If you are concerned about keeping up with your Continuing Education Units (CEUs) during the pandemic, this article may have a solution for you! Whether it’s social distancing, canceled training, or funds are low, there can be many barriers to obtaining the required CEUs for your certification renewal during this time. This article provides a quick review of the requirements for CEUs and a list of current CADTP approved CEU providers who are offering free or low-cost online education opportunities.

CEU Basics

The primary purpose of continuing education is to maintain and enhance the quality of substance abuse treatment services provided to the public. This is best accomplished by restricting continuing education to professional development courses that directly address the counseling and treatment of substance abuse and related disorders.

There are many different types of Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Providers. However, not all of them are qualified to teach or train topics that pertain to the substance use disorder counseling field and directly address the counseling and treatment of substance abuse and related disorders. Therefore, CADTP only accepts CEUs from its network of approved CEU Providers, other DHCS certification organizations, a government agency, or an organization contracted by a government agency. (Bulletin 13-03)

Fortunately, many Providers offer online education with CEUs. Some require in-person attendance to receive CEUs, while others are available as a recording that you can watch after the live event and still earn CEUs. Additionally, if your employer or you would like to be certified to provide continuing education and issue CEUs, please consider applying to become a CADTP Certified CEU Provider: CEU Provider Initial Application.


To renew certification, CADTP requires each SUD Certified (SUDCC) Counselor to complete a minimum of forty (40) hours of continuing education. The 40-hours must include three (3) hours of Ethics & Confidentiality during each two-year period.

Acceptable Continuing Education Topics

Topics must meet the standards established in §13055, Chapter 8, Division 4, Title 9, California Code of Regulations requirements:

  • Curriculum contained in TAP 21.
  • Ethics & Confidentiality
    • All counselors must attend at least three (3) hours of Ethics & Confidentiality. This may be done in one three-hour course, but the CEU certificate must indicate both topics. One may decide to attend a two-hour course of Ethics and a one-hour course of Confidentiality, this would be acceptable, so long as both topics are covered in at least three hours of time. Ethics courses must be on the SUDCC Code of Ethics; Confidentiality must be on the federal regulations 42 CFR Part 2 and/or HIPPA.
  • Provision of Services to special populations as it relates to SUD Counseling (e.g., co-occurring disorders, PTSD, individuals with disabilities, etc.)
  • Communicable diseases including tuberculosis, HIV disease, and Hepatitis C as they relate to SUD Counseling
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment
  • Driving Under the Influence•Counseling skills such as Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, etc.

Unacceptable Continuing Education Topics

Not all topics relate to counseling persons in SUD services. All CEUs submitted to CADTP are subject to approval. Just because it says CEU on the document doesn’t mean it means CADTP standards. Listed below are some examples of unacceptable CEUs.

  • Improving Customer Service – while important to your employer it is not a counseling issue
  • Communication Skills – unless the curriculum specifically relates to SUD counseling
  • Law & Ethics (or jurisprudence) – good topic, but too general, must be on SUD Code of Ethics
  • Confidentiality – unless the curriculum specifically relates to SUD counseling
  • Diabetes or other health education – unless the curriculum specifically relates to counseling those with health issue and Substance Use Disorders
  • CPR and/or First Aid – while these are important skills and your employer may require you to be certified in CPR/First Aid, these are not counseling topics.

Continuing Education Topics for Counselor Supervision (CS) Credential

Six (6) hours of Continuing Education on supervision topics are required every two (2) years to maintain the SUDCC-CS credential. These are inclusive, not additional to, the 40 hours required for SUDCC.

What exactly are the supervision CEU topics? These are subjects that help the supervisor mentor counselors in the SUD field. Topics or issues which help the supervisor run the program do not qualify as CS CEU’s. While those subjects are important to the business they don’t help the supervisor mentor, coach, or train their counselor subordinates.

On-Line CEU Courses

CADTP will accept on-line CEU courses from web-based CEU providers listed on our website as CADTP approved providers. CEU’s gained on-line must meet the topic and hourly requirements. Choose your on-line courses carefully. CADTP will only accept 10-hours of CEU’s from an on-line source gained each day. The exception is CEU’s that are designated as bundled together and noted as a single course with a specific number of hours on one certificate. For example:

  • A 40-hour bundle would be acceptable as it is one course taken over time and is documented on one certificate.
  • If more than 10-hours on multiple certificates are submitted with the same date only 10 CEU hours would be accepted for that date.

Free and Low-Cost CEU Providers

Now that you have reviewed the requirements, approved and unapproved topics, and the guidelines for online courses, let’s dive into some of CADTP’s approved CEU Providers that offer free and/or low-cost CEUs for the SUD counselor and supervisor. Also, keep an eye on the CADTP Counselors’ Calendar of Events for new opportunities!

CADTP is offering a FREE live webinar on July 8, 2020, from Noon to 1:30 as part of its webinar series. The topic is: Romancing the Brain: Changing Neuropathways in Recovery with Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, Executive Director, NAADAC. Register here. Keep an eye out for future webinar series announcements.

ALLCEUs offers over 300 online counseling CEU courses. Course cost varies by topic and there is a limited amount of time to complete the course. AllCEUs is offering a free online course with CEUs after registration – The Psychological Impacts of Quarantine.

American Society of Addiction Medicine offers training on the ASAM and its various applications. Check out the live webinars, many of which are FREE. They also have a library of FREE on-demand videos. All offer one, and up to five CEUs! If you are seeking education on the ASAM, this is a great resource!

Aspira Continuing Education offers package pricing for online education. They currently offer 70 courses for the SUD Counselor. Pricing is $8 per unit (1 hour of training) up to 9 units or $6 per unit for 10+ units. Purchase an annual package and the cost goes down to $4 per unit!

Breining Institute offers a wide selection of courses for the SUD Counselor. This month, don’t miss their featured course Codependency Among Healthcare Professionals. On sale for $9 – a 50% discount. Also, check out their extensive library for low-cost online education. Most classes are $18.

CE4Less.com is currently offering a free 5-hour online ethics course, Ethics and Boundary Issues! Additionally, CEU4less offers a wide variety of online courses for the SUD Counselor for $5.99 each. Or buy an unlimited bundle for $74.99 and take all the classes you want!

CEU By Net offers TAP 21-related courses and free CEUs for addiction and substance abuse counselors. All of their offerings are online. Currently, there are two free courses available for SUD counselors including 1) It’s Not Your Grandpa’s Chevy – Intro to Goals, Clinical Concerns, and Opportunities In Behavioral Health Managed Care and the ACA; 2) Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment.

Department of Healthcare Services is offering two virtual conferences: 1) The California Hub and Spoke Learning Collaborative 2-day Conference (for MAT Expansion Partners): agenda (7/8 – 7/9 Northern Sites) registration and (7/20-7/21 Southern Sites) registration; 2) Substance Use Disorder Statewide Conference 8/24/20) Registration.

Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health is offering a free and accredited online course, Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals. The course includes four sessions and includes five contact hours for SUD counselors.

Mindful Continuing Education is offering one free online course for the SUD Counselor – The Effects of Child Maltreatment on Brain Development. They also have a catalog of 48 titles for the California SUD Counselor. CEUs are $4 per unit or purchase an unlimited subscription for $95.

NAADAC now offers specialty online training to address specific addiction treatment-related education needs. Two online training series are available: 1) Clinical Supervision in the Addiction Profession Specialty Online Training Series; 2) Addiction Treatment in Military & Veteran Culture Specialty Online Training Series. Each series includes six separate webinars. Each webinar costs $25 and virtual attendance is required.

Onsight Strategies is offering three free virtual training courses this month. All require pre-registration, virtual attendance, and provide CEUs upon completion. Free courses include 1) ACES – Adverse Childhood Experiences (7/10/20); 2) How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (7/24/20); The Art of Effective Client Group Facilitation (9/25/20).

Quantum Units Education is currently offering three (3) free 1-hour online courses including 1) Increasing the Effectiveness of Suicide Prevention Strategies; 2) Resilience Factors for People Who Use Drugs; 3) Dual Diagnosis: Understanding Co-Occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders. To take the course, click on the link next to the title. You can download and read the PDF or read the material online and take a quiz.

The Change Company offers online courses in Motivational Interviewing, Interactive Journaling, the ASAM, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Criminality, and a Helping People Change series. Each module is $25 and you have a limited number of days to complete the course.

You can find the full list of CADTP approved providers here: CADTP Approved CEU Providers.

If you have any questions regarding CEUs, please feel free to contact our friendly and knowledgeable certification experts here.