Drug Counseling Degree Programs

Substance abuse counselors help people who suffer from drug and alcohol addictions. Learn about the various degree programs available within this field, as well as the typical curriculum for such programs. Find out about internships, distance learning options and licensure requirements. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Drug Counseling Degree Programs Are Available?

You can find drug (or substance abuse) counseling programs at the associate, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Most drug counselors earn a master's degree before becoming practicing counselors. Though you will usually need to acquire some relevant work experience, you might also find majors in psychology, sociology, social work or a natural science helpful. If you hold a bachelor's or master's degree in another field, a graduate certificate program in substance abuse counseling can be beneficial.

Program OptionsAssociate, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as certificate programs in drug or substance abuse counseling
CurriculumAddiction treatments, counseling techniques, types of drug/alcohol abuse
InternshipsMost programs include an internship/practicum component
Online DegreesDistance learning options available at undergraduate and graduate levels
LicensureEducation and experience requirements vary depending on state

What Will I Learn in a Drug Counseling Degree Program?

In a drug counseling program, you will learn how to be a professional and effective counselor. You could specialize in helping individuals who have problems related to alcohol or other drugs, including narcotics, prescription medications or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. You may work with current and recovering addicts, as well as the family and friends of those addicts. A typical program will teach you how to manage treatment and implement prevention of drug use and abuse.

Do All Degree Programs Offer Internships?

Practical experience is usually a component of counseling degree programs. Some schools house outpatient clinics that can provide you with on-campus experience in the field. However, you might need to participate in an internship at an off-campus facility, especially if you attend a community or vocational college. The amount of time you spend in a counseling practicum varies with each program, and bachelor's and master's degree programs usually offer the most opportunities.

Can I Earn My Degree Online?

Online degree and certificate programs in drug counseling can be found at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Distance learning programs allow you to complete all of your coursework online, while any internships or practicums are completed at a local clinic or drug counseling facility. Technical requirements vary by school, and admissions may be restricted to applicants with exceptional academic records.

How Do I Become a Licensed Drug Counselor?

Licensure requirements for substance abuse counselors vary depending on your state. In some states, you may need only a high school diploma with documented work experience. Many states accept postsecondary education in lieu of work experience requirements. Licensure in drug or alcohol abuse counseling might be handled by a separate state agency than those that license other types of counselors. You will want to check on the specific requirements in your state in order to make sure you get the appropriate level of education and training.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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