Substance and Alcohol Abuse Studies Degrees

Are you interested in working in the field of substance abuse and addiction? Read on to learn about the degree options, the education requirements, related careers and online availability. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Education Programs Are Available?

Earning your associate's degree in this field usually takes about two years, although some comprehensive programs may take longer. You are often expected to take some general education classes such as psychology, sociology and written communication. Other classes may include chemical dependency, abnormal psychology, counseling theory and human anatomy.

If you're interested in a 4-year program, a bachelor's degree in the field of alcohol and drug studies may be right for you. Coursework goes more in-depth than it does in an associate's degree program. Classes may cover topics such as ethical and legal issues in the field, psychopharmacology and interpersonal helping skills. The curriculum may also require you to complete an internship.

Many colleges and universities also offer 2-year master's degree options in the field of alcohol abuse counseling. You take advanced classes about the history and culture of addiction, relapse prevention and addiction treatment management. Depending on your program, you may need to pass a comprehensive exam or write a master's thesis.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, 2-year master's programs
Online Availability Bachelor's and master's degrees, certificates; associate's degree less common
Licensure Requirements vary by state but usually required to work as counselor or supervisor
Job Opportunities Counselor, supervisor with master's degree; assistant in clinics, rehab centers, halfway houses with undergrad degree

Can I Earn Any Degrees Online?

Bachelor's and master's degrees in drug and alcohol studies are available fully online. Associate's degree programs are also available but less common. Online degree programs usually have similar curricula to on-campus programs. With Web-based learning, you're expected to complete assignments and exams from home, often at your own pace.

Should My Education Include Licensure?

To work directly with individuals to help them conquer addictions, you may wish to become a licensed counselor who specializes in substance abuse. Although licensure requirements vary by state, they most often stipulate that prospective counselors need to hold at least a master's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, those with only a high school diploma can work as human services aides and work alongside credentialed professionals in the field. Those with undergraduate degrees may have more options when pursuing assistantship roles to gain employment in clinics, halfway houses or rehabilitation centers.

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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