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Addic­tion and sub­stance abuse coun­sel­ing is a reward­ing career for indi­vid­u­als who have dealt with or know some­one who has dealt with the ugli­ness of addic­tion. This type of career will pro­vide you with the tools you will need to help those who suf­fer from addic­tion and the sup­port they need to work their way through a very dif­fi­cult time. With the right type of online addic­tion or sub­stance abuse coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram, you will learn the skills you need to make a dif­fer­ence in the lives of those suf­fer­ing from addic­tion or sub­stance abuse.

With the right online Bach­e­lor’s in sub­stance abuse or addic­tion coun­sel­ing, you can work in almost any type of envi­ron­ment rang­ing from inpatient/outpatient facil­i­ties to halfway hous­es that help indi­vid­u­als tran­si­tion back into nor­mal life. Your degree will give you the skills and knowl­edge you need to assist those suf­fer­ing from addic­tion find their path back to sobri­ety. It is a chal­leng­ing path that may be dif­fi­cult at times. With your help, they will be able to get back on track.

How to Get a Degree in Addiction Counseling

The first step in get­ting an online Bach­e­lor’s degree in Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing is mak­ing the choice to go back to school and work towards earn­ing your diplo­ma. Once you have deter­mined what degree pro­gram you are going to enroll in, you need to find a school that offers what you are look­ing for in terms of cours­es, resources, and schol­ar­ship pro­grams. If you are inter­est­ed in an online plat­form, you will have to include that in your research cri­te­ria. Online pro­grams allow you the free­dom and flex­i­bil­i­ty you need to move for­ward with your edu­ca­tion while still work­ing a full-time job.

Once you have enrolled in your cho­sen online Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram, you must com­mit your­self to learn as much as you pos­si­bly can. This ensures that you will have all of the skills and abil­i­ties you will need when it comes time to help oth­ers get their lives back on track. It will be eas­i­er for some than it will be for oth­ers. It’s up to you to help them face and over­come those chal­lenges. With an online for­mat, you will be able to find work at facil­i­ties that treat sub­stance abuse and addic­tion. Gain­ing expe­ri­ence while you are still in school will help you move for­ward after you graduate.

Should I Get a Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling?

Get­ting a Bach­e­lor’s degree in Sub­stance Abuse Coun­sel­ing is a very per­son­al deci­sion. No one can make the deci­sion for you. Most peo­ple choose this type of work because they have watched a close friend or fam­i­ly mem­ber strug­gle with addic­tion or sub­stance abuse. It is not an easy thing to watch. The strug­gle can be heart­break­ing and may lead to men­tal health con­cerns or a dual diag­no­sis that may have gone unno­ticed if they had­n’t cho­sen to seek treatment.

If you tru­ly want to make a pow­er­ful dif­fer­ence in the lives of those who are recov­er­ing from addic­tion and sub­stance abuse, then earn­ing a degree in that field is the right choice. Learn­ing how to prop­er­ly guide and nur­ture some­one along their sobri­ety jour­ney takes both skill and patience. Work­ing toward this type of degree can lead to a vari­ety of chal­lenges and obsta­cles that will make you take a clos­er look at your own life. This will give you a unique insight that you can use to help oth­ers. Being able to see things from a dif­fer­ent point of view is the best way to help oth­ers find a new solu­tion to their own obsta­cles and challenges.

What Is Accreditation?

Accred­i­ta­tion is the bench­mark that col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties strive to reach in terms of both qual­i­ty degree pro­grams and teach­ing tech­niques and resources. Accred­i­ta­tion is not a one-time award. Once it has been earned, either region­al­ly or spe­cial­iza­tion, it must be renewed on a reg­u­lar basis. The length of time between orga­ni­za­tions will vary. After ini­tial accred­i­ta­tion, the process must be renewed again after three years. After the first suc­cess­ful renew­al, the process must be com­plet­ed every five years there­after. Main­tain­ing accred­i­ta­tion is impor­tant if the uni­ver­si­ty wants to main­tain the sup­port that is asso­ci­at­ed with its fund­ing and oth­er finan­cial resources.

What Is Regional Accreditation?

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion involves ver­i­fy­ing the stan­dards and pro­to­cols of the school itself. The school must per­form a self-eval­u­a­tion and pro­vide proof that they are meet­ing or exceed­ing the stan­dards held by the nation­al accred­it­ing orga­ni­za­tions that mon­i­tor the qual­i­ty of edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions. Earn­ing region­al accred­i­ta­tion cer­ti­fies that the col­lege or uni­ver­si­ty has con­tin­ued to meet the high­est stan­dards required for a qual­i­ty education.

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion is a valu­able tool that stu­dents can use to choose the right school. While you can choose any school to earn your online Bach­e­lor’s in Sub­stance Abuse degree, pick­ing one that is accred­it­ed will open many more doors when it comes to schol­ar­ship fund­ing and valu­able resources. It also adds weight to your resume. Show­ing a diplo­ma from an accred­it­ed col­lege or uni­ver­si­ty gives your degree a lit­tle more val­ue and substance.

What Is Specialized Accreditation?

While region­al accred­i­ta­tion focus­es on the school, spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion is designed to sup­port the val­ue of a degree pro­gram. The degree pro­gram must be able to meet or exceed the stan­dards of the indus­try they rep­re­sent. This means that the pro­gram will pro­vide stu­dents with all of the skills and abil­i­ties they need to be suf­fi­cient at per­form­ing the duties of their job. Spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion is just as ben­e­fi­cial as region­al accred­i­ta­tion and will add val­ue and sub­stance to your diploma.

Spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion, espe­cial­ly when it applies to any type of coun­sel­ing pro­gram, ensures that the per­son who is work­ing to earn their degree is get­ting every­thing they need to be able to sup­port and guide oth­ers on their sobri­ety jour­ney. It also adds the fin­ish­ing touch that will make poten­tial employ­ers take a sec­ond look dur­ing the hir­ing process. Spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion lets them know that your edu­ca­tion has the seal of approval from orga­ni­za­tions that deal with the addic­tion and sub­stance abuse field.

Choosing an Accredited Addiction Counseling Program

The key to earn­ing a qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion is to find an accred­it­ed addic­tion coun­sel­ing pro­gram that will pro­vide you with not only the skills you want but also the resources you need to build a suc­cess­ful career. With the right online Bach­e­lor’s in Sub­stance Abuse Coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram, you will be able to lay the foun­da­tion for a career you can be proud of. It gives you an oppor­tu­ni­ty to choose where you want to work, be it an inpatient/outpatient facil­i­ty or a health­care facility.

An accred­it­ed addic­tion coun­sel­ing pro­gram makes it pos­si­ble for you to con­tin­ue to move for­ward with your career know­ing you have a pow­er­ful edu­ca­tion­al degree to back up your efforts. It’s impor­tant to be con­fi­dent in the degree pro­gram that you choose. Accred­i­ta­tion gives you that con­fi­dence and allows you to take on new oppor­tu­ni­ties in the coun­sel­ing career of your choice. It also ensures that you have cho­sen the best pos­si­ble degree pro­gram when it comes to the cur­ricu­lum and method of teaching.

Types of Addiction Counseling Degrees

There are sev­er­al types of degree pro­grams avail­able. Start­ing out with an Asso­ci­ate’s or Bach­e­lor’s degree is a good way to start to focus more ful­ly on your career path. Know­ing that your goal is to help oth­ers along their path to sobri­ety, choos­ing the right degree pro­gram is incred­i­bly impor­tant. Many Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­grams include the cours­es that would have fall­en into an Asso­ci­ate’s degree pro­gram. Cut­ting out the Asso­ci­ate’s degree and going straight into a Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram can be accom­plished. It will sim­ply extend the amount of time you spend in school by a year or more.

An online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram will pro­vide you with the edu­ca­tion­al foun­da­tion you will need to become licensed or cer­ti­fied to work as a sub­stance abuse or addic­tion coun­selor. Whether you choose an online degree pro­gram or one that is held in a class­room set­ting, a Bach­e­lor’s degree will lay the foun­da­tion for a long and lucra­tive career that will con­tin­ue to offer ben­e­fits for both you as well as the indi­vid­u­als you serve with your coun­sel­ing services.

Why Choose a Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling Degree Program?

Choos­ing a Bach­e­lor’s degree in Sub­stance Abuse Coun­sel­ing allows you to bypass an Asso­ci­ate’s degree and will help you lay the ground­work for a career that will pro­vide you a wide range of oppor­tu­ni­ties depend­ing on which avenue you choose to pur­sue. It also allows you an oppor­tu­ni­ty to con­tin­ue mov­ing for­ward with your edu­ca­tion by giv­ing you every­thing you need to enroll in a Mas­ter’s degree program.

In addi­tion to fur­ther­ing your edu­ca­tion­al goals, an online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing will also allow you to start work­ing with patients as soon as you become eli­gi­ble to take your licens­ing or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion exam. You will be able to begin work­ing while you fin­ish your cho­sen degree pro­gram. The expe­ri­ence you earn dur­ing this time is invalu­able and will give you a chance to pro­vide a high­er lev­el of care to all of your future patients.

What Are the Benefits of an Online Bachelors in Addiction Counseling Degree Program?

An online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing degree pro­gram is one of the best ways to advance your edu­ca­tion while con­tin­u­ing to pur­sue your career. Online plat­forms offer many new oppor­tu­ni­ties to stu­dents. Enrolling in an online degree pro­gram gives you the flex­i­bil­i­ty and free­dom that you need to explore new employ­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties while you are still attend­ing school. This free­dom makes it pos­si­ble for you to study when you are bet­ter able to ded­i­cate the time you need to learn the lessons that are being offered.

Online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing degree pro­grams pro­vide you with the same oppor­tu­ni­ties and resources you would get if you would have cho­sen to attend school in a class­room. While you may not have phys­i­cal access to the school itself, you still have access to the staff and fac­ul­ty mem­bers who can guide you along on your edu­ca­tion­al jour­ney. The course­work is the same and all of the resource mate­ri­als are the same as well.

Certifications and Licenses

Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and licens­es are impor­tant if you plan on work­ing in any form of capac­i­ty with­in the health­care field. As you begin to move through your course­work, you will begin to gain the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence you need to apply for cer­tain cer­ti­fi­ca­tions and licens­es. As you become eli­gi­ble for each of these new oppor­tu­ni­ties, you can add them to your long list of accom­plish­ments. Each cer­ti­fi­ca­tion you earn is anoth­er mile­stone you can use to improve your resume.

As you come clos­er to grad­u­a­tion, you will be giv­en the infor­ma­tion you will need to apply for and take any state licens­ing exams that you will need to become a licensed coun­selor. In most states, you will not be allowed to work as a coun­selor with­out first earn­ing a license. You may be able to work as a coun­selor if you have a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, but you will even­tu­al­ly want to com­plete your licens­ing exam as soon as possible.

Earning an Online Substance Abuse Counselor Certification

Earn­ing an online Sub­stance Abuse Coun­selor cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is a great idea if you are plan­ning on con­tin­u­ing to work as a coun­selor and build a long-term career in the addic­tion and sub­stance abuse field. An online pro­gram will allow you to work while you are attend­ing class. The free­dom and flex­i­bil­i­ty that this offers make it a sol­id career choice. A cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will give you the edu­ca­tion you need to begin your career and will lay the foun­da­tion for any future edu­ca­tion you may consider.

An online Sub­stance Abuse Coun­selor cer­ti­fi­ca­tion offers you many of the skills and abil­i­ties you will need as a coun­selor. Earn­ing a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a Sub­stance Abuse Coun­selor is the first step in build­ing a career that will allow you to help oth­ers. A cer­ti­fi­ca­tion will give you what you need to get start­ed. If you want to be effec­tive as a coun­selor, how­ev­er, you will want to enroll in an online Bach­e­lor’s degree pro­gram with a focus on Addic­tion Coun­sel­ing or Sub­stance Abuse Coun­sel­ing. Cer­ti­fi­ca­tions make a great step­ping stone and will allow you to meet your con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­it requirements.

Why is Licensing Important?

When you are deal­ing with any type of addic­tion or sub­stance abuse coun­sel­ing, licens­ing is a must. As part of the health and med­ical field, being mind­ful of each patien­t’s phys­i­cal, men­tal, and emo­tion­al well-being is extreme­ly impor­tant. Licens­ing is a state or orga­ni­za­tion’s way of ver­i­fy­ing that you have met the eli­gi­bil­i­ty require­ments to coun­sel or guide oth­er peo­ple along their jour­ney to bet­ter health. It also shows that you have the knowl­edge and skills to be pro­fi­cient at what you do.

Licens­es must be renewed every two to five years to ensure that the coun­selor is up to date on all of the lat­est train­ing and resources. In order to main­tain their license and remain in good stand­ing, the coun­selor must com­plete a spe­cif­ic num­ber of con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­its before they can renew their license. If they don’t com­plete them on time, they must start over and re-apply.

What Are Continuing Education Credits?

Con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­its are like cred­it hours for a col­lege course. Each course car­ries so many cred­it hours or con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­its. Indi­vid­u­als who are try­ing to main­tain their license need to take their cours­es ear­ly enough so that their con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cred­its will be applied to their license pri­or to it expir­ing. In most cas­es, the con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es they take must have some­thing to do with their pri­ma­ry area of expertise.

Con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es can be in the form of a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion course or a refresh­er course that goes over every­thing that they may have already been test­ed for in the past. This ensures that the core knowl­edge is still there and the per­son tak­ing the test is still pro­fi­cient at their duties and can use the skills they have effec­tive­ly. The goal of most con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es is to make sure that the infor­ma­tion a coun­selor has is as cur­rent as pos­si­ble. Con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion cours­es are often­times the best way to learn what is new in the world of addic­tion and will give you insight into how to bet­ter han­dle cer­tain situations.

Careers in Addiction Counseling

Careers in addic­tion coun­sel­ing are avail­able in hos­pi­tals, reha­bil­i­ta­tion facil­i­ties, inpa­tient and out­pa­tient treat­ment cen­ters, and boot camp-type facil­i­ties. In addi­tion to coun­sel­ing posi­tions, you may also be eli­gi­ble to teach lifestyle or healthy liv­ing class­es that will allow the patient to regain some of the orga­ni­za­tion­al skills they may have lost due to their addic­tion. Work­ing in a facil­i­ty allows you to work with oth­er health­care pro­fes­sion­als who can assist you in guid­ing patients in the right direc­tion on their jour­ney to sobri­ety and bet­ter health.

If you feel con­fi­dent enough in your abil­i­ty to coun­sel oth­ers, you may choose to open your own coun­sel­ing prac­tice. This allows you to focus on work­ing with groups of peo­ple you are most com­fort­able with. Some choose to work with teens, while oth­ers may want to focus on indi­vid­u­als who have been addict­ed to alco­hol or pre­scrip­tion drugs. Under­stand­ing the unique cir­cum­stances that teens often find them­selves in will help you inter­act with them on their level.

Addic­tion can be a scary sub­ject. A sub­stance abuse coun­selor is a per­fect teacher to edu­cate teens and young adults about how addic­tion can affect every aspect of your life. Work­ing with youth groups, schools, and youth orga­ni­za­tions is a great way to help pre­vent addic­tion in some of the most at-risk groups in your area. Addic­tion affects peo­ple of all ages, even the elder­ly. Sub­stance abuse coun­selors need to be able to work with all age groups if they hope to be effective.

Salary for Substance Abuse Counseling

Sub­stance abuse and addic­tion coun­selors can make any­where from $30,000 to $73,000 per year on aver­age. For an entry-lev­el posi­tion that involves lit­tle to no expe­ri­ence, you will be paid on the low­er end of the scale. The more expe­ri­ence you gain as you start work­ing in the field, the high­er your pay will be. With sub­stance abuse and addic­tion coun­sel­ing, the more expe­ri­ence you have, the bet­ter you will be at doing your job.

If you want to advance to a man­age­ment posi­tion, you will want to move up to a man­age­r­i­al or super­vi­so­ry posi­tion, you will need to enroll in a degree pro­gram that will allow you to add to your skills. It will also help you learn how to be a more effec­tive man­ag­er. Learn­ing to man­age treat­ment plans and keep patients on the road to sobri­ety is dif­fer­ent than man­ag­ing a busi­ness. Things are con­stant­ly chang­ing. It’s impor­tant to be able to work with each indi­vid­ual on the lev­el of their recov­ery. The more edu­ca­tion you have, the more capa­ble you will be at han­dling obsta­cles and chal­lenges that you may face while work­ing as a counselor.

Professional Organizations

There are many orga­ni­za­tions that are open to indi­vid­u­als who spe­cial­ize in work­ing with indi­vid­u­als who are suf­fer­ing from addic­tion. Some of these orga­ni­za­tions are open to fam­i­ly mem­bers who act as caregivers.

NAADAC – Is a pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports indi­vid­u­als who work in the health­care field and spe­cial­ize in work­ing with patients who are deal­ing with drug and alco­hol addiction.

ASAM – The Amer­i­can Soci­ety of Addic­tion Med­i­cine is intend­ed for pro­fes­sion­al addic­tion and sub­stance abuse coun­selors. Mem­bers work togeth­er to come with viable treat­ment plans and edu­ca­tion­al tools that can be used to pre­vent addic­tion or relapses.

NAATP – The Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion of Addic­tion Treat­ment Providers is an orga­ni­za­tion for coun­sel­ing pro­fes­sion­als who deal with patients who suf­fer from addic­tion and sub­stance abuse. Mem­bers can net­work, share ideas and work togeth­er to find viable solu­tions that will ben­e­fit their patients and help them stay on their road to recovery.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling

10 Most Afford­able Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling