Substance abuse degree programs are increasingly popular amongst students. But what does it mean to be a substance abuse counselor or a behavioral disorder counselor? These 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 programs.
What do you study in these 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 prospects with a substance abuse degree?
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
- Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
- No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
- Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
- 87% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
- MA Human Services: Addictions and Recovery
- Doctor of Education: Community Care & Counseling: Marriage & Family
- Master of Arts: Pastoral Counseling: Discipleship and Church Ministry
- And more...
- Learn how you can make a difference in the Human Services field with a degree from Post
- 100% online Human Services BS degree
- Find concentrations in Counseling, Management, Psychology & more
- Ranked in the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by the US News & World Report
- Post University earned the 2017 Military Spouse Friendly School® designation
- Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Professional Counseling
- M.S. in Human Services - Clinical Counseling
- And more...
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- M.A. Counseling Psychology
- M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
- Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis
- And more...
- Averett University is a top-ranked, fully-accredited institution that offers students over 30 undergraduate majors, minors and special programs, and 5 master's programs.
- Accelerated programs designed for convenience: choose from weekly evening courses at one of Averett's Virginia locations or study online and on your own time.
- Averett University was named one of Virginia’s top colleges for return on investment, and their average scholarship package lowers the cost of attendance further by almost 40%.
- Averett offers students learning experiences that mirror real-life situations. This means you can put today's lesson to the test during tomorrow’s workday.
- Averett University's 12:1 student-professor ratio makes your education a collaborative endeavor based on close relationships between students and faculty.
- Bachelor of Science - Psychology - Integrative Health Psychology
- Bachelor of Science - Psychology - Counseling and Clinical
- Bachelor of Science - Psychology - Biological Psychology