Addiction Counseling Degree Online Programs

Online Bachelors and Masters in Substance Abuse & Counseling Degrees

Online addiction counseling degree and certificate programs are designed for people currently working in a counseling role, or for those seeking entry-level positions within the addiction counseling field.

Online program options include bachelors, master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs. The programs focus on teaching about addictions, essential concepts related to substance abuse counseling, methods for counseling individuals and groups, dependency evaluation, and current research about substance abuse and addictions.

Topics of study also include how to assess, treat, and advise people who are struggling with addiction, as well as how to provide support to the families of clients.

Studying for an addiction counseling degree program online

  • Online programs enable you to prepare for positions in this fast-growing field without needing to attend campus classes. This is especially useful for people who provide services to rural areas, or have positions that require frequent travel or relocation.
  • An online environment creates a dynamic and interactive community of learners through the use of virtual meeting rooms, discussion boards, and online resources.
  • The addiction counseling curriculum includes both theoretical and practical skills needed to succeed in an addiction counseling or general clinical setting. Courses may include chemical and psychological dependency counseling, group counseling, and psychopharmacology.
  • Substance abuse and addiction online programs are especially useful for professionals already involved in addiction prevention and treatment who intend to pursue licensure or certification in the field.

Featured Colleges with Online Addiction Counseling Degree Programs

Grand Canyon University

  • BS in Counseling - Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse
  • MS in Addiction Counseling

Kaplan University

  • BS in Psychology - Substance Abuse

Capella University

  • MS - General Addiction Counseling

Licensure and course requirements for addiction counseling programs

While most courses in an online addiction counseling program are offered online, some programs may have in-person residencies and clinical experiences. Schools may require you to attend weeklong residencies at certain points during the program. These valuable opportunities can have additional costs associated with them, such as travel, lodging, and academic fees.

Master’s degree programs require you to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to apply. Graduate certificate programs generally have the same requirement. Your undergraduate degree can be in several areas, but psychology, education, or behavioral science is most favored for admission.

You must be licensed to work as a substance abuse and behavioral counselor in private practice. This also requires a master’s degree and up to 3,000 hours of supervised clinical practice, as well as passing a state exam. Requirements for counselors outside of private practice vary from state to states. Some states don’t require a specific degree for these positions, but often require you to pass an exam.

Career opportunities with an addiction counseling degree

Around 22.5 million Americans suffer from substance abuse or dependence, according to a survey in 2009 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a result, addiction counseling is a fast-growing field, with a high demand for qualified professionals trained in the areas of addiction prevention, counseling and treatment. You can find positions within mental health clinics, behavioral health centers, hospitals, and detox centers.

The job outlook for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is good, with faster than average growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growth is driven by the large number of people in the US dealing with addictions, including many who are required to seek court-ordered treatment as part of a drug or other offense.

Related degree choices

Online counseling degree programs prepare you to work in a variety of counseling and rehabilitation positions. This may include dealing with issues relating to mental health, addiction, career, school, or disabilities.

Online social work degree programs are designed for people who have a strong interest in making a difference in the community. Socials workers have a variety of roles, including providing advice and support to people dealing with psychological, financial, and health problems.

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