United States Substance Abuse Counseling Graduate Programs
Graduate Substance Abuse Counselor Programs prepare students to help patients struggling with dependency and addiction. This may include evaluating clients, creating and enacting best treatment plans, and supporting families impacted by addiction.
Substance Abuse Graduate Programs
Graduate Substance Abuse Counselor Programs may touch on several different types of dependency, including drug and alcohol use, and explore possible treatments and solutions. Classes may also examine the many top psychological factors impacting substance abuse, and hone the rehabilitation counseling skills and knowledge you may use to help patients in the field.
Programs may be offered at the masters and doctorate levels, both on campus and online.
Types of Substance Abuse Counselor Programs : Addiction Counselor Degree Programs
Addiction counseling, drug abuse, and substance abuse counseling degrees may be available at variety of levels. Each one may carry unique potential benefits and goals. While most programs would cover core topics in counseling and addiction, the specific requirements and coursework may vary. Some may even concentrate on specific types of addiction, or certain substance abuse counseling techniques. Consider your goals, experience and areas of interest to determine which Substance Abuse Counselor programs may be perfect for you.
Masters in Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Programs
Earning Masters Degree in Addiction Counseling psychology could help you to develop a comprehensive understanding of psychological and chemical dependency, as well as different ways to combat it. Programs like this may be an attractive option for those hoping to practice substance abuse counseling in a private practice or who want to conduct an addiction counseling program in a private setting. That's because a masters degree typically is the minimum requirement for pursuing a state license.i (Check with your state regulating board to learn more about what that entails.) Students may be able to complete a substance abuse masters program in around two years of full time study. However, program length may vary by school.
Masters in Substance Abuse Counseling Programs may also be offered under different names. These include Masters in Addiction Counseling, M.S. in Substance Abuse, or Master of Arts in Human Services – Addictions and Recovery. However, whatever they’re called, each may cover a standard track of similar coursework. Some courses you might take in a Masters in Substance Abuse Counseling program are listed below.
- Theories of counseling
- Group counseling
- Addiction and substance abuse and recovery
- Clinical diagnosis and treatment planning
- Stress, grief, and trauma
In addition to coursework, to earn a Masters Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling, you may be required to complete one or more counseling internships, or another form of supervised experience. Check with your preferred programs for details. (And keep in mind that to earn a state license, you’ll need to complete between 2,000 and 4,000 hours of supervised practice!)i
Doctorate in Substance Abuse Counseling Programs
Several different types of substance abuse counseling doctoral programs maybe offered. These include options like a PhD in Addiction Studies, a Doctor of Psychology or PsyD in Substance Abuse, or D.S.W. (Doctor of Social Work) in Addictions and Social. A doctoral program may emphasize substance abuse counseling theory and practice, and related research. Practicum and internship elements may also be an important part of some programs.
So what might you study in a doctoral program? Here’s a sampling of potential knowledge areas.
- Ethical and legal issues in counseling
- Research in rehabilitation
- Rehabilitation counseling supervision
Most doctorate in addiction counseling programs require 2-4 years of full time study and may have a dissertation requirement. Additionally, a masters degree may be needed for entry. Programs and schools vary so visit our directory of doctorate degree in substance abuse counseling to learn more and contact schools.
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
- Psychology of drug use
- 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.
How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse counselors typically must meet minimum educational requirements and hold a state license or certification. However the specific requirements might vary depending on the state where you live, the type of practice you hope to potentially work in, and the type of services you plan to offer.
Drug and alcohol counselors who plan to work in a private practice often need to hold a state license. This typically requires at least a masters in substance abuse counseling or a related area, as well as anywhere from 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. You may also need to pass an exam and pursue continuing education every year, among other possible requirements. Check with your state’s regulating board for the specifics!i
If you do not plan to work in a private practice, credential requirements may vary. Some may not even have a specific drug and alcohol counseling degree requirements. That said, many may require certification and the passing of an exam to practice.
Employers typically require a bachelors degree for entry level positions. However, counselors with graduate level education may be able to provide a wider range of services to their clients, such as one-on-one counseling.i While the specific figures may vary by position, the average substance abuse counselor salary was $42,150 in 2016. i
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 Accreditationii– 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, it’s 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 (blended) 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 you’d like to explore substance abuse as it pertains to social work, maybe pursuing a D.S.W. (Doctor of Social Work) makes more sense.
Find a List of Substance Abuse Counselor Schools Today
Below, you’ll find some sponsored listings for Graduate Substance Abuse Counselor Programs that may catch your eye! Sort by program level (certificate, masters, or doctorate) and format (campus, online, and hybrid) to customize your list. Then follow the links to learn more and contact schools for more information. Or even start applying to Substance Abuse Counseling Degree Programs today!
Northcentral UniversityUpcoming Start Date: November 19, 2018
The Addictions specialization prepares mental health practitioners to develop knowledge and expertise in the area of substance abuse, addictions and addictive behaviors. You will explore the dynamics of substance abuse and dependence including drugs,...
Get ready to advance your social work career with an online Master of Social Work (MSW) from Walden University. This online master’s degree program helps you develop the skills needed to become a social worker.
Grand Canyon University
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Loyola University Chicago
This program is for those post master's social workers and other health professionals.
Nova Southeastern University
Counseling, M.S. - Substance Abuse Counseling and EducationUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
The master’s degree in Counseling with a Substance Abuse Counseling and Education concentration (60 credit hours) is an innovative academic program designed for the working professional actively involved in or entering the field of Substance Abuse Coun..
- Center City, MNCenter City, MN
Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies
This program provides you with a strong foundation in addiction treatment, with advanced course work in mental health counseling.
- Center City, MN
- Reno, NVReno, NV
University of Nevada, Reno
- Liverpool, United KingdomLiverpool, United Kingdom
Liverpool John Moores University
Liverpool John Moores University, (or JMU as we are known by ourfriends) is one of the largest universities in the United Kingdom. We have more than 2...
- Riverdale, CARiverdale, CA
Manhattan CollegeUpcoming Start Date: December 17, 2018
Manhattan College's Counseling Psychology program consists of a school track and substance abuse track. The school track leads to NY certification as a School Counselor and the substance abuse track is approved for the CASAC certification in NY.
- Clinton, CTClinton, CT
The mission of the Addiction Counseling Program is to help students acquire core competencies, as well as specialized knowledge...
- Dublin, IrelandDublin, Ireland
The College is located in the heart of Dublin, on the axis linking Trinity College to St. Stephen's Green.
Mid-America Christian University
The Master of Science in Counseling emphasis in Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling is a 45 hour program designed to meet...
- Portland, ORPortland, OR
Lewis & Clark College
The Addictions Counseling program readies students to become fully prepared to work with the realities of dual-diagnosis.
Nova Southeastern UniversityUpcoming Start Date: January 07, 2019
The master’s degree in Counseling with a Substance Abuse Counseling concentration (48 credit hours) is an innovative academic program designed for the working professional actively involved in or entering the field of Substance Abuse Counseling...
- Springfield, MASpringfield, MA
Alcohol and substance abuse has been a steadily increasing social problem for some time. Various rehabilitation programs are responding to meet the ne...
- Greensboro, NCGreensboro, NC
North Carolina A&T State University
- Toronto, ONToronto, ON
University of Toronto
The goal of the Collaborative Program in Addiction Studies (CoPAS) at the University of Toronto is to develop and integrate graduate training in the m...
- Hayward, CAHayward, CA
California State University, East Bay
The California State University, East Bay Certificate in Chemical Dependency Studies enhances the skills of substance abuse...
- Lethbridge, ABLethbridge, AB
University of Lethbridge
The Master of Science program offers students in a wide range of disciplines the opportunity to earn a Master's degree by writing a thesis and successfully completing a limited number of courses...
- Wilmington, NCWilmington, NC
University of North Carolina Wilmington
The 49-semester hour substance abuse treatment psychology concentration focuses on the use of psychotherapy in the treatment of substance abuse.