Substance Use Disorders Certificate Program

Practical information and skills to help human service professionals make real differences in the lives of substance abusers

The Substance Use Disorders Certificate Program supplements your professional clinical training by providing pertinent information to help you respond more effectively to people with alcohol and other drug problems. It is a comprehensive series of 6 one-day courses. We strongly recommend that you take the courses in sequence. You may also attend individual programs without working towards the certificate.

At a glance

Class 1: Fundamentals of Substance Abuse and Addiction
Details, register»

Class 2: Substance Abuse, Families, and Trauma-Informed Care
Details, register»

Class 3: Effective Screening, Assessment, and Intervention
Details, register»

Class 4: Cultural Competency in Treatment and Recovery
Details, register»

Class 5: Effective Models for Treatment
Details, register»

Class 6: Motivating Clients for Change
Details, register»

To register by phone call 608-262-2451 or 800-725-9692.

Questions? Contact Liz Nagel at 608-263-7023 or


How will you benefit?

  • You will acquire comprehensive, research-based information about substance abuse
  • You will learn effective ways to respond to substance abusers and their families
  • You will gain confidence when working with people who abuse substances
  • You will learn how to directly apply the information and skills to your work setting

Frequently asked questions

Can anyone take these classes?
Yes, the program is designed to help professionals from a wide range of fields acquire the basic education and skill building they need to work more effectively with persons who have substance-use disorders. There are no prerequisites. Counselors, nurses, school personnel, clergy, psychologists, and military personnel have attended and benefitted from the program.

Do I have to take all 6 classes in order?
No. Although we would prefer that you do, we understand that time and money constraints sometimes make this impossible. Since the series is taught twice each calendar year you can take up to two years to complete the classes to earn the Certificate of Completion.

Do I have to register and pay for all 6 classes at once?
No, you can register prior to each workshop. You must pay in advance by check or credit card or send an agency purchase-order prior to attending the workshop.

Can I take some of the courses without committing to the whole Certificate Program?
Yes. If you are not seeking the Certificate of Completion you can take any individual class. Later, if you decide to complete the Certificate Program, the classes will count towards that goal.

Does the certificate Program certify me to become a Substance Abuse Counselor?
No. These class hours count towards the 100 hours needed to become a Substance Abuse Counselor In Training (SAC-IT) with the Wisconsin Dept. of Safety and Professional Services. For more details on requirements, refer to the WI Dept of Safety and Professional Services at»

How will this course help me in my career?
People report that the Certificate has given them the edge in their agency when layoffs occurred, helped them be hired over someone else who had no specialized training in this area, or allowed them to branch out to new clients through their agency or private practice. People regularly enroll from out of state.

Continuing education

CEUs: 0.6 (6 hours) per class are awarded from the UW-Madison for full participation. View complete CEU information here»

General information

Times: Registration 8:30am; workshops run 9am-4pm each day

Fee: $150 each class. The fee includes instruction, materials, breaks, CEUs, and a non-refundable administrative fee of $25.

Cancellation policy: If you are unable to attend or arrange for a substitute, you may obtain a refund minus the $25 administrative fee by contacting our registration department at least 3 business days prior to the program. If you cancel 3 business days or less before the program, or do not attend, you are responsible for the entire fee. To cancel or arrange for a substitute, please call 800-725-9692.

Location: All programs take place at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon St. in Madison, Wisconsin on the beautiful UW-Madison campus. Information about overnight accommodation can also be found on our information page. For more information about visiting the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, see the campus information and visitor center Web page.

For more information: If you have any questions, contact Contact Liz Nagel at 608-263-7023 or, or call our toll free number 800-442-2617. Join the mailing list for this program by e-mailing your name and address to