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Master Of Science In Addiction Counseling

Why Get A Degree In Substance Abuse Counseling

Master of Science in Counseling

Earning a substance abuse counseling degree can prepare learners for rewarding careers in a variety of settings. Degree-holders may work in mental health centers, prisons, or juvenile detention facilities. Graduates with a master’s degree can earn licensure and start their own practice.

An online master’s in substance abuse counseling provides flexibility. Students can gain experience while earning their degree. All states require related work experience for certification.

Masters Degree In Clinical Counseling Overview

Clinical mental health counseling, like many of the helping professions, is vital to building a healthy and prosperous society. If you want to join this field as a professional mental health counselor, start your higher education with a CACREP-accredited masters in clinical counseling degree at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant today.

In your masters in clinical counseling degree program, youll develop skills and expertise in professional counseling, diagnosing, treating, and guiding individuals and groups as they work to overcome disability, grow, and embrace change. In the program youll gain valuable, hands-on experience counseling individuals who are struggling with anxiety, depression, grief, loss, anger management, infidelity, and other issues. Throughout the graduate program, youll receive the training and preparation you need in the counseling profession to become an outstanding clinical mental health counselor.

Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate Programs

A graduate certificate in substance abuse counseling may be useful for counselors from other specialties who wish to expand their practices, as well as experienced addiction counselors who want to learn more about a certain topic.

Unlike a Masters in Addiction Counseling degree, this credential is not a graduate degree. However, with a shorter completion time, a graduate certificate may be a great way to explore new knowledge areas or pursue continuing education. You could sample substance abuse counseling coursework or, if you are already engaged in the field, gain new skills and knowledge. Some addiction certificate programs may even count towards continuing education requirements to maintain licensure. Check with you state for details.

Potential courses you could take include the following.

  • Social work intervention
  • Addictions rehabilitation
  • Tobacco control and prevention

Programs vary. To see what addiction certificate programs may be available to you and learn more, check out our directory and contact schools directly.

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Ccmh/: Introduction To Clinical Assessment

3 Credits

This course introduces students to models and tools of assessment and diagnosis for the purpose of developing competency in evaluation and treatment planning for professional counseling practice. Students learn about and practice intake assessment techniques, mental status examinations, using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, outcome-based treatment planning, and behavioral analysis. Emphasis is placed on writing clear, accurate, and useful assessments and treatment plans. Multicultural and ethical issues in assessment are also explored.

The University Of Buffalo

Top 15 Online Schools for Master

Buffalo, New York

Tuition: $11,310

The University of Buffalo has an interesting accelerated online Masters in Addiction Counseling degree for working professionals. This degree is only available as an online program for students who reside within a 75-mile radius of the schools campus. The program is fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs it also holds accreditation from the New York State Education Department. It is possible to sit for licensure as a certified rehabilitation counselor. The online program is available as a part-time plan of study and can be completed in three years or less. Students will find that courses are held asynchronously or synchronously and in 16-week sessions. This masters degree requires 48 credit hours of coursework, 800 experiential contact hours, and a comprehensive written and oral exit exam. Courses include Rehabilitation Foundations, Foundations of Counseling Theory, and Medical and Psychosocial Aspects of Disability.

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Choosing A Graduate Substance Abuse Counseling Program

So, how might you choose from the potential Substance Abuse Graduate programs that could help you prepare for a counseling career path? There are lots of important factors to keep in mind. Here are three big ones.

  • Program Accreditation Be sure your school is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This may be a good indicator of program quality. Plus, its necessary to be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Program Format You may be able to choose from potential programs on campus, online, or in a hybrid format. One possible benefit of pursuing a Graduate Substance Abuse Counselor Degree online or partly-online is that you could potentially study at the times that work best for you. For busy working students, flexibility may make all the difference! Or if you prefer in person interactions and learning, consider on campus programs. This may allow for more hands on learning and access to extended campus facilities.
  • Curriculum and Focus Be sure to evaluate potential Graduate Substance Abuse Counselor Programs based on your career goals, and what you hope to learn. For example, if you are interested in addiction counseling, perhaps earning an M.S. in Substance Abuse Counseling is the perfect path. If youd like to explore substance abuse as it pertains to social work, maybe pursuing a D.S.W. makes more sense.
Top States for Employment for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers


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Health Care Delivery To Meet Critical Care Needs

As an addiction counselor, you will provide and coordinate services for people with a range of substance use disorders such as alcohol or drug use, or other behavioral addiction and health issues. Youll provide treatment and support working with clients individually and in group sessions. You will teach clients how to cope with stress and lifes problems in ways that help them recover and maintain a healthier lifestyle. You may also work in facilities that involve interprofessional relationships with other health care providers.

An integral part of the TTUHSC MASC curriculum is an emphasis on telehealth. This model of distance-based service provision is a cutting-edge technique growing in practice and acceptance nationwide and globally. With the critical and growing need to provide essential health care to underserved populations across diverse geographic locations, telehealth will continue to play an increasingly important role in patient care.

All MSAC program graduates receive a certificate in telehealth.

The University Of Louisiana At Monroe

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Monroe, Louisiana

Tuition: $6,490

The University of Louisiana at Monroe is home to an accelerated online Masters in Addiction Counseling degree that was designed for professionals who are interested in earning the right to sit for professional counselor licensure. This program is accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. Students will find that this is an online degree that is available 100 percent through the schools learning management system courses are available asynchronously or synchronously and run in 16-week sessions. Students can expect to complete this masters degree in three years or less when they choose to study full-time. More information on this program and its graduation requirements can be found by contacting the schools graduate admissions office. These programs can help those with co occurring disorders as well as many more.

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Highlights Of Liberty Universitys Addiction Counseling Masters Program Online

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility. Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank among Niche.coms top 3 online schools in America. Earning your online addiction counseling degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 7 years and counting.
  • Gain hands-on experience in the field as you complete your internship in addictions counseling.
  • You can complete your masters degree in substance abuse counseling in as little as 2 years.

The Importance Of An Accredited Education

Accredited institutions, such as Drexel University, offer an education that meets specific standards set by a review board that examines the quality and continued development of curriculum. To ensure that there is no bias, accrediting bodies are not affiliated with any government agencies. However, the government does look to accrediting bodies to uphold a high standard among colleges and universities throughout the country.

Degrees earned from accredited universities and colleges further safeguard your education and its impact upon your future career path. When evaluating candidates, most employers look more favorably upon degrees earned from accredited colleges and universities, knowing that prospective employees will be able to put their education to good use in a professional setting.

Your education is an investment in yourself. Learn more about our accredited programs and let Drexel University help you achieve your fullest potential.

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Addiction Studies Career Opportunities:

Q: What careers can I pursue with a low-cost Masters degree in Addiction Studies?

With a Masters degree in Addiction Studies, youll be able to work in a variety of professional settings, including school settings, social service organizations, hospitals, prisons, private practices, and more. Generally, graduates with Masters degrees in Addiction Studies will pursue counseling related careers, like Addictions Counselors, Mental Health Counselors, Social Service Managers, and School Counselors.

Q: What kind of salary can I expect in this field?

Like with most careers, your salary will depend on your specific job. But, according to Payscale, you can expect the average salary in this field to be $59,000.

In addition, based on data from 2018, the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics shares the following mean annual wage:

Addictions Counselor: $44,160

Social Service Manager: $65,320 per year

School Counselor: $56,310 per year

Q: What knowledge and skills will I need to acquire to become a Substance Abuse Counselor?

To be successful in any career, youll need both education and experience in that field. But on top of that, youll also need to acquire a professional skillset specific to that job. If you plan to become a Substance Abuse Counselor, some skills/aspects of the position you should master include:

  • one-on-one counseling
  • an understanding of the cultural, social, and behavioral influences that can impact addiction
  • family education and support

Ccmh/: Research Methods For Mental Health Counselors

Amy Schuring

3 Credits

This course provides an overview of the fundamentals of research and evaluation in the counseling profession. Topics include critical analysis of research literature, statistical analysis, qualitative and quantitative research methods, needs assessment, and program evaluation. Emphasis is placed on understanding connections between research design, theories, and the utilization of results in the professional practice of counseling.

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The University Of Oklahoma

Online Master of Prevention Science

Tuition: $6,583

The University of Oklahoma is home to an accelerated online Masters in Addiction Counseling degree program that was designed to prepare students to become addiction specialists in the counseling field in two years or less. This 100 percent online program will prepare students to sit for the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortiums Certified Prevention Specialist credential. All courses for this online masters degree are available online through the schools learning management system and are delivered in asynchronous or synchronous sessions offered in 16-week terms. Students will find that this masters degree does not require an internship for graduation it also does not meet the educational requirements to earn professional counseling licensure in any state. Students will be required to complete a minimum of 33 credit hours of coursework, such as a graduate level course in multicultural counseling, a research project, and a comprehensive written exit exam. Sample courses include Prevention Across the Lifespan, Foundations in Prevention Science, and Research Methods in Interdisciplinary Studies.

This ranking was updated in July 2020.

Careers In Addiction Counseling

Substance abuse counselors work in an array of capacities and settings. They work as counselors, therapists, educators, program and case administrators or facilitators, or in any number of other roles. They might work in public, private, or non-profit institutions on a local, state, or national scale, and they might work independently or with others as a part of a program, support system, or treatment facility. Substance abuse counselors work wherever there is a need for substance abuse counseling, education, or treatment. To learn more about how to become a substance abuse counselor, contact your selected school or program for details.i

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Mfcc/: Advanced Marriage And Family Therapy

3 Credits

This course requires students to apply marriage and family theory and skills acquired throughout the program and allows them to gain a deeper understanding of working with diverse families. Students will go through the process, from intake to termination, of working with a family in a role-play setting incorporating practical applications of assessment, treatment planning, therapeutic interventions, progress notes, and termination summaries. Family interventions will be emphasized, including interventions for families in acute and chronic crisis, and for various ethnic family systems.

What Is Substance Abuse Counseling

Mental Health Counseling Student on Becoming a Clinician | PCOM

Substance abuse counseling is a specialized area of counseling devoted to treating, advising, and rehabilitating people living with drug and alcohol abuse challenges. Note that substance abuse counseling is not the same as rehabilitation counseling, which focuses on helping people with injuries or disabilities.

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The Purdue Global Commitment

At Purdue Global, we stand behind the quality of our education and our commitment to you. Thats why we introduced the Purdue Global Commitment. Take undergraduate courses for 3 weeks before you owe any tuition.

Experience real classes for real credits before making a decision. If at any point during this 3-week introductory period you decide were not right for you, you can opt out with no tuition cost or other financial obligation to Purdue Global, except for the application fee.

Apply Addiction Expertise To Individual And Family Therapy

Substance use and addictive disorders are complex problems that require the attention of specially trained counselors. By earning your certificate in addiction counseling, you will be fully prepared to lead individuals out of the depths of addiction, as well as to work with groups and whole families affected by addiction. A Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate may prepare you to pursue positions in any of the following settings:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
  • Hospitals and private practice clinics
  • Social service agencies
  • Community-based organizations
  • Schools and universities

Substance abuse counselors are typically responsible for evaluating clients, identifying underlying issues, creating goals and treatment plans, leading group therapy sessions and working with clients in one-on-one sessions. They may also teach clients coping techniques, help them find jobs to get their lives back on track and provide updates to court-mandated programs.

Online courses for this program are generally 8 weeks. The following courses have different lengths:

  • PCN-640 – Specialization in Professional Counseling – 8 weeks.
  • PCN-501 – Introduction to Addictions and Substance Use Disorders – 8 weeks.
  • PCN-529 – Co-Occurring Disorders – 8 weeks.
  • PCN-531 – Family Issues and Addictive Disorders – 8 weeks.
  • PCN-535 – Counseling Chemical Dependency Adolescents – 8 weeks.

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Does Graduation From This Program Lead To Licensure

The graduate study program is approved by the California Board of Behavioral Science, which means that graduates are eligible for licensure as licensed professional clinical counselors in the state of California upon completion of post-degree intern hours and passing of the licensure exams. Candidates for licensure as an LPCC in California are required to complete a total of 3,000 hours of supervised professional experience after the completion of the masters degree. Candidates must then pass written examinations for licensure. Continuing education is required to maintain the license. If you wish to practice in a state or region other than California, please contact that state/regions licensure board for that specific information.

Notice for International Applicants

It is important to note that due to their visa status and The California Board of Behavioral Sciences post-graduate supervised hours requirement, international students will likely be unable to obtain certification/licensure in the US post-degree completion.

International applicants interested in obtaining licensure outside of California should review the certification/licensure requirements of those other states or countries

Impact The Lives Of Others With A Post


In 2017, over 70,000 people in the U.S. lost their lives because of a drug overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The statistics on the drug epidemic are alarming. If you feel called to work toward saving lives and strengthening communities, consider earning your addiction counseling certificate at Grand Canyon University. The Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate program is designed for working professionals who hold a masters or doctoral degree in counseling, behavioral health, social work, nursing or a related field.

Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this addiction counseling certificate examines the assessment, treatment and aftercare of substance abuse and addictive disorders. It explores co-occurring disorders and best practices in working with chemically dependent adolescents. There is a focus on Christian principles and biblical truths. Aspiring counselors are encouraged to explore addictions in light of the Christian worldview, and to look for appropriate ways of integrating faith into their practice.

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