Substance abuse counselors (also called behavioral disorder counselors) help people who have problems with gambling, alcohol, drugs, substance abuse and eating disorders. They help individuals to identify behaviors and problems related to their addiction. This can be done on an individual basis, but it is frequently done in a group setting. Counselors also conduct programs aimed at preventing addictions. They often work evenings to counsel clients who work during the day.
Substance abuse courses help counselors to understand more about the issues and to assist people with their problems. Most people study substance abuse at the bachelor or master levels, so you might also want to check the substance abuse masters programs. Many prefer to study online because it gives them flexibility and control over their study program. This page will help you to find out more about the field and to locate suitable online programs.
What do you study in substance abuse online programs?
At bachelor’s level the courses typically include the study of the psychopathological behaviors impact on the individual, family, and society; screening and assessment methods at the beginning of treatment; and case management during the treatment phases. Counseling skills courses and a fieldwork/practicum course are also included.
Courses at master’s level would include counseling theories, group counseling, social and cultural issues, psychopharmacology, family issues. In addition, there will often be a supervised internship for students to develop their counseling skills.
What are the career prospect for graduates?
Substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors are generally governed by a different State agency or board than other counselors. The criteria for their licensure vary greatly and in some cases, these counselors may only need an associate’s degree, but national certification as a Master Addictions Counselor (MAC) requires a master’s degree in counseling, National Counselor Certification, and three years of clinical experience. Those interested in entering the field should research State requirements to determine what qualifications they must have.
The American Psychological Association says that psychology is the third fastest-growing field in America requiring a college degree. In the US, after 5 years of experience a substance abuse counselor earns on average over $34,000 (PayScales.com).
List of schools and programs
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
- Does psychology interest you? See if Grand Canyon University could be a good fit for your journey in discovering the human mind!
- GCU offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in either General Psychology or Industrial & Organizational Psychology.
- The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education, blending the study of traditional humanities in a modern context.
- GCU offers a variety of learning options, including: traditional degree programs offered at our main campus, online degrees, or evening classes meeting once a week at various locations.
- Founded in 1949, GCU is a regionally accredited, private Christian university and is recognized as offering some of the best online education programs in the nation.
- Request information and learn more about our program offerings, start dates, financial aid and more!
- M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy
- M.S. in Christian Counseling
- M.S. in Professional Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders
- And more...
- Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
- Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
- Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
- Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
- Counseling Psychology(EdD) (Online)
- Psychology (BA) (Online)
Baker College is proud to be the largest independent college in Michigan with the most focused approach to education and training available. With one of the highest graduate employment rates in the country, our mission is to help our students find meaningful employment.
At Baker College, you’ll have the opportunity to choose between an on campus education or an online education, depending on what works best for you and for your schedule. Our ground campuses are located across Michigan and one campus in Reading, Pennsylvania.
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- And more...
For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions. Degrees are offered with a curriculum that is in pace with technology and workforce demand trends in business, criminal justice, healthcare and computer technology. Our “one-class-at-a-time” approach allows busy students to focus on their education and balance the demands of work and family.
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
- MS Psychology
- Master of Science in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
- MS Political Science
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
- Psychology - BA
- General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
- And more...
Study online with California University of Pennsylvania. We offer certificate and bachelor's and master's degree programs in a wide variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.
- Advanced Addictions Counseling Certificate
- Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- BS in Psychology
- AA in Psychology