Drug and Alcohol Counseling Majors

Enrolling in a drug and alcohol counseling bachelor's degree program is the first step toward beginning a career as an addiction counselor. In some states, you could qualify for licensure after graduation, though you might need to earn a master's degree. Read more to learn about the courses you'd take in this program, online learning options and the requirements for working in drug and alcohol counseling. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Major in Drug And Alcohol Counseling?

Several schools in the U.S. provide bachelor's degree programs in drug and alcohol counseling. Usually offered as addictions or substance abuse counseling, these programs teach you how to counsel and treat patients with drug and alcohol problems. Some schools allow you to apply credit from a related associate degree program toward your bachelor's degree. Additionally, if you live in a state that requires a master's degree to become a drug and alcohol counselor, earning a bachelor's degree in addictions studies or counseling could prepare you for graduate studies.

What Classes Would I Take?

In a bachelor's degree program, you can focus on prevention or substance abuse and take courses that correspond to your interests. Several of your courses concentrate on the psychology of addictive personalities and human behavior. You'll learn how to counsel individuals and groups, as well as their families. Several schools allow you to study under an experienced counselor through internships and clinical practicums. Some of the electives you could select include:

  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Addictive disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Adolescent victims of abuse
  • Counseling laws and regulations

Can I Complete My Degree Online?

Several schools offer fully online or blended programs. However, most programs include in-person, practical exercises in a clinical setting to give you the required experience for state licensure. You can take your courses online and attend a local clinic, hospital or other school-approved counseling center to meet the practicum requirements.

In order to take courses online, you'll need a broadband Internet connection, updated browser and a media player, such as Real Player. Some schools use a course management system, such as Blackboard, to deliver your course materials, assignments and instructor announcements. Though you can often study at your own pace, some courses are offered in a scheduled virtual classroom or webinar setting that requires both audio and video capabilities.

Can I Practice With a Bachelor's Degree?

Some states allow you to become a drug and alcohol counselor with a bachelor's degree. Most require that you receive some experience during or after your academic education to qualify for licensure. You'll need to review the academic and experience requirements of your state's particular licensing agency. If you need graduate education to practice, many schools offer online postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree programs online.

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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