Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling

Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling
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The University of Cincinnati’s online Bachelor’s degree in Substance Abuse Counseling prepares graduates for rewarding careers helping those who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. Put your passion for helping others to work and learn how to treat America’s most harmful disorders. With summer, fall, and spring start dates available, it’s easy to begin earning your degree right away.

What Is Substance Abuse Counseling?

There is an epidemic of substance abuse addiction and overdose deaths in the United States. Substance abuse counseling is a high-demand profession that can make a real difference in your community. Counselors are needed to help people who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions learn to modify their behavior to lead them on the road to eventual recovery.

The University of Cincinnati’s Bachelor of Substance Abuse Counselor Program

Substance Abuse Counseling online degree is a cutting-edge, research-oriented program that offers proven practical course content and is designed to help you learn how to become a qualified clinician. The degree is designed to help full-time students as well as career professionals gain the knowledge, competencies, and skills needed to begin a career working with addicted persons or to advance their professional credentials.

Whether you’re looking to advance your current career or are looking for an opportunity to learn to treat one of America’s most harmful disorders, our BS in Substance Abuse Counseling can help you get there.

Program Offerings

  • 100% online
  • Financial aid available
  • Graduate in  3 to 4 years
  • Designed for full- or part-time students
  • Start dates in spring, summer, and fall
  • Graduates may meet Academic Requirements for Licensure
  • Transfer-friendly
Did you know?
  • 70% graduates are employed in the field directly related to their training/degree
  • 89% graduates were satisfied with the quality of instruction
  • The graduates of Substance Abuse Counseling Program at the University of Cincinnati have a 100% pass rate for the Addiction Counseling Exam (2023)

What will I learn?

Your curriculum for an online bachelor degree in addiction counseling will teach you how to guide patients to maintain their sobriety and lead you to a successful career in substance abuse counseling.

  • An overview of the field of substance abuse counseling and its graduate level academic trajectories (counseling, social work, psychology, etc.).
  • Pharmacology explored through the lens of substance use disorders.
  • Individual, family, and societal factors that are associated with individual substance use.
  • Clinical assessment and diagnostic processes in substance abuse counseling.
  • How to develop advanced cultural competencies that are essential in substance abuse counseling practices.
  • Fundamental skills necessary for individual counseling of clients with a substance use disorder.
  • About the group process, leadership, and practice for substance abuse counseling.
  • How to help individuals with substance abuse with strategies to prevent relapses and promote recovery.

See all courses to learn more.

Upon completion of our addictions counselor program, you may meet academic requirements for licensure in many states. Due to specific state-by-state requirements, students will need to research their individual state chemical dependency licensure boards for state-specific information on levels of licensure and certificates available.

You can learn more about the counselor pathway in our Complete Guide to Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor.

A day in the life of a Substance Abuse Counselor

A substance abuse bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for rewarding careers helping those who are struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. Your job might be to work with individuals in a crisis situation at a hospital or a private clinic, or you may choose to meet regularly one-on-one or in a group setting throughout the recovery process.

Armed with a passion to help others and a non-judgemental approach, Substance Abuse Counselors assess and counsel individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs), provide counseling to family members who are affected by SUDs, provide life skills training including stress management, relapse prevention, and relationship skills and prepare and lead outreach and other community interventions to prevent and remediate SUDs and their effects.

Career Options with a Substance Abuse Counseling Degree

Careers for substance abuse/addiction counselors are flourishing, due to the rise in demand as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation is projected to grow 25% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Students who graduate with a substance abuse counselor degree online can go on to pursue such careers as:

  • Chemical dependency practitioner: Help break the cycle of drug dependency and recover the lives of those who suffer from addiction.
  • Substance abuse counselor: Help overcome addictions and provide support to people who are having trouble breaking the cycle alone.
  • Social worker: Support vulnerable individuals and/or families through difficult times and help them improve lives.
  • Guidance counselor: Work in an academic setting helping students make the best academic decisions for their education.
  • Intervention specialist: Intervention specialists work in schools or other education facilities by assisting children with special education or social adjustment needs.

Graduates of the online substance abuse counseling degree are also well prepared to continue their studies in advanced degree programs such as mental health counseling, social work, psychology, and criminal justice.

Is Substance Abuse Counseling right for me?

Are you concerned about the current substance abuse epidemic and want to help individuals affected by it? Are you a good listener with a strong motivation to help others? Do you possess excellent communication skills and are also calm under pressure/in a crisis? Then substance abuse counseling may be a good career fit for you.

This program is also a great next step if you already have experience in social work,  counseling, nursing, or psychiatry.

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