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Field of Study: Addiction Counseling


Addiction counseling programs prepare students to work as counselors with people who have alcohol, substance abuse, or gambling addictions.



Addiction counseling programs include topics such as:

  • Addiction theory
  • Counseling techniques
  • Assessing addiction problems
  • Setting up treatment plans
  • Methods for early intervention
  • Prevention measures

Many community colleges offer associate degree or certificate programs in addiction counseling. Most of these programs are only open to people who already have a bachelor's or master's degree in a related field such as nursing, social work, or general counseling. An associate degree program usually takes two years to complete. A certificate program usually takes a year of full-time study.

A few colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in addiction counseling. Several offer minors or concentrations in addiction counseling as part of a counseling, psychology, nursing, or social work program. A master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Very few schools offer doctoral (PhD) degree programs in addiction counseling.