Online Addiction Counseling Associate Degree Programs

Learn about pursuing an online or hybrid associate degree program in the addiction counseling field, and find out what courses you'd take. Review how hybrid programs work. Check the licensure requirements for addiction counselors, and get info on voluntary certification options. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate Degree in Addictions Counseling Online?

A few schools offer associate degree programs in addictions counseling entirely online; you'll find them more often in a hybrid format. These programs focus on the causes of addictions, behavioral issues and treatment options, providing a good beginning to your education in drug and alcohol counseling. State regulations for addictions counselors vary significantly. You may be required to earn a bachelor's or graduate degree in the field; however, an online associate degree program can build a strong foundation for advanced studies.

What Will I Study?

In addition to counseling laws and ethics, techniques, prevention methods and behavioral science, you'll also learn how to counsel family members of an addict. Courses expose you to the addictive attributes of drugs and alcohol, as well as why certain people are more susceptible to addiction. Common topics include:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Adolescent counseling
  • Pharmacology
  • Abnormal psychology

Though you may take classes completely or partially online, some programs may include clinical experience through an affiliated hospital, organization or counseling center. You'll participate in different counseling techniques, including individual, group and family counseling. Supervised experience is generally required for state licensure or certification.

Is Licensure Required?

Many states have separate licensing boards for substance abuse counselors. However, in some cases addictions counseling may be licensed by a health care licensing agency. Educational and experience requirements vary, and you should contact your state board or check with your school to determine if an online associate degree is sufficient for practice within your state.

You may also consider earning professional certification through professional organizations, such as the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, the American Counseling Association or the National Board for Certified Counselors. Credentials often require a significant amount of practical experience. Depending on the designation, you may also be required to have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in the field.

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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