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A bachelor of science in substance abuse counseling is a psychology degree that’s focused on educating students in treating addiction, chemical dependency, and substance abuse. You’ll learn about the different types of substance disorders, understand how to coach addicts to recovery, gain intervention expertise, and learn about family dynamics in addict’s households in order to counsel family members of addicts.

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What is a Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling


If you’re interested in pursuing a career helping people overcome addiction and substance abuse, a bachelor of science in substance abuse counseling may be right for you. In a substance abuse degree program, you’ll gain the education and skills needed to become licensed to provide substance abuse counseling to addicts and their family members. Students study basic psychological concepts, understand what factors drive addiction, and learn how to conduct interventions and treatment counseling.

In some states, a bachelor’s degree is sufficient for earning a license as a substance abuse counselor, but in other states a master’s degree is required. It’s important to review the requirements of your state before choosing a program. However, even without becoming licensed as a counselor, there are many ways graduates can put their knowledge and skills to use. Some work in rehab clinics as clinical assistants and support staff, and others work for non-profits supporting the families of addicts.

What Courses Would I Take For a Major in Substance Abuse Counseling?

  • Introduction to Counseling Theories
  • Foundations of Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorders
  • Group Interventions and Communications
  • Crisis Intervention Skills for Addiction
  • Relapse Prevention in Addiction Treatment
  • Family Dynamics in Substance Abuse Households
  • Trauma, Addiction, and Substance Use Disorders
  • Treatment of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders

How hard is it to get a Job with a Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to see significant growth in the coming decade. Growth is expected to be driven by the fact that many health insurance companies are now providing coverage for mental health treatment. Additionally, growth in the field will also be driven by state governments seeking to treat offenders through counseling and rehab services rather than sending them to jail for minor crimes.

How Long does it take to Get

A bachelors in Substance Abuse Counseling will have a typical length of 4 years in a full time schedule. That said, there are many ways to speed up the timeframe by either taking more units via online coursework, community college, or taking free classes at that can transfer to universities in the US.

Will You Get Accepted to College for Substance Abuse Counseling

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Can I Get Accepted for Substance Abuse Counseling

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What Will a bachelors Cost?

The cost of a bachelors degree in Substance Abuse Counseling will vary depending on what school you decide to attend, whether you live in-state or out of state, if the program is online, and what scholarships are available.

University Online? In-State Out-of-State Requirements Tuition
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Things That Can Affect Cost

  • If Your Live In-State or Out-of-State from the University
  • The University You Choose
  • Online Courses vs. Traditional Classroom
  • Earning Credits Before Your Enroll at University to Save Money
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How to save time and money

Should you pay 50k a year with student debt to your eyeballs when you don't need to? Of course not. Do you need to take off work for a 4 to 5 years to get there. It shouldn't. Huge amounts of student debt can be a heavy burden for many years after school. Below are some things you can do to speed up the time frame, maintaining your current job or life, and save money on tuition.

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Opt For Online Courses

By doing online courses and degrees you can save ton of money. First, the schedule are more flexible so you can keep your current job, plus, you don't have to move to a new place with the student housing expenses.

Find Universities With The Best Tuition

Most universities offer comparable programs of education. When deciding on a pathway, you want to see all schools that offer a major in accounting and the prices they offer for tuition. Some even offer scholarships. That way, you can make the best decision.

Find a Combined BS and MS Program

If your state requires you to have both a bachelor of science and master of science to earn licensure as a substance abuse counselor or therapist, you may want to look for a degree program that allows you to earn both at the same time. A combined BS and MS program usually only requires five years of study and awards both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Earned separately, these two degrees usually require six years of study, so students can shave a year of their education by entering a combined program.

Best Careers for the Degree

Graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in substance abuse counseling can find work in a variety of counseling and support roles. You may find work as an addiction counselor in a variety of settings, including rehab clinics, private practices, church organizations, and mental health centers. Additionally, some graduates open their own private practices and work as both counselors and small business owners.

Can I get accepted for a Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling?

Yes! There’s A Right Fit For Everyone. We’ll Help You Find It.

Every university has different requirements for admittance, but there are certain things that can help determine your chances to get that Bachelors. No matter what though, there is a right fit for everyone!

  • Universities will have different acceptance rates based on various factors. Try our acceptance calculator to estimate where you might get accepted
  • For the most part, transfer students have a better likelihood of getting accepted to college instead of freshman applications. That means earning units at a community college or through can potentially increase your odds of getting into the school you want.


Our Acceptance Calculator… Free. Always.

Our acceptance calculator will be able to help determine with schools you have a better chance at getting accepted for, and which schools would be there best fit for your. You’ll see what tuition costs, benefits they offer, if they have scholarships and more.

Can Help, But Not Required

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  • Associates Degree
  • SAT/ACT Scores
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Business 101: Introduction to Business
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And many more courses →