About Addiction & Recovery Counseling

Interested in making a positive change in your community while helping others? Then a career in Addiction and Recovery Counseling is for you.

This program is for those who seek to enter the addiction and recovery field and need to meet minimum state requirements while getting the most comprehensive and rigorous training available. You'll enjoy learning the latest and most innovative treatment methods from seasoned instructors who also work in the field. Students will learn cutting edge techniques and skills needed to successfully treat substance use disorders and help to advance the fast-growing and rewarding field of addiction counseling from an accredited and affordable program designed for working adults.

Graduates of the program will possess the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary to work effectively as addiction counselors in treatment and prevention programs. We believe the main strategy for addressing addiction should be treated on-demand, expanded education, and employment opportunities.

Explore Potential Careers

Studying Addiction and Recovery Counseling can lead to a variety of different jobs or career paths. Below are just some of the many options you will have!

  • Addiction counselor 
  • Peer navigation
  • Licensed therapist
  • Social work
  • Vocational specialist
  • Recovery coach
  • Case manager
  • Sober living coach

Program Information 

The Addiction & Recovery Counseling Certificate at City College of San Francisco is a 26.5-unit program, which emphasizes a public health, harm reduction approach that addresses community, social/economic, and individual factors of addiction. We believe the main strategy for addressing addiction should be treated on-demand, expanded education, and employment opportunities. All of our classes are offered in the evenings and the Certificate takes approximately 2 years to complete. Credits are applicable towards a CCSF Associate Degree and are transferable to CSU. This program is made possible in part by a grant from the City and County of San Francisco Department of Public Health, Behavioral Health Services (BHS).

All courses have been developed in accordance with the CCAPP guidelines. Students who want to enter the program must first complete HLTH 100 with a final grade of C or higher prior to moving forward in the program. Progression through the program requires completion of classes with a grade of C or higher before advancing to the next level. All courses in this Certificate are transferable to the CSUs.

Program Prerequisites:

  • Complete your application to the college online or call (415) 239-3732
  • Successfully complete HLTH 100: Introduction to ARC (1 unit course)*
  • Consult with ARC staff before signing up for classes (email edlewis@ccsf.edu or call 415-452-5159)

Course #

Course Title




Harm Reduction and Health


½ unit


Hepatitis ABC’s


1 unit


Drugs, Health & Society


3 units


Ethics & Counseling

HLTH 100

3 units


Physiological Effects of Addiction


3 units


Treatment Modalities

HLTH 100, 70

3 units


Group Counseling


3 units


Case Management

HLTH 49, 70

3 units


Professional Skills for ARC (Internship Practicum)


3 units

HLTH 79W(1)

Work Experience (125 Hours)

Must be taken Concurrently with HLTH 79

2 units

HLTH 79W(2)

Work Experience (125 Hours)

HLTH 79W(1)

2 units

Total Units: 26.5

*You must complete all classes in this certificate with a grade of C or higher.

View Requirements in College Catalog


The CCSF Addiction & Recovery Counseling Certificate is accredited by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP, visit them on the web at https://www.ccapp.us/) . Successful completion of the 26.5-unit Certificate Program is the first step towards California State Certification as a Substance use Disorder Counselor. Once the student has received their certificate from City College, they will be eligible to take the certification exam through CCAPP if they completed 3,000 supervised hours at a licensed facility that provides treatment for Substance Use Disorder.   Once they successfully complete the exam, they will be expected to submit all the necessary paperwork, including a copy of their completed fieldwork hours in order to be certified as a Substance Use Disorder counselor in the state of California. These requirements meet the regulations by the California Department of Substance Use Disorder-Program.

Credit Program Options 

Click on the degree or certificate you're interested in earning to see a sample map of courses to take to complete your goal from start to finish. 

Please note that the course maps provided are just an example to help you get started. Please meet with a counselor to personalize the plan to you and your Academic goals. 

View College Catalog

Required Courses

Course Number Course Title Units
HLTH 100 Introduction to Addiction and Recovery Counseling 1
HLTH 30 Drugs, Health, and Society 3
HLTH 49 Ethics and Counseling in Addiction and Recovery 3
HLTH 70 Physiological Effects of Addiction 3
HLTH 73 Case Management/Individual Intervention 3
HLTH 79 Professional Skills for Addiction and Recovery Counselors 3
HLTH 79W Addiction and Recovery Counseling Work Experience 4
HLTH 90B Harm Reduction and Health 0.5
HLTH 91C Hepatitis ABCs 1
HLTH 98 Treatment Modalities in Addiction Recovery 3
HLTH 99 Group Counseling for Treatment and Recovery 3

Total Units: 27.5

Transfer Options

The program coursework you complete at City College will satisfy lower-division requirements for related majors at several colleges and universities. Start planning your transfer by exploring

Addiction & Recovery Counseling programs at the following institutions: 

  • San Francisco State University
  • San Jose State University
  • University of California
  • University of San Francisco  

Have questions about transfer? Visit the Transfer Center for help, transfer information, and/or to speak with college representatives.