

Fourth Quarter (Fall)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
5

College mathematics used in professional and technical programs. Content includes mathematical modeling and applications employing numerical operations; measurements; geometry; linear and nonlinear equations; exponent, radical, and polynomial operations; functions; formulas; plane analytical geometry with graphing; and an introduction to trigonometry. This class may include students from multiple sections. 

Credits: 5

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AOS 102, AOS 103, AOS 104 or AOS 109  +
2
2

Introduction of objective team approach to confronting denial and presenting reality to chemically dependent, emphasizing skills commonly used for Johnson model intervention. Offered for continuing professional education. Required for ongoing counselor certification. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 2

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3

Principles and rules of conduct of ethical standards essential for CD profession, including nondiscrimination, responsibility, competence, legal and moral standards, client welfare, confidentiality, client relationships, and interprofessional conduct. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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3

Familiarizes chemical dependency counselors with language and basic concepts of mental health disorders as they present in the dually diagnosed patient. Provides opportunity to assess and plan interventions for such patients involving introduction to motivational interviewing. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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Sub-Total Credits
15

If planning to pursue a Bachelor of Applied Science in Behavioral Healthcare degree (BHAV), take MATH& 107 or above instead of AMATH 121.

Fifth Quarter (Winter)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
3

Understand State of Washington court procedures and laws pertaining to alcohol and drug related offenses, domestic violence, incapacitated persons and involuntary commitment, and deferred prosecution. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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3

Emphasis on learning to deal with issues specific to the counselor’s personal challenges. Offered for continuing professional education. Recommended for ongoing counselor certification. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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5

Students will learn concepts of recovery, resilience, and practice of Certified Peer Counseling. Develop interpersonal skills that emphasize healthy attachment, defusing transference, self-advocacy, client assessment planning, goal setting for self and peers, and the impact of values and culture on life transitions. This course is designed to meet the State and Federal standards for a Peer Recovery Specialist. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 5

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Sub-Total Credits
14

Sixth Quarter (Spring)

Catalog #
Title
Credits
3

Familiarization with symptoms, warning signs, and high-risk factors involved in relapse process, with emphasis on recovery, family-of-origin issues, relationships, self-care, and interdependence. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 3

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5

This class teaches students about medical complications of substance abuse including alcohol, tobacco, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, cannabis and benzodiazepines. Class emphasizes addiction, overdose and withdrawal and how chemicals affect the body. This class may include students from multiple sections.

Credits: 5

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HSSA Internship or Social Sciences  +
5
Sub-Total Credits
16

Your personal educationalpPlan will vary based on many factors including:  

Total Credits
93