By BCD Staff
An online certificate in substance abuse and addictions counseling will be a good fit for students and/or professionals who want to become experts in the field of substance abuse and addictions counseling. A range of options is available from the online accredited programs listed here to meet a variety of individual goals. Individuals may choose a program offering a certificate to enhance their skill level as well as competitiveness in the job market and/or to obtain the continuing education hours required for licensed professional counselors and therapists. This ranking is part of our series on Online Degrees in Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling.
Online Master's Certificate in Addiction Studies
Online Addiction Studies Licensed Professionals Graduate Certificate
Eastern Washington University offers an Addiction Studies Program with online certificates including the Master's Certificate in Addiction Studies (30 credits) and the Addiction Studies Licensed Professionals Graduate Certificate (20 credits). These certificates are designed for professionals looking to expand their practice to serve individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction. The Addiction Studies Program at Eastern Washington State has set up their online courses to meet the educational requirements for certification in the state of Washington, so applicants who plan to practice in another state should consult their home state licensing board for individual requirements.
Courses include: Relapse Prevention; Adolescent Addiction Assessment and Treatment; Pharmacological Actions of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Case Management; Addiction Treatment with Families and Diverse Populations; Law and Ethics for Addiction Professionals; Screening and Assessment of Co-Occurring Disorders; and Treating Co-Occurring Disorders.
- Cost: $867 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 30 / 20
Online Specialty Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Graduate Certificate
Western Michigan University offers a Speciality Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Graduate Certificate. This 24 credit online program is designed for graduate students and professionals in the fields of counseling psychology, social work, teaching and administration, and related fields. The coursework and field experiences are designed to support graduates of the program in pursuing state certification as a drug and alcohol counselor. There are a number of credentials that graduates may work towards and requirements can vary by state, applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to evaluate how the program meets individual state certification, credentialing, and licensure requirements.
Courses include: Causes of Substance abuse; Physical Aspects of Addictive Drugs; Applied Neuropsychopharmacology of Addictive Drugs; Diversity and Ethical Issues in Addictions; Oriented Systems of Care; Co-Occurring Disorders and Addictions; Addiction in Family Systems; and Field Practicum.
- Cost: $652 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 24
Online Certificate in Addiction Studies
Virginia Commonwealth University offers an online non-credit Certificate in Addiction Studies. Students completing this certificate will complete 13 content areas in depth. The educational and clinical contact training hours meet the requirements of the Certified Substance Abuse Counselor examination for the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Counseling. The College of Health Professions Rehabilitation Counseling program is designed to offer evidence-based training and continuing education credits to working professionals.
Unique Feature: Students with an established career in counseling may also be interested in VCU's 20 Hour Clinical Supervision Course where students will learn to provide clinical supervision to prospective certified counselors.
- Cost: $632 / Credit Hour
Online Addiction Counseling Certificate Program
An Addiction Counseling Certificate Program is available online at Winona State University. Students in the program will complete online coursework along with a practicum experience designed to prepare the student for credentialing as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. Students from outside the state of Minnesota are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to evaluate if courses match individual state requirements. Students with a bachelor's degree and/or who are working towards their master's degree are eligible to work towards the certificate. The program focuses on the personal and professional growth of the counselor as they learn to work in diverse settings providing addiction treatment.
Courses include: Introduction to the Field; Psychopharmacology; Assessment and Treatment of Addictions and Co-Occurring Disorders; Theory and Practice; Ethics and Advocacy; Ethical Practice and Social Action; Multicultural Concerns; Multiculturalism and Diversity; and Practicum.
- Cost: $614.50 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 24
Online Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling – Graduate Certificate Program
Union Institute and University offers an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Graduate Certificate Program fully online. This graduate certificate is offered as part of the Masters of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for graduate students who would like additional training in substance use. The graduate certificated is also offered independently for individuals looking to advance their professional capacity to provide treatment for individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction. This online Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling Graduate Certificate meets the educational requirement for licensing or certification in several states, applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board for more information. In an effort to support students in accomplishing their goals efficiently the six course, 18 credit, program can be completed in one year.
Courses include: Counseling Theory and Practice; Group Work and Therapy; Psychopharmacology for Mental Health and Addictive Disorders; Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders; Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning of Addictive Disorders; and Substance Abuse Counseling with Addicted Populations.
- Cost: $460 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 18
Online Certificate of Professional Studies in Addiction Studies
A Certificate of Professional Studies in Addiction Studies is available online at Albright College. This five-course program offers a comprehensive set of courses designed to meet the educational requirements to be a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CADC) in the state of Pennsylvania. Students who plan to work outside the state of Pennsylvania should consult their home state licensure board to see if the courses match individual state requirements. Albright College offers an accelerated course format for students who believe they can fit the coursework into a condensed period of time.
Courses include: Theories and Treatment of Addictive Behaviors; Drugs, Addiction, and Society; Family Systems and Addiction; Addictive Behaviors and Special Populations; and Assessment and Counseling of Substance Abuse Disorders.
- Cost: $443.775 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 20
Saint Paul, MN
Online Addiction Studies Certificate; Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Certificate
The Adult Undergrad Online Program at Bethel University offers an Addiction Studies Certificate and an Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate. The 100% online Addiction Studies Certificate can be completed for 18 credits in as few as 8 months. The Alcohol and Drug Counseling Certificate which has similar coursework to the Addictions Studies Certificate but also includes an internship in addictions counseling can be completed in as few as 20 months for only 26 credits.
Courses include: Families in Cross-Cultural Perspective; Counseling Microskills; Introduction to Addictions Counseling; Pharmacology of Addictions; Assessment and Treatment of Co-Occurring Disorders; Professional Practice Issues and Ethics; and Internship in Addictions Counseling.
- Cost: $430 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 18 / 26
Cedar Falls, IA
Online Graduate Certificate in Addictions
Purdue University Global offers an online Graduate Certificate in Addictions. This program is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC). Once students complete the program they will have met the educational requirements to take the national certification examination for the title of Master Addictions Counselor (MAC). Purdue University Global allows students to apply some of the credits from this certificate towards an additional degree at the university.
Courses include: Ethics for Addictions Professionals; Chemical and Psychological Dependency Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Group Counseling; Advanced Addictions Counseling; and Co-Occurring Disorders and Treatments.
- Cost: $420 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 40
Online Certificate in Addiction Counseling
An Addictions Counseling Certificate is offered online at Jamestown Community College. The program is designed for working professionals to gain certification in addictions counseling in order to be able to provide addictions counseling to diverse populations. Students in this program, which offers 70% of the coursework online, will be able to pursue state certification in New York by completing the approved educational hours or students can choose to take only the courses they need for their specific goals.
Courses include: Introduction to Family Systems; Studies/Alcohol/Chemical Dependency; Generalist Practice Skills; Interviewing and Counseling; Alcohol/Chemical Dependency Treatment; Ethics/Issues Addiction Services; Field Placement Addictions Counseling; and Abnormal Behavior.
- Cost: $406 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 35
Online Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate
The University of Cincinnati offers an online Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate. This 24 credit certificate is designed for working professionals who have or are working towards their Baccalaureate degree. The program will help students understand how to provide substance abuse counseling and advance their career. A broad range of professionals in the field of human services will benefit from this certificate including parole and corrections officers, social workers, guidance counselors, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health professionals.
Program objectives include enhancing knowledge and understanding in areas of: Prevention; Pharmacology; Biochemistry; Medicine; Psychology; Psychiatry; and Sociology.
- Cost: $404 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 24
Online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling
A Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling is available online at Montana State University. The program works with students to tailor the program to the student's individual coursework needs based on the student's background and what they have focused on leading up to this point. Depending on the student's previous education the program can be completed in one to two years. Students who earn at least 12 credits in addiction-specific coursework will be eligible to earn the addiction counseling certificate at Montana State University. Students who are interested in licensure in addition to certification may be interested in additional graduate coursework through Montana State Universities addiction counseling program.
Courses include: Chemical Dependency Counseling; Psychopharmacology and Addiction; Group Counseling in the Addiction Setting; Cross-Cultural and Ethical Considerations in Addiction Counseling; Counseling Theories in Addiction Setting; Assessment, Treatment, Planning, and Ethics of Addiction Counseling; Alcohol and drug Studies; and Gambling/Gaming Disorders.
- Cost: $382 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 12
Online Undergraduate Certificate in Addiction Studies
Online Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies
The University of South Dakota offers undergraduate and graduate certificates in addictions programs to professionals to deepen their knowledge and understanding of addictions behavior and treatment. The undergraduate certificate includes 27 credit hours of coursework in addictions science while the graduate certificate provides students with 15 credit hours of content for practicing addiction professionals. Both programs prepare learners to work in chemical dependency treatment, prevention, counseling, and education. The two certificates are designed to prepare students for state licensure in addictions counseling, but state requirements vary. USD's Addiction Studies Department is accredited by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC).
Online Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Technician Certificate
A Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Technician Certificate is offered online at the University of Maine at Augusta. The University offers a number of online certificates for students who are interested in having qualifications to enter the job market with specific and definable skills. Students who complete the 30 credits required to earn the certificate will have a strong foundation in, and understanding of how to intervene in, the complex disease of addiction. Individuals holding this certificate will be in a good position to be competitive for employment in residential drug and alcohol treatment centers and working as a part of a collaborative healthcare team.
Courses include: Introduction to Human Services; Introduction to Substance Use Disorder; Case Management; Crisis Intervention: Trauma: Recognition and Interventions; Group Process; Assessment and Planning; Chemical Dependency Counseling; Addiction: Diversity and Rehabilitation; Psychosocial Rehabilitation; Addiction and the Family; and Trauma and Addiction.
- Cost: $291 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 30
Online Substance Abuse Certificate
Vincennes University offers a Substance Abuse Certificate online for 15 credits. The program is designed for individuals working professionally in the field of counseling and/or human services who want to become specialists in substance abuse counseling. Professionals from other backgrounds such as teaching, nursing, and ministers may also find the certificate useful to enhance their professional capabilities and capacity to help people.
Courses include: Clinical Aspects of Substance Abuse; Therapeutic Interventions with Substance Abusers; and Substance Abuse Treatment Programs.
- Cost: $253 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 15
Online Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist
Central Texas College offers an online certificate in substance abuse prevention to students that want to gain the technical skills to become an addictions specialist. Learners complete coursework in communication, mental health and substance disorder fundamentals, intervention and prevention while gaining experiential-learning skills through practicums. Through concentrated classes and specialized experiences, learners can pursue entry-level careers in addictions counseling, mental health services, and medical care. The program also gives learners the skills needed to continue on to further study in counseling, psychology, and human services. Students complete the 36-credit hour curriculum in three semesters. Central Texas College is accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Online Professional Addictions Counseling Certificate
An online Professional Addictions Counseling Certificate is available for only 11-14 credits at Rio Salado College. The program focuses on providing training specific to the treatment of addictions for practicing behavioral health professionals. Applicants to this program are required to hold an Associates, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctoral degree in behavioral health or a related field. Professionals in the field of human services will find the courses useful for continuing education and to meet the educational requirements for state and national addiction certification. Licensing and certification requirements vary by state, applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board to determine if courses meet individual state requirements for certification and licensure.
Courses include: Addictions Seminar; Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders Seminar; Adolescent Substance Abuse Treatment Seminar; Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment Seminar; Street Drugs Seminar; Addictive and Medical Plants Seminar; and Intervention and Treatment for Addictions and Substance Use Disorders Seminar.
- Cost: $215 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 14
Online Substance Abuse Counselor Education Technical Diploma
Northcentral Technical College offers a Substance Abuse Counselor Education Technical Diploma online. This program is pre-approved by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. Students who complete the 30 credit program will be well prepared to advance into the Substance Use Disorder Counselor Associate Degree Program at Northcentral Technical College. Graduates of this program will be prepared for entry-level positions working with individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction in roles such as Substance Abuse Counselor in Training; Assessment Counselor; and Intake Counselor.
Courses include: Introduction to Psychology; Counseling Theory and Tactics; Understanding Addiction; Boundaries and Ethics in the Helping Professions; Methods of Social Casework; Introduction to Counseling; Substance Use and Family Systems; Behavior Assessment; Group Counseling Methods; Psychopharmacology; Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Addictive Disorders.
- Cost: $211.30 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 30
Online Chemical Dependency Counseling Certificate
Tompkins Cortland Community College offers a Chemical Dependency Counseling Certificate online. The online certificate is designed to give students the skills to work professionally with clients struggling with alcoholism and other substance abuse. The certificate program in Chemical Dependency Counseling meets the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services requirements. This certificate will be useful for students entering the field of chemical dependency counseling as well as those who are already established professionally and seeking re-credentialing. Students will complete field experiences under the supervision of a licensed, certified, or credentialed professional to enhance their clinical skills.
Courses include: Introduction to Chemical Dependency Counseling; Chemical Dependency Field Work; Counseling Theories and Interventions; Drug Studies; Alcohol and Alcoholism; and Introduction to Psychology.
- Cost: $181 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 26
Online Certificate of Achievement in Substance Abuse Counselor Training Program
A Certificate of Achievement in Substance Abuse Counselor Training Program is available online at Great Basin College. Students who complete the certificate in Substance Abuse Counselor Training will be prepared for entry-level positions in social service organizations and mental health clinics as well as specialized treatment and residential rehabilitation facilities. Individuals working professionally in a range of settings from law enforcement to nursing will also find the courses useful for continuing education credit. While most courses can be completed online and through independent study on a case-by-case basis some credits are required to be completed on campus. students that do not live in Nevada are encouraged to further assess the specific requirements of the program as well as consult their home state licensing board to determine that courses match individual state certification requirements.
Courses include: Substance Abuse: Fundamental Facts and Insights; Introduction to Human Services; Introduction to Counseling; Substance Abuse Counseling Methods; Small Group Interaction Techniques; and General Psychology.
- Cost: $148.25 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 30.5
Online Addiction Counseling Certificate
Allen Community College offers an affordable online Addictions Counseling Certificate in Addiction and Prevention Studies. The Addictions Counseling Certificate requires the completion of 33 credits. This certificate can be useful for individuals in various phases of their career, for anyone from those individuals just starting out in the field of human services to an established licensed professional counselor looking to gain continuing education credits and an area of expertise.
Courses include: Substance Abuse Awareness in Addiction and Prevention; Introduction to Counseling; Introduction to Group Counseling; Addiction Services; Ethics/Confidentiality in Addiction and Prevention; Medical High Risk Issues in Addiction and Prevention; Multicultural Aspects of Counseling; Pharmacology in Addiction and Prevention; Family and Addictions; Field Practicum in Addiction and Prevention; and Dual Diagnosis.
- Cost: $85 / Credit Hour
- Credits Required: 33
Methodology: For the Top 15 Online Certificates in Substance Abuse and Addictions Counseling, a list of schools was gathered from College Navigator. Schools were selected that had programs in "substance abuse/addiction counseling" and offered the programs as distance education. These programs were then checked for regional accreditation by the Council for Higher Education, and only those that were regionally accredited were retained on the list. Next, each school's website was searched for certificate programs offered in an online format. Finally, schools were ranked by tuition (per credit hour) as listed on the program's website for online and distance education degrees.