The professional field of Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling is growing, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The disease of addiction impacts countless individuals, couples, and families in our country and we are beginning to recognize addiction as a public health issue that needs serious attention, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Degrees Available in Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling
Many schools are emphasizing and offering high quality training and specializations in substance abuse and addictions counseling. No matter where you are in your education and career, a specialization in substance abuse and addictions counseling can help you to be more marketable in the workplace and/or give you a competitive edge when applying for graduate school. Following are four lists of schools offering associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and certifications, all in substance abuse and addictions counseling, and all are offered online. We are confident you will find an online program to meet your educational and professional goals here.
Professions Specializing in Substance Abuse
Individuals that work in the field of human services will inevitably find themselves working with clients suffering from the disease of substance abuse and addiction. There are many professionals that will encounter individuals impacted by addiction, such as teachers, doctors, parole officers, counselors and therapists to name a few. There are also many places of employment where professionals will work with individuals, couples, and families struggling with issues related to addiction including:
- Mental Health Clinics
- Social Service Agencies
- Jails and Prisons
- Drop in Crisis Clinics
- Homeless Shelters
- Residential Treatment Centers
- Private Practice
Responsibilities of Specialists and Counselors
Depending on your level of education and the corresponding certification you may choose to complete after receiving your degree, there are a variety of responsibilities that professionals will find themselves engaged in with clients. Responsibilities of substance abuse and addictions specialists and counselors and therapists include: providing prevention, education, outreach, case management, and advocacy services; offering assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance use and co-occurring disorders; providing recovery support; providing individual, couple, family, and group therapy; and often offering crisis intervention services.
For more information check out the Association for Addiction Professionals website which provides comprehensive and detailed information on the process of building your career in the field of substance abuse and addictions counseling. Another great resource for individuals interested in the field of substance abuse and addictions counseling is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website.
Note: Certification and licensing requirements vary from state to state. Each state regulates the practice of addiction counselors and issues certifications and licenses for professional practice. Consult your home state licensing board for more information.