Drug Therapy Certification and Degree Programs
Drug therapy and counseling are often part of programs designed to help people recover from substance abuse. Learn about degree programs for aspiring drug counselors, and check the certifications available in this field.
What Undergraduate Degrees Are Available In Drug Therapy?
Earning a 2-year associate's degree in a substance abuse education program can prepare you for an entry-level career in the field. Your coursework focuses on the principles of psychology and chemical dependency. You also learn about human anatomy, clinical ethics and pharmacology.
A bachelor's degree program can prepare you for a career in substance abuse social work. These 4-year degree programs require you to complete more advanced coursework than associate's degree programs. In addition to general education classes like math and science, you also take classes such as psycho-pharmacology, assessment of dependence and principles group therapy. If you are interested in distance learning, you may be able to find some online programs in this field. Online programs require access to a computer and the Internet.
|Undergraduate Common Courses||Psycho-pharmacology, assessment of dependence, principles group therapy|
|Graduate Common Courses||Addiction prevention, treatment, recovery|
|Certification||NAADAC certification is available, however individual state licensing laws differ drastically.|
|Median Salary (2018)||$44,630 (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||23% growth (for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Will I Learn With a Master's Degree?
If you are interested in becoming a licensed drug counselor, you most likely need a master's degree in an area like addictions counseling or mental health counseling. You have the option of earning this degree on-campus or online in about two years. You take classes like addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Depending on the program you enroll in, you may be required to complete an internship or write a master thesis.
What Certification Do I Need?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that licensure and certification vary greatly between states and your chosen occupation (www.bls.gov). Check with your state's requirements before enrolling in any program. Although certification is not always required, you may be interested in advancing your career by getting certified with the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). The NAADAC offers many certifications for various levels of education and work experience. These certifications include:
- Basic level certification
- National certified addiction counselor
- Master addiction counselor
- Nicotine dependence specialist