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Addiction Counseling Degree Programs

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Discover a Rewarding Future in Addiction Counseling

Skilled counselors are needed to fight a growing epidemic. If you have a desire to help others who are struggling with substance addiction, consider Beal University’s Addiction Counseling Degree & Diploma programs. Earn your education online while working in the field. Select from three programs to fit your desired path and career goals: Bachelor of Science Degree (42 months, 100% online), Associate’s Degree (20 months, 100% online) or Diploma (14 months, online). Complete courses from anywhere and gain the education you need to enter this important and fulfilling field.

100% online

Our addiction counseling degree programs are available 100% online. Classes start every 8 weeks!.

3 program options

Select the addictions counseling degree program that fits your educational or career goals. Earn a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree or diploma.

Since 1891

Headquartered in Bangor, Maine, Beal University has been providing exceptional, career-focused education for more than 130 years.

High Demand for Addiction Counselors Nationwide

Addiction counselors are needed across the United States to combat the growing opioid epidemic and other substance abuse disorders. Careers in this field are projected to grow at a rate of 22% between 2021 and 2031 – more than 5x the rate of all U.S. occupations.

See more stats

Source: New York Times

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Explore your options

Learn more about our online addiction counseling degree programs to find the right fit for you.

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See the demand

Explore the latest statistics on this vital field.

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Next Start Date: Jan 3rdAddiction Counseling Degree Programs Beal University - Bangor Campus 99 Farm Road Bangor ME USA 04401 Beal University

Is a Career in Substance Abuse Counseling Right for You? Take the Beal University 'Counseling Career Readiness Quiz'

This fun, online quiz takes 3 minutes to complete and you’ll get a personalized report. Identify your strengths and social style plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Get Your Education Readiness score now.


Our Online Addiction Counseling Degree & Diploma Programs

Beal University’s Addiction Counseling Degree & Diploma programs are designed to provide you with invaluable skills so you can counsel clients through the recovery process. Topics include assessment, treatment planning, individual and group counseling, case management, crisis intervention, vocational rehabilitation, trauma and recovery, client education and community resources. Discussions will occur around special issues including sexual harassment, gender, aging, disabilities, cultural differences and co-occurring disorders.

Throughout our addiction counseling online degree program, you’ll learn to apply theories of addiction, substance assessment and counseling techniques, including motivational counseling. You’ll grow to understand the neurobiology of addiction, family addiction dynamics and special population concerns.

Throughout the program you will also explore ethics and boundary considerations, all while working and interacting with those involved in Addiction Counseling. Lastly, but still very important, you’ll develop an understanding of diversity and tolerance for others.

Diploma

Diploma in Addiction Counseling
Length: 14 months*
Location: Hybrid

If you are looking to quickly start a career in Addiction Counseling, consider our 14-month* Diploma program. This program is intended for those who wish to complete a shorter program as a first step to becoming an Addiction Counselor.

Associate’s Degree

Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)
Length: 20 months*
Location: 100% online

Our 20-month* Addiction Counseling Degree program (Associate’s) includes courses in the diploma program and general education courses, enhancing the opportunity for advancement in the profession. If you already earned the diploma, this program can be shortened to 8 months.*

Bachelor’s Degree

Bachelor of Science Degree (B.S.)
Length: 42 months*
Location: 100% online

This program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to provide direct client services in sincere and compassionate relationships. Upon completion of this addictions counseling degree program, you will have a comprehensive academic foundation and advanced core classwork to enhance an existing career or begin a career as an Addiction Counselor.

Note:  Students who already possess the Diploma may transfer to our Associate’s Addiction Counseling Degree program and complete it in 8 months or transfer to the Bachelor’s Addiction Counseling Degree program and complete it within 26 months*. Students who transfer from the Associate’s Degree program may complete the Bachelor’s program within 20 months*.

Earn Your Additional Counseling Online Degree

Diploma in Addiction Counseling

Location: Hybrid (Online and On-Campus)
Length: 14 months*
Credential: Diploma

Our 14-month* diploma program is an excellent choice for those who want to jumpstart a career in the field. The program offers flexible and student-centered options to prepare for a career in Addiction Counseling (and related fields). Our instructors represent a broad range of experience, skills and knowledge in the area. University faculty with research and training expertise, as well as experienced practitioners in drug and alcohol treatment across many demographic groups and treatment settings, make up our quality group of instructors.

This program is ideal for those who wish to enter the field more quickly and take the first steps to becoming an Addiction Counselor. Throughout the program, you will explore ethics and boundary considerations, all while working and interacting with those involved in Addiction Counseling. Upon graduation, you may choose to seek immediate work in the field or pursue licensure and/or certification through examination administered by the state in which you reside.

At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Learn and apply theories of addiction, substance assessment, and counseling techniques
  • Practice an understanding of diversity and tolerance for others. Apply ethics and boundary considerations when working and interacting with people in addiction counseling
  • Gain counseling skills including motivational interviewing.
  • Understand the neurobiology of addiction, family addiction dynamics, and special population considerations in addiction counseling
  • Demonstrate knowledge of group process, case management, crisis intervention, trauma and recovery, and vocational rehabilitation
  • Psychosocial and Vocational Aspects of Rehabilitation
  • Case Management
  • Trauma, Sexual Abuse and Recovery
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Multicultural Counseling in Addiction
  • Those who wish to complete a short program to enter the field more quickly and take the first steps to becoming an Addiction Counselor.
  • Anyone who is interested in pursuing a fulfilling career helping others overcome addiction, including students who have overcome addiction themselves or have loved ones who have.

Take a short quiz to find out. Our Addiction Counseling Career Readiness Quiz takes just 3 minutes to complete. You’ll get a personalized report identifying your strengths and social style, plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Start the quiz now to see your career readiness score.

Get more details about our Diploma program or other addiction counseling online degree options.
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Associate of Applied Science in Addiction Counseling

Location: 100% online
Length: 20 months*
Credential: Associate of Applied Science Degree (A.A.S.)

Our 20-month* addiction counseling online degree program includes the same coursework as our diploma program but builds upon that foundation to enhance students’ opportunity for advancement in the field. You’ll gain the skills and knowledge needed to advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug or other dependency problems, learning from a diverse group of instructors that include university faculty with research and training expertise, as well as experienced practitioners in drug and alcohol treatment.

This program is ideal for those who wish to enter the field with more education or advance an existing career within Addiction Counseling. Throughout the program, you will explore ethics and boundary considerations, all while working and interacting with those involved in Addiction Counseling. Upon graduation, you may choose to seek immediate work in the field or pursue licensure and/or certification through examination administered by the state in which you reside. Earning an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Addiction Counseling Degree is a prerequisite to becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) – an accomplishment that tells the world you have the commitment and dedication needed to promote change and save lives.

At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • Develop critical and analytical thinking through disciplined process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.
  • Learn and apply theories of addiction, substance assessment, and counseling techniques.
  • Practice an understanding of diversity and tolerance for others. Apply ethics and boundary considerations when working and interacting with people in addiction counseling.
  • Gain counseling skills including motivational interviewing.
  • Understand the neurobiology of addiction, family addiction dynamics, and special population considerations in addiction counseling.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of group process, case management, crisis intervention, trauma and recovery, and vocational rehabilitation.
  • Crisis Identification and Resolution
  • Group Process
  • Co-occuring Disorders
  • Addiction and the Family
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Those who wish to pursue greater employment opportunities with the credential of having an addiction counseling degree.
  • Anyone who is interested in pursuing a fulfilling career helping others overcome addiction, including students who have overcome addiction themselves or have loved ones who have.
  • Those seeking counseling careers and related support roles at reentry centers, detention facilities, residential and outpatient counseling programs, employee wellness programs, hospital detox facilities or other counseling centers.

Take a short quiz to find out. Our Addiction Counseling Career Readiness Quiz takes just 3 minutes to complete. You’ll get a personalized report identifying your strengths and social style, plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Start the quiz now to see your career readiness score.

Get more details about our Associate’s addictions counseling degree program.
Tell Me More

Bachelor of Applied Science in Addiction Counseling

Location: 100% online
Length: 42 months*
Credential: Associate of Applied Science Degree (B.S.)

Our 42-month* addiction counseling online degree program will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to provide direct client services in sincere and compassionate relationships. Upon completion of this program, you will have a comprehensive academic foundation and advanced core classwork to enhance an existing career or begin a career as an Addiction Counselor. Our instructors represent a broad range of experience, skills and knowledge in the area. University faculty with research and training expertise, as well as experienced practitioners in drug and alcohol treatment across many demographic groups and treatment settings, make up our quality group of instructors.

This program is ideal for those who wish to pursue or advance a career as an Addictions Counselor. Upon graduation, you’ll be fully prepared to take on a variety of roles, such as a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counsel (CADC), Chemical Dependency Counselor, Psychiatric Tech, Child/Youth Provider and other positions. You may also choose to pursue licensure certification through examination administered by the state in which you reside. Earning an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Addiction Counseling Degree is a prerequisite to becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) – an accomplishment that tells the world you have the commitment and dedication needed to promote change and save lives.

At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the social, political, and historical milestones and trends in substance abuse counseling in relation to the human services professionals’ role in advocating for individuals, families, and communities in need
  • Apply culturally responsive strategies across diverse populations to strengthen professional practice and enhance human services outcomes
  • Apply legal and ethical standards in the administration and delivery of human services systems to provide comprehensive and well-informed care.
  • Employ professional, interpersonal communication skills in formal and informal networks to improve human services delivery.
  • Evaluate the policy development cycle for advocacy avenues, communication strategies, and coalition building opportunities to effect social change.
  • Develop knowledge and skills in inquiry, critical and creative thinking, and decision-making to create and implement appropriate assessment and intervention strategies.
  • Diagnosis and Treatment Planning in Addiction Services
  • Community Psychology
  • Addiction Prevention: Theories and Techniques
  • Human Services Organizational Systems
  • Spirituality and Addiction
  • Those who wish to pursue greater employment opportunities with the credential of having an addiction counseling degree.
  • Anyone who is interested in pursuing a fulfilling career helping others overcome addiction, including students who have overcome addiction themselves or have loved ones who have.
  • Those seeking careers as Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), or related support roles at reentry centers, detention facilities, residential and outpatient counseling programs, employee wellness programs, hospital detox facilities or other counseling centers.

Take a short quiz to find out. Our Addiction Counseling Career Readiness Quiz takes just 3 minutes to complete. You’ll get a personalized report identifying your strengths and social style, plus the training and positions you’re best suited for. Start the quiz now to see your career readiness score.

Get more details about our Bachelor’s addictions counseling degree program.
Tell Me More

Addiction Counseling Student Group

In addition to your coursework, you’ll have access to a dedicated student-run study group to help you succeed! The Addiction Counseling study group aims to help students with their academic achievement, as well as professional development. Join the group to discuss the curriculum, study and prepare for exams and projects, and network with students, faculty and professionals in the Addiction Counseling field. This group is available online. If you’re interested in joining contact James Siebert.

Transfer Credits Accepted

Have you already taken courses at other universities in the past? You may be able to transfer the credits you have earned and graduate sooner. Request more information today to learn if you qualify.

Jobs & Statistics

Why consider an addiction counseling degree or diploma? It’s a critically important field that is growing quickly as the demand for counselors continues to rise. Here are some of the latest figures from this rewarding field.

22% increase in jobs

Careers for addiction counselors and substance abuse specialists are projected to grow at a rate of 22% between now and 2031.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

#3 in best social services jobs

Addiction counseling is ranked as one of the top jobs in social services, due to its competitive salary, career stability and work-life balance, among other factors.
Source: U.S. News & World Report

$48,520 median salary

The median salary of addiction and mental health counselors was $48,520 per year (or $23.33 per hour) in 2021. Those with more education and experience have the potential to earn even more.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

77,500 new jobs on the way

Labor experts estimate that more than 77,500 new jobs for addiction counselors will be created between 2021-2031 – a rate that is 5x higher than the labor market average.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In the News

As communities face the complex challenge of fighting substance abuse, the need for addiction counseling has never been clearer. Browse some of the recent stories covering this essential field and why it matters.

More counselors needed to help address harmful substance use

More than 20 million people in the United States have a substance use disorder, yet only about 10% of them get the treatment they need, thus increasing the demand for skilled addiction counselors.
Read more via Pew

Washington State pledges $518 million to fight opioid epidemic

Washington State is directing $518 million to its 125 local governments to combat the opioid crisis. Funds will be used to expand treatment options, provide more counseling and increase youth-focused prevention strategies.
Read more via wa.gov

U.S. overdose deaths continue to rise

New data shows a surge in overdose deaths involving fentanyl and methamphetamine. Overall, the United States saw a 15% increase in deaths from overdoses in 2021. That followed a much steeper rise of almost 30% in 2020.
Read more via NY Times

Your Future in Addiction Counseling

You know the devastation that addiction can cause, and you believe you have the ability to help others empower themselves. Perhaps you’ve overcome addiction yourself, and have become stronger for having survived it. You have the willpower. Now, all you need is training and you’ll be on your way to starting a fulfilling career as an Addiction Counselor.

If you have a desire to help others who are struggling with substance addiction, start your path today with Beal University’s Addiction Counseling Degree and Diploma programs. Our online and hybrid programs are designed to begin in the diploma program, advance to Associate’s degree and further complete a Bachelor’s degree while working in the field. With flexible schedules, smaller class sizes and accelerated programs, you will feel prepared and supported to pursue your career goals upon graduation.

About Beal University

Founded in 1891 as Bangor Business College, Beal University has evolved into a comprehensive institution with diverse academic offerings that serve a wide range of students in the state of Maine and beyond. From the beginning, Beal has remained focused on providing programs that give students real-world skills for careers in high-demand fields. Today, Beal offers programs from diploma to graduate-level degrees facilitating all levels of academic pursuits.

History

Based in Bangor, Maine, Beal University was first established in 1891 as Bangor Business College by Mary Beal.

Mission

To become partners with our students in their journey to improve their career opportunities through Beal’s many academic programs.

Vision

To be the most prominent educational institution in the region by providing exceptional academic programs that empower our graduates to excel in their careers.

Take the next step

Is a rewarding career in Addiction Counseling right for you? The best way to see if Beal is right for you is to contact us. We can get you the answers you need about our online addiction counseling degree programs, so you can make the right choice for your future.
Complete this short form to request more information. Afterward, a friendly Beal Career Advisor can answer questions, guide you to our virtual tour, and get you helpful financial aid information.

For immediate questions, call 207-307-3900