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
- Addictions Recovery Support for Youth and Families
- Addictions and Community Services Worker
Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Sullivan University is Kentucky's largest private college or university, offering higher education for people with higher goals. At Sullivan University, we focus on in-demand programs that lead to successful careers. Whether you're a high school student considering college for the first time, an adult returning to school or someone seeking professional development, you'll be surprised at the variety and range of alternatives Sullivan University offers.
- AS in Community Health Services
Pacific Oaks College values the experience students bring with them into the classroom. Our faculty will help you fuse your personal and professional experiences with new theories and concepts in a variety of fields.
Pacific Oaks is a nonprofit, accredited higher education institution offering bachelor's-completion, master's, and certificate programs in human development, counseling, education, early childhood education, and teacher credentialing.
- B.A. Community Psychology
The path to a brighter future isn’t always clear. We face roadblocks and detours. Sometimes, we make a wrong turn and get lost. No matter where you are in your journey, Baker College can help you move forward to a rewarding career.
At Baker College, we know the importance of a quality education. We are regionally accredited with award-winning faculty. We will be there every step of the way so you can get where you’re going.
- Addictions and Community Services Worker
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...
Saint Leo University is a Catholic, liberal arts-based university serving people of all faiths.
Rooted in the 1,500-year-old Benedictine tradition, the university seeks balanced growth in mind, body, and spirit for all members of its community. At University Campus, at education centers, and through the Center for Online Learning, Saint Leo University offers a practical, effective model for life and leadership in a challenging world; a model based on a steadfast moral consciousness that recognizes the dignity, value, and gifts of all people.
- BA: Psychology
- BA: Psychology - General
- BA: Psychology - Developmental
- And more...