How Do I Get Certified In Addiction Counseling
In most states, you must complete a masters degree program in substance abuse counseling or a related field to become licensed as an addiction counselor. You may also need to complete an internship or accrue a set amount of professional experience.
Once youve met those requirements, youll need to pass the examination that your state uses for licensure purposes. One common example is the test for NCC AP Certification from NAADAC. After passing, submit all required documentation to your state licensing board.
NAADAC offers three levels of certification, so you can continue to advance your credentials.
Master Of Arts: Addiction Counseling Concentration
Addiction counselors help patients overcome dependence on drugs, alcohol, and destructive behaviors like gambling. Counselors intervene when patients are often at their lowest points in their struggles with addiction. A certified drug and alcohol counselor may also work with the families of addicts to assist the healing process. These professionals may work in outpatient facilities, inpatient rehabilitation centers, halfway houses, or hospitals. Often, a certified addiction counselor has a personal passion for the work some have overcome substance abuse themselves, or have witnessed a loved one’s struggle. People may also be drawn to this specialty because they can make a real difference at work every day.
UNC Charlottes Master of Arts in Addiction Counselingprepares the student to work effectively in various treatment settings and with a variety of addictive behaviors. Students will learn how to assess the needs of the client, create treatment plans, help the client set goals and refer them to critical resources. Through coursework, practicum, and internships, students will learn how to help clients identify unhelpful behaviors and teach them important coping skills. Students will learn how to employ a wide range of clinical skills and methods, including how to engage families in the recovery process.
Sample Courses For An Ms In Addiction Counseling
To earn a masters degree in addiction counseling, youll need to take classes in the science of addiction and the art of counseling. Some classes may include practical components in which youll get to try out your skills in real-life settings.
You may take classes like:
- Addiction and Mental Health Disorders: Substance abuse disorders often co-occur with other mental health conditions. In this class, you can learn about providing integrated treatment that addresses multiple disorders.
- Addiction Treatment Theories: This course covers various approaches to treating substance abuse disorders and can give you a framework for how to apply certain theories best.
- Counseling Approaches for Substance Abuse Treatment: You may discuss group sessions, family therapy, inpatient care, and pharmacology in this class.
- Human Lifespan Development: This course is valuable for gaining an understanding of normal development and complications that sometimes arise.
- Tests and Assessments for Addiction Counseling: You can learn to use screening tools to help you identify substance abuse disorders and related conditions.
- Youth Addiction: In this class, not only can you learn about counseling young people with addictions, but you can also discuss prevention methods and discuss family support.
Your program may also include a practicum class in which you can gain professional experience and may be able to earn clinical hours.
Read Also: How To Cure Sugar Addiction
Accreditation For Addiction Counseling Programs
There are a variety of addiction counseling programs that are available online and on-campus and prepare students for rewarding careers in the many facets and fields of substance abuse counseling.
The Department of Education in the United States denotes that there are two fundamental types of accreditation in the education realm. These include regional or institutional accreditation or specialized or programmatic accreditation. Most substance abuse or addiction counseling programs are regionally accredited by one of the federal governments regional accrediting agencies managed by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The process of institutional accreditation refers to the evaluation of an entire institution of higher education. It assesses how each of the schools parts contributes to the schools performance against a set of objective criteria. The following list includes the six regional accrediting agencies that represent various sections of the United States.
Specialized programmatic accreditation refers to the accreditation of a program or a department within a larger higher learning institution. The accredited unit could be a solitary degree or refer to an entire school/college within a large metro university.
CACREP The Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Education Programs
Universities Offering Online Masters In Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Programs
Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.
Arizona State University offers an online program for a Master of Science in Addiction Psychology. To graduate, students must complete 15 courses, including Addiction and Substance Abuse: Assessment and Diagnosis, Psychopharmacology, and more. Each class is 7.5 weeks long. Students must also participate in a practicum.
Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts is a private, liberal arts college with an annual enrollment of about 2,000 undergraduates. This Roman Catholic school has applied for university status with its application currently under review.
The college was founded in 1904 by the Catholic order Augustinians of the Assumption. The original campus was located on a tract of hillside land in Greendale, Worcester. In 1956, the school relocated to Salisbury Street located on the west side of the city. The colleges athletic team is called the Greyhounds and competes in the NCAA Division II Northeast 10.
- Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling
Assumption College is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Bethel is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.
CalSouthern is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission.
- Masters in Addiction Counseling
Also Check: How To Control Alcohol Addiction
Online Counseling Degrees For Career Change
The Association for Addiction Professionals offers drug and alcohol counselor certification for licensed professionals looking to redirect their careers. Programs include:
- Nicotine Dependence Specialist
- National Endorsed Co-Occurring Disorders Professional
- National Peer Recovery Support Specialist
- Recover to Practice Certificate
- Conflict Resolution in Recovery Certificate
The NBCC also offers specialty counseling certifications and training in areas of addictions and clinical mental health. Counselors still need to seek out the specified regulations of their state counseling boards in order to acquire licensure to practice in their state.
Dont have a background in psychology? Dont worry. Teachers, ministers and healthcare aides often cross over into counseling careers. Many who hold bachelors degrees in the liberal arts, philosophy, religion, humanities or social science go on to earn a masters in counseling. Consider enrolling in an online substance abuse course to kick off your career transition.
Substance Abuse Counselor Responsibilities:
- Managing all aspects of a case from date of entry to date of discharge.
- Evaluating patients’ physical and mental behaviors.
- Developing appropriate treatment and recovery plans.
- Facilitating individual and group therapy sessions.
- Monitoring patients over time to access treatment progress.
- Collaborating with psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, social workers, and departments of correction.
- Identifying behaviors that interfere with treatment and recovery.
- Assisting primary caregivers to manage addiction-related behavior.
Read Also: How Many Americans Are Addicted To Opioids
Substance Abuse Social Worker
As a social worker, you could be a caseworker for people with addictions. With training and licensure, you could provide addiction counseling services as a licensed clinical social worker in a mental health clinic or a rehab facility.
You could also work in a hospital or rehab setting, overseeing discharges and identifying solutions to help patients overcome their addictions once they leave.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
Substance abuse social workers generally meet with a client and their family to set a substance abuse treatment plan that they hold them accountable to. This can also involve referring them to other services and staying in contact with their probation officer.
They educate both the patient and their loved ones to ensure that the individual has the best chances of staying drug and alcohol-free.
You can pursue a Master of Social Work online or on-campus. Quite often, there is no GRE requirement or it can be waived for qualified applicants. If you want to finish your program more quickly, there are also a few accelerated social work degree programs available.
What Can You Do With A Masters In Addiction Counseling
Along with the industry certifications that are required, the online MS in Addictions Counseling will provide you with the education needed to work with substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health patients. You will have the opportunity to learn the skills needed to provide integral counseling and recovery treatment plans to patients and their families who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, mental health issues, or other mental or behavioral problems.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected rise in employment for professionals in the addictions and behavioral health industry is very positive at 23% by the year 2026. This is considerably higher than the 7% national average. With a wide variety of employment settings to choose from, including mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, government agencies, prisons, and private practice, employment opportunities will continue to grow as the number of people seeking addiction and mental health treatment continues to rise.
Also Check: How Does Suboxone Work For Addiction
Is There A Specialty For Alcohol Abuse Counseling
Yes, there are specialized counselors who focus on providing alcohol counseling. In most cases, they will hold the same license as a professional counselor or substance abuse counselor. They may have had additional training specific to recognizing and treating alcohol addiction and related disorders, such as a postgraduate certificate or other formal training.
References: 1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors: 2. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors: 3. O*NET OnLine, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors: 4. National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers: 5. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections:
Online Master’s Degree In Addiction Counseling
A masters degree is where an addiction counselor’s career really takes off. This academic credential qualifies the holder for a CATC IV certification which is only bested by counselors who hold a doctoral degree. Many substance abuse counselors will pursue a master of science in addiction counseling which will enable them to sit for the CATC IV examination and thus achieve full certification.
Since the California board acknowledges other relevant degrees, students who earn a masters degree in clinical psychology or clinical mental health counseling can potentially become an addiction or substance abuse counselor. They must first become licensed by the state, but a counselor with a masters degree from an accredited university should be able to work with patients suffering from substance abuse disorders. They might also consider taking the CATC IV exam if they wish to make addiction counseling a primary focus for their career. However, licensed counselors should consider this option carefully and investigate whether they truly need the CATC IV credential.
Read Also: How To Beat Nicotine Addiction
Certificate Jobs And Salary In Addiction Counseling
As you consider the many options of a career in addiction counseling, before making any final decisions, be sure to find several examples of a substance abuse counseling job description to ensure you have a solid understanding of the substance abuse counseling job description. In addition, be certain to answer these questions
- Are there substance abuse counseling jobs near me that will meet my career objectives?
- Are there part-time substance abuse counseling jobs that would allow me to further my education?
- Can I find online substance abuse counseling jobs that would meet my salary requirements?
- Are there substance abuse counseling jobs near me that would pay me to attend graduate school?
The above-noted questions are just a few of the many important questions to ask as you consider the many certificate job and salary options available.
Mental Health Treatment Options
There are various treatment options for mental health issues. Its important to remember that everyones mental health journey is different. What works for you might not work for someone else. One of the most commons treatments for mental illness or when someone is struggling with their mental health is psychotherapy.
You May Like: How To Convince An Addict To Get Help
Find A Substance Abuse Counselor Program Today
GetEducated offers pertinent information about online degrees available to those seeking entry into new careers, professional transitions, and any credential that can push adults forward in todays competitive marketplace. Click the link below to start your search for online substance abuse counseling degrees!
How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor
People with substance abuse disorders face many struggles, and they depend on the involvement of qualified, educated professionals to help them overcome their addictions.
The path to becoming a licensed addictions counselor usually involves earning a masters degree. You need to draw on your graduate education time and again as you work with addicted people and their loved ones.
To become an addiction counselor:
These requirements can vary by state, and some states require only a bachelors degree in addiction counseling , and work experience.
Also Check: How To Fight Addiction Urges
What Kind Of Institutions Hire Substance Abuse Counselors
A relatively long list of institutions hire substance abuse counselors with most looking for full-time employees. Substance abuse counselors may find they have to work nights or weekends to accommodate clients schedules. They should also be flexible in case a client is in crisis day or night.
- Drug and alcohol treatment centers
Online Phd Degree In Addiction Counseling
The top degree level for addiction counselors is the PhD or doctorate degree. This academic achievement enables degree holders to sit for and hold a CATC V certification. This level of academic achievement is surely less common that a masters degree, but it will enable the holder to earn more and rise higher in their career. A doctoral degree is more likely to enable the holder to work as a supervisor in a rehabilitation clinic. Those who enter into private counseling practice will be able to charge more for their services, as well.
Students should make sure that their PhD program is fully accredited and accepted by the California Board. While a doctoral degree requires many years of study that culminate in a lengthy dissertation, addiction counselors should all consider this academic degree and the subsequent high-status certification from the California board. Not only does this credential open many doors to employment, but those with this credential have an easier time publishing articles and research papers.
Read Also: The Addiction Center Of Broome County
The Master Of Science In Addiction Counseling Curriculum
The goal of the Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is to provide a practitioner training program focused on the unique needs of diverse communities, especially in rural settings. The program is committed to training you as an entry-level addiction counselor to work competently and ethically through the mastery of evidence-based counseling practices. Our focus centers on preparing you to understand the unique needs of persons with substance use and behavioral health disorders and to assist clients in learning to use their own resources and opportunities to meet their developmental, educational and interpersonal needs.
The curriculum of the TTUHSC MSAC program consists of 60 semester credit hours and includes addiction-specific clinical experiences. Classes include:
- Psychopathology and Diagnosis
- Abnormal Behavior: Treatment Planning and Case Management
- Multicultural Counseling
Online Associate Degree In Addiction Counseling
In California, substance abuse counselors can start their careers with an associate degree. The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California provides credentials to students who have completed an associate degree from a regionally accredited college or university in addiction studies or a related field within the behavioral/health science field.
For those who desire a long-term career as an addiction counselor but who don’t yet have a degree, an associate degree is a perfect place to start. Community college credits are typically cheaper than those from a four-year college or university and they will result in licensure and an entry-level position in two years or so. Those who wish to start work in a rehabilitation clinic before graduation can work as a registered addiction counselor who is not yet certified but who is working toward that end. Others can accrue experience as registered interns and thus gain credits along with their experience.
You May Like: What Is In Alcohol That Makes It Addictive
Want To Make A Difference
If youre serious about earning your masters in addiction counseling, here are some next steps to take:
Once you enroll, youll be on your way to gaining the skills necessary to help people manage their addictions and maintain healthier lifestyles, and thats something you can feel very good about.
What Is A Substance Abuse Counselor
A drug and alcohol abuse counselor is a person with experience in providing treatment to clients who want to learn how to reduce or remove their unhealthy dependence on destructive substances and behaviors. Counselors work with individuals, families, couples, and groups to share a variety of techniques and treatments for coping with problems in ways other than turning to unhealthy substances.
People abuse alcohol or drugs for a myriad of reasons, often as a way to deal with stress and problems in their lives. A person doesnt have to be addicted to a substance to be abusing it. Substance abuse is similar to addiction in that a person enjoys the mind-altering effects, whether physical, emotional, or psychological. When abusing, a person may spend less time going to work or school or being social, since stress in those areas of life can be the trigger that leads to addictive behavior. Counseling a person who is dealing with substance abuse, before it becomes dependence or addiction, requires treatment and a recovery plan, but generally on a lesser scale than if the condition moves to full-blown addiction.
Also Check: How To Stop Your Addiction To Food