Chemical Dependency Counseling


Montana has a continuing need for entry-level Chemical Dependency Counselors who can earn licensure. This program is designed to meet the education requirements for the State of Montana's Licensed Addiction Counselor. It is offered online and is available to on-campus students, with some classes available only online. This program provides current knowledge and is updated for the new licensure requirements. 

Program Outcomes

  • Understand through application, the clinical assessment of addictions.
  • Administer, score, and interpret the results of screening and assessment instruments.
  • On the basis of screening and assessments, students will arrive at a clinical diagnosis. 
  • Understand the importance of diagnosis and its role in the treatment process.
  • Understand the basic principles of individual and group counseling for addictions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the pharmacology of drugs.
  • Be prepared for supervised work experience and for taking the National Certified Addiction Counselor I or II (NCAC) board exam.

Completion of this curriculum indicates the graduate has acquired the necessary skills for entry-level employment. Following successful completion of this program, 1,000 hours of supervised work experience in a state-licensed substance abuse program is required in order to apply for the Montana Licensed Addiction Counselor's exam (this requirement is subject to change). Out-of-state students should check their state's general licensing criteria. 

Students who earn the designated Associate of Arts Degree in Chemical Dependency may also desire to transfer to a university to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Dependency studies. 


Suggested Plan of Study

First Year, First Semester (Fall)

CAS233 Chemical Dependency & Addictions Counseling Theory 3 credits
CAS260 Addiction Assessment & Documentation 4 credits
WRIT101 College Writing I 3 credits
CAPP131 Basic MS Office 3 credits
PSYX100 Intro to Psychology 3 credits
DCC101 Dawson College Success 1 credit
First Year, Second Semester (Spring)

CAS254 Co-Occuring Disorders 2 credits
CAS252 Gambling & Gaming Disorders in Substance Abuse Counseling 2 credits
CAS231 Pharmacology in Addictions 2 credits
SOCI101 Intro to Sociology 3 credits
STAT216 Intro to Statistics 4 credits
PSCI260 Intro to State & Local Government 3 credits
Second Year, First Semester (Fall)

CAS256 Addiction Counseling II 3 credits
CAS265 Multicultural Competence & Ethics 2 credits
COMX111 Intro to Public Speaking or 3 credits
COMX115 Intro to Interpersonal Communications 3 credits
BIOB160 Principles of Living Systems 3 credits
BIOB161 Principles of Living Systems Lab 1 credit
3 credits chosen from Core II, IV, VI
3 credits
Second Year, Second Semester (Spring)

CAS Alcohol & Drug Studies 2 credits
CAS Addiction Treatment & Documentation 2 credits
PSYX240 Fundamentals of Abnormal Psychology 3 credits
9 credits from Core II, IV, VI
9 credits

After graduating from DCC with an AA in Chemical Addiction Studies, the graduate will need to submit an application for License Addiction Counseling (LAC) to the State of Montana.  Once the state has received and approved this, the graduate can then start obtaining their 1,000 hours of supervised work experience in a state-licensed substance abuse program.  After the hours are completed, the individual then submits proof of hours and their completed LAC application to the state.  Once the state approves the work experience and acknowledges that the individual has met all the state requirements, they can schedule a time to take the LAC exam at an approved testing center.  Once they pass their exam, they will receive notice from the State of Montana and officially become Licensed Addiction Counselors.

In addition, students need to meet the yearly Continuing Education Unit (CEU) requirements (20) to keep their license current along with paying a yearly licensing fee of $150.

*Image courtesy of Urine Drug Test HQ.