Alcohol and drug abuse is a growing problem in our country. Addiction is a progressive disease and left untreated it can be terminal. Fortunately, as individuals, families, and medical providers come to understand the disease of addiction more and more people are being referred to counseling for the recovery support they need. As a result professional positions in the field of addiction and recovery counseling are increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the field of addiction and recovery counseling is expected to grow 23 percent over the next several years (2016-2026).
Students enrolled in the Top 25 Bachelor’s in Addiction and Recovery programs listed here will have the opportunity to develop the skills to work professionally in the field of addiction counseling through coursework and fieldwork in practical settings. The majority of the programs included here provide a traditional on campus education but almost a third of the programs also offer students the opportunity to complete the program fully online. All applicants are encouraged to consult the licensing board of the state they plan to practice in to determine if program requirements will meet their individual state licensing and/or credentialing requirements in alcohol and drug counseling.
Alcohol and Drug Counselors have the skill set to work in a variety of settings such as: community mental health clinics; crisis centers; homeless shelters; schools; hospitals; social service agencies; and private practice. If you are looking to learn valuable skills to provide critical care, in communities across the country, to individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction you will find the program to help you meet your professional goals here. Graduates of these programs will be ready to pursue credentialing as an alcohol and drug counselor and will also be prepared for further study in graduate school in the field of counseling.
We have done the research so you don’t have to! We have looked at colleges and universities offering counseling programs across the country. We have evaluated and ranked counseling programs on numerous points of interest such as:
both undergraduate and graduate programs
all areas of concentration
values such as accreditation and affordability
online and on-campus programs
Featured Online Programs
Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Drexel University offers a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Counseling. Students will learn theory in the classroom (or through online courses) and gain clinical skills through the co-op experience working with mentors in a variety of healthcare settings. The co-op experience not only provides hands on training but also often leads directly to employment after graduation. Graduates will be prepared to work professionally providing direct services to individuals and families struggling with addiction and mental health challenges. This degree offers graduates the opportunity to utilize their skills in a range of behavioral health settings such as: psychiatric rehabilitation; group counseling; and crisis intervention.
Courses include: Introduction to Cultural Diversity; Life Span Human Development; Introduction to Civic Engagement; Foundation of Behavioral Healthcare; Abnormal Psychology; Counseling Theory and Practice; Psychiatric Rehabilitation Principles and Practices; Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Introduction to Addictive Disorders; Assessment and Treatment Planning; Cognitive and Behavioral Counseling; and Multicultural Counseling.
A Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling is offered at the University of Cincinnati. This program is offered on campus or students may choose to enroll as a distance learning student and complete the program fully online. All students will learn the skills they need to provide prevention, assessment, and intervention services in the field of substance abuse counseling. Courses are taught by experienced faculty and clinicians with a depth of knowledge in academic, research, and clinical settings. This program will be a good fit for anyone interested in developing a career in the field of substance abuse or for anyone already working in the field of human services that wants to enhance their capacity to serve individuals and families impacted by the disease of addiction.
Courses include: Ethics in Substance Abuse Counseling; Crisis Management Skills; Co-Occurring Disorders in Treatment; Theoretical Foundations of Substance Abuse Counseling; Basic Pharmacology; Drugs and Behavior; Abnormal Behavior; Maintenance Strategies for Long-Term Substance Abuse Recovery; Advanced Cultural Competence in Substance Abuse Counseling; Alcoholism; Drug and Alcohol Use Impacting Children and Adolescents: A Developmental Concern; Stress Management in Clinical and Community Settings; and Assessment and Diagnosis in Substance Abuse Counseling.
An online Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling is available at Crown College. Crown College offers a Christian focused counseling program for students moved to serve individuals and families suffering from the negative impacts of the disease of addiction. The program emphasises utilizing faith in the recovery process. Students in this 100% online program will complete both coursework and supervised internship experiences while receiving support from an advisor throughout their time in the program. The curriculum and internship experiences are designed to prepare graduates to successfully pursue licensure as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. All applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensure board to determine individual state licensure requirements.
Courses include: Statistical Concepts; General Psychology; Social Science Research Methods; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Counseling; Psychopharmacology; Psychopharmacology; Diversity Issues in Counseling; Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy; Case Managment for Alcohol and Drug Counseling; Group Dynamics; and Alcohol and Drug Counseling Internship.
The State University of New York (SUNY) College at Brockport offers a Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies. The Department of Healthcare Studies offers this major which is designed to meet some of the necessary requirements for credentialing as an Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor. Graduates of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Studies major will have the education and clinical training to provide critical care to individuals struggling with alcohol and substance abuse such as: evaluate; treat; provide education; provide appropriate referrals; and meet the ethical standards of the profession. Unique electives offered include: Criminal Justice and Addictions; and Grief and Loss for Alcohol and Other Drugs.
Courses include: Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drugs; Group Counseling Skills for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Individual Treatment Planning for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Theories of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Counseling Diverse Populations for Alcohol and Other Drugs; Evaluation and Assessment of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Dual Diagnosis of Alcohol and Other Drugs; Psychopharmacology of Alcohol and Other Drugs; and Ethics for Alcohol and Other Drugs.
A Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling is available at the University of St. Francis. The program offers a number of electives in the areas of: Criminal Justice; Psychology; Social Work; and Recreation and Sport Management. The program strives to offer unique electives to students with the overall goal of providing an education in substance abuse counseling that will prepare graduates to successfully complete the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC) certification examination. Additionally, graduates of the program will be well positioned to pursue a graduate degree in counseling or a related field.
Courses include: General Psychology; Introduction to Chemical Dependency; Group Dynamics; Lifespan Development; Abnormal Psychology; Introduction to Forensic Psychology; Ethics in Addiction Counseling; Psychopharmacology for Addiction Counselors; Introduction to Counseling and Psychotherapy; Diverse Populations in Addictions Counseling; and Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention.
Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Bachelor of Science with a major in Addictions Counseling. The program emphasises a commitment to looking at all aspects of the disease of addiction and recovery with the biopsychosocial-spiritual perspective of health. The program offers students the opportunity to engage in hands on learning through activities and engagement with local community programs such as drug court and recovery homes. Students with a commitment to integrating their spiritual commitment to Christ with their desire to support individuals and families heal from the disease of addiction will find this program to be a good fit.
Courses include: Addictions Theory; Psychopharmacology; Addictions Counseling Skills; Theory and Practice of Group Counseling; Counseling Addicted and Dysfunctional Family Systems; Addiction Programs and Professional Development; Developmental Psychology; Child Development; Adolescent Growth and Development; Psychology of Abnormal Behavior; and Theories of Personality.
A Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies is available at the University of Detroit Mercy. This major is designed to provide students with the education and clinical training necessary for direct service in the field of substance abuse and for advanced study in top graduate programs in the field of counseling and social work. This Addiction Studies program also offers post-degree certificates in addiction studies for individuals that already hold a bachelor's or master's degree but wish to earn credentials as a Certified Advanced Addictions Counselor (CAAC) and pursue a career in alcohol and drug treatment. Department faculty come from variety of professional and clinical backgrounds and bring a depth of experience and research interests to the program.
Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Studies; Assessment of Substance Use Disorders; Techniques of Individual Counseling; Addiction Counseling Internship; Substance Use Disorders in Youth; Process Disorders: Gambling and Sexual Addiction; Family Theory and Therapy; Group Methods; Advanced Internship; Prevention and Intervention of Substance Abuse; Spirituality and Recovery; and Multicultural Competence in Treating Substance-Related-Disorders.
The School of Sciences, Sustainability, and Health at Keene State College offers a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a minor in Addictions. Students will complete courses in the Public Health Major along with the coursework in the Addictions Minor. Through this combined coursework students will learn about the various aspects that impact and influence an individuals health, the families health, and the health of our communities. Students will learn how to promote health at all levels in their individual area of concentration. Graduates will be prepared to work to pursue licensure and certification and/or continue their education in graduate studies in the fields of counseling and addiction.
Courses include: Health and Wellness; Health in Society; Physical Activity and Health; Addiction: Theory, Practice, and Research; Behavior Change; Health Promotion Practice; Alcohol and Other Drugs: The Fundamentals; Addiction Counseling; Assessment to Treatment in Addictions; Internship in Addictions; Advanced Drug Treatment Methods; and Co-Occurring Disorders.
A Bachelor of Art in Behavioral Health is offered at Alvernia University. This degree focuses on providing education and training on working with individuals struggling with mental health challenges and addiction. Graduates that pursue careers as behavioral health professionals will be prepared to provide services such as prevention, intervention, and treatment to diverse populations working to recover from addiction and mental health difficulties. Students will learn theory in the classroom and clinical skills in field placements at approved programs and agencies. This program is offered both in the classroom and fully online.
Courses include: Foundations of Chemical Dependency; Origins of Mental Illness; Counseling Theories; Assessment and Evaluation; Counseling Techniques; Group Counseling; Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling; Crisis Intervention; Introduction to Psychology; Development Across the Lifespan; Multicultural Psychology; Addictive Behaviors; Case Management; Treatment Planning and Case Conceptualization; Neuropharmacology; Marriage and Family Counseling; Management of Human Service Agencies; and Counseling Special Populations.
The University of South Dakota offers a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies. Students can choose to complete this major through either the on campus or online program of study. The major emphasises addiction as a public health concern that impacts individuals from diverse backgrounds across the lifespan. Students have the opportunity to select an area of focus with the Treatment Specialization or the Prevention Specialization or students may choose to complete both areas of specialization. The department offers a number of unique electives that provide students concentrated study in an individual area of interest such as the courses: Native Americans and Substance Use and Addiction; and Gambling and Process Addiction.
Courses include: Study of Alcohol Use and Addiction; Study of Drug Use and Addiction; Fundamental Skills of Individual Counseling for Addiction; Fundamental Skills of Group Counseling for Addiction; Ethical and Legal Issues in the Addiction Profession; Addictive Family systems and Family Counseling; Individual Addiction Counseling Practicum; Group Addiction Counseling Practicum; Field Experience; and Major Issues in Health and Human Services.
A Substance Abuse Counseling Minor is offered through the Department of Psychology at Viterbo University. This degree focuses on the study of alcohol and drug abuse and dependency. Students will learn how to intervene with individuals, couples, families, and communities to support the biopsychosocial-spiritual recovery of alcohol and drug use. Graduates will have the experience to successfully pursue careers in a range of settings in the field of human services such as social work, education, criminal justice, and healthcare.
Courses include: General Psychology; Introduction to Chemical Dependency; Interviewing and the Helping Relationship; Psychopharmacology; Behavioral Disorders; Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professional Issues; and Alcohol and Drug Abuse Professional Skills.
The Department of Health Science at Minnesota State University Mankato offers a Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Drug Studies. Students will complete general education courses, the required core courses, an internship, and health science electives for this major. Graduates of the program will have completed the required academic coursework to pursue the credentialing of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). The program works hard to support students in securing employment following graduation by connecting students with information regarding current openings in the field. Many graduates are hired immediately through connections made during their internship experience.
Courses include: Introduction to Alcohol and Drug Studies; Ethics and Professionalism for Addictions Professionals; Pharmacology for Alcohol and Drug Professionals; Theories and Methods for Addictions Professionals; Assessment and Diagnosis of Substance USe Disorders; Co-Occurring Disorders; Group Procedures; Interpersonal Helping Skills; Counseling the Chemically Dependent Family; and Law and Chemical Dependency.
A Bachelor of Science in Chemical Dependency/ Addiction Studies is offered at Rhode Island College. This major is connected to both the liberal arts Psychology major and the nursing program. Students will complete specific professional development courses and have the opportunity to select from electives. Students in the program are taught by Psychology Department faculty with a wide range of research interests and experiences.
Courses include: Introduction to Psychology; Social Psychology; Drugs and Chemical Dependency; Foundations of Psychological Research; Human Development; Personality; Adolescent Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender; Practicum in Chemical Dependency/ Addiction Studies; Internship in Chemical Dependency/ Addiction Studies; and Psychology and the Law.
St. Cloud State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Dependency. Students will learn through the classroom and internship experience how to best support individuals and families as they work to heal from a variety of addictions including drug and alcohol addiction, gambling addiction, and even eating disorders. Students will complete the required coursework for licensure as a Licensed Addictions and Drug Counselor (LADC) in the state of Minnesota. Graduates will be well prepared to successfully pursue careers working with diverse populations in the field of addiction recovery in both private and public settings including hospitals, mental health clinics, residential treatment centers, and schools. The program reports that 99% of chemical dependency program graduates are successfully employed.
Courses include: Introduction to Psychology; Human Growth and Development; Introduction to Counseling Theory and Practice; Helping Skills; Group Process and Practice; Principles of Behavior; Individual and Group Differences; Professional Issues in Addiction; Psychodynamics of the Family Relationships; Foundations of Addictions; Addictions Counseling with Selected Populations; Diagnosis, Intervention and Treatment of Addictions; Chemical Dependency Internship; and Psychopharmacology and Addictions.
A Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies is offered through the Health Sciences Department at the University of Central Arkansas. The program offers students the opportunity to select between a Treatment Track of study or a Prevention Track of Study. When working in the field of addiction there are so many points of entry to support individuals and families struggling with the disease of addiction. Students are encouraged to develop the skills that match their professional goals from prevention to intervention within this growing field of health care. Graduates of the program will be prepared to enter the workforce in the setting of their choice from hospitals and schools to the criminal justice system.
Courses include:Courses Include: Mental Health; Theory and Practice of Prevention; Drug Education; Experimental Psychology; Abnormal PSychology; Human Anatomy and Physiology; Addiction Counseling: Theory and Practice; Addictions: Assessment, Intervention and Treatment Planning; Etiology and Epidemiology of Addiction; Group Counseling Skills; Legal and Ethical Issues in Addictions; Family Systems and Addiction; Theoretical Bases of Health Education; Administration of Health Programs; Developmental Psychology; and Theories of Personality.
Grand Canyon University offers a Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse. This major offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences is available for students to attend either on campus or online depending on what works best overall for the student. Students will learn practical skills such as crisis intervention and case management, as well as how to consider and work with family dynamics, and how to integrate spirituality in the treatment process. The program is designed to prepare graduates to successfully pursue national certification or licensure as a professional in the field of addiction and chemical dependency. Applicants are encouraged to consult their home state licensing board for information about specific state licensure and certification requirements.
Courses include: Introduction to Counseling Theories; Foundations of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders; Co-Occurring Disorders and HIV/AIDS; Multicultural Counseling in a Diverse Society; Group Interventions and Community Resources for Addiction and Substance Use Disorders; Case Management and Crisis Intervention Skills for Addiction and Substance; Relapse Prevention in the Treatment of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder; Domestic Violence, Child, Elder Abuse Families with Addiction and Substance Use Disorders; Spirituality and Addiction; Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues - Addiction and Substance Use Disorder Counselors; Process Addictions; and Trauma, Addiction, and Substance Use Disorders.
A Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies is offered at Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Courses are offered in both the traditional on campus format as well as online. The program emphasizes a commitment to providing students with the professional job skills that will enhance their ability to help clients and meet the demands of employers in the workforce. This means that students will learn the best approaches to treating addiction as well as the communication and critical thinking skills necessary for success in the field of addiction and psychology.
Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Disorders; Family Dynamics; Screening and Assessment; Case Management; Addiction Counseling Skills; Dynamics of Group Counseling; Special Populations Co-Occurring Disorders; Pharmacology of Addiction; Ethics for Psychology and Addiction; Introduction to Psychology; Developmental Psychology; Introduction to Experimental Methods; Abnormal Psychology; and Seminar in Alcoholism.
Minot State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies. The Addiction Studies program offers a major, a minor, and a concentration. The program focuses on training students to have the wide variety of skills necessary to be successful as addiction counselors including the ability to manage crises, work with diverse populations, manage heavy caseloads, and collaborate with other care providers and systems. Students will learn these skills in the classroom and through a supervised clinical internship. Graduates will be prepared to work professionally in settings such as hospitals, mental health clinics, the criminal justice system, and research.
Courses include: Foundations of Psychology; Introduction to Statistics; Child Psychology; Psychology of Adjustment; Abnormal Psychology; Adolescent Psychology; Psychology of Adult and AGing; Introduction to Personality Theories; Introduction to Behavioral Neuroscience; Addiction Studies Practicum; PRofessional Relations and Ethics; Dynamics of Addiction; Introduction to Counseling; Advanced Counseling; Group Dynamics; Social Welfare Policy; Family Dynamics; Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in America; and Health Care Through the Lifespan.
The Department of Psychology at Union College offers a Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling. The Psychology Department offers several degrees both undergraduate and graduate as well as a Chemical Dependency Counselor Certification (CDCC) that is available 100% online. Students completing the undergraduate major in Substance Abuse Counseling will be surrounded by others in the department interested in learning how to best support individuals struggling with addiction and how to advance best practices in the field. Graduates of the program will be well prepared for entry level positions in the field of substance abuse counseling as well as for graduate school in counseling and psychology.
Courses include: Foundations of Chemical Dependency; Ethical Issues in Chemical Dependency; Psychology of Addiction; Recovery and Relapse; Biological Systems of Chemical Dependency; Cross Cultural Counseling; Substance Abuse Internship; Drugs and Society; Introduction to Criminal Justice; Deviance and Criminology; Child Development; Adolescent Psychology; and Advanced Behavioral Neuroscience.
A Bachelor of Arts in Psychological Services with a concentration in Addiction Studies is available at Kansas Wesleyan University. The program is designed to provide clinical training for working in the community with individuals struggling with issues such as addiction and to provide preparation for continued graduate study in the field of counseling. Students in the major have the opportunity to choose from several areas of specialization including Addiction Counseling. Kansas Wesleyan University strives to provide all students with direct learning experiences in the field they plan to work in in order to provide critical professional skills and professional connections that graduates can build upon when seeking employment and applying to graduate school.
Courses include: General Psychology; Psychological Research Design; Methods of Research; Introduction to Human Services; Developmental Psychology; Abnormal Psychology; Theories of Personality; Theories of Counseling; Professional Ethics in Psychology; Introduction to Group Counseling; Principles of Counseling Practice; Case Management; Foundations of Addiction; Addiction and the Family; Psychopharmacology; Addiction and the Family; and Foundations of Addiction.
A Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling is offered at Ohio Christian University. The program focuses on providing students with an integrated education that includes both biblical principles and counseling theory. Students will learn how to utilize both spirituality and counseling techniques in their work as a substance abuse counselor. Graduates will have the professional skills to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, families, and groups impacted by the disease of addiction.
Courses include: Introduction to Chemical Dependency; Prevention Strategies in Substance Abuse and Dependence; Ethical Issues in Chemical Dependency Counseling; Marriage and Family Dynamics in Counseling; Case Management; Psychopharmacology; Theories and Techniques of Individual Counseling; Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling; Chemical Dependency Counseling Practicum; Personal Awareness; Statistics for the Social Sciences; Counseling and Spirituality; Principles of Behavior; Psychology of Leadership; and Marriage, Family, and Human Sexuality.
Tiffin University offers a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Addictions Counseling. The program offers students the choice between two formats of study, on campus or online. The on campus program offers two start dates in either January or August. The online program offers start dates in January, March, May, July, August, and October. Students will engage in learning through hand-on experiences working with populations struggling with substance use disorders as well as co-occuring mental health issues. Graduates will have the education and clinical training to pursue licensure as a Chemical Dependency Counselor. The program reports that due to the high demand for chemical dependency counselors (because of the opiate epidemic our country is facing) their students are often hired before they even graduate.
Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Theory and Practice; Counseling Procedures and Strategies with Addicted and Disordered Populations; Group Process and Techniques Working with Addicted and Disordered Populations; Cultural Competence in Counseling; Assessment and Diagnosis of Addictive and Behavioral Health PRoblems; Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Planning in Addictions; and Theory and Practice of Relationship Counseling in Addictions and Behavioral Health.
A Bachelor of Science in Alcohol and Drug Counseling is offered at Metropolitan State University. This undergraduate major in the College of Community Studies provides education and training for students that wish to work professionally as an alcohol and drug counselor. Specifically, students will learn to provide evidence based alcohol and drug counseling to culturally diverse populations and uphold the professional and ethical standards of the field. Graduates will be prepared to pursue licensure as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Courses include: Introduction to Substance Use Disorders; Pharmacology of Addictive Drugs; Prevention of Substance Use Problems; Counseling and Interviewing Skills; Intersection of Race and Diversity in Human Services; Cultural Considerations for Alcohol and Drug Counseling; Group Counseling; Co-Occurring Disorders: Substance Use and Mental Health; Assessment of Substance Use Disorders; Case Management for Alcohol and Drug Counseling; Best Practices in Drug and Alcohol Counseling; and Senior Seminar: Alcohol and Drug Counseling.
Western New Mexico University offers a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Dependency Counseling. This degree focuses on training students to enter the field of chemical dependency in a variety of ways such as: through prevention, education and research; administration; and counseling. The program emphasises the negative impact that chemical dependency has on public health (child abuse, suicide, homicide, and crime) in our country. Graduates will have the skills to work with adolescents and adults. Graduates of the program will have met the educational requirements for initial certification and licensure in New Mexico as a Chemical Dependency Counselor.
Courses include: Introduction to Addiction Counseling; Addictive Process; Helping Skills Chemical Dependency; Chemical Dependency and Family; Codependency; Special Populations in Chemical Dependency; Substance Abuse and Crime; Advanced Helping Skills in Chemical Dependency; Professional Principles; Dual Diagnosis; Trauma and Addiction; Research Methods; Pharmacology; Counseling the Military; Internship Chemical Dependency; and Group Dynamics.
Graduation Rate: 27%
Retention Rate: 63%
Net Price: $12,500
Methodology: To develop the ranking of The Top 25 Bachelor Degrees in Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling, we used information gathered from the Institute of Education Sciences’ College Navigator to evaluate colleges and universities offering programming in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling. Next, we checked the schools for regional accreditation with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), only regionally accredited programs were retained. Finally, we sorted the schools by graduation rate, and we present the top 25 schools in our ranking.
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