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Top Schools for Substance Abuse Counseling

Those who have an interest in psychology and counseling may want to consider a career in substance abuse counseling. Substance abuse counselors offer advice to people who are addicted to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Specialized training is required for employment in this field. This training is available in certificate and degree programs available at many universities and colleges.

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Top Substance Abuse Counseling Schools

1. University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI

Founded in 1877, The University of Detroit Mercy is considered one of the top 25 regional universities in the Midwest as of 2012, according to U.S. News and World Report. It not only offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Addictions Counseling, but also a Licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) program and a Certification as an Addictions Counselor (CAC) program. These latter two programs are professional programs that allow those who complete them to practice as counselors or specifically addictions counselors in the state of Michigan, respectively. Prerequisites for entering the M.A. program include an undergraduate overall GPA of 2.75 or higher and at least 15 credit hours of behavioral sciences coursework. Required courses in the M.A. program include counseling theories and practices, testing and evaluation, group counseling, theories of addiction and recovery processes. In addition to these courses, students are expected to complete a counseling practicum and counseling internship to demonstrate their skills.

2. New York Institute of Technology in Westbury, NY

The New York Institute of Technology was founded in 1955 and ranked 68th among northern regional universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. The school offers a certificate in alcohol and substance abuse counseling that can be taken as a standalone program or as part of the master's program in school counseling. Prerequisites for admission to the certificate program include a bachelor's degree and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0. Candidates must pass oral and written interviews. Courses include group counseling and psychotherapy, clinical assessment, pharmacology, epidemiology and research.

3. University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA

The University of the Pacific was founded in 1851. The university offers a substance abuse counselor certificate program that trains students in individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, case management, assessment and treatment planning. This program also requires a supervised internship that exceeds the hours required for state certification. Graduates of this program can become board-certified in the substance abuse field by passing the certification exam offered by the California Certification Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of the Pacific 101st among the best national universities in 2012.

List of Ten Good Substance Abuse Counseling Schools

School Name Distinction Location
East Carolina University Graduates can subtract one year from the two years of experience required for licensure Greenville, NC
Mercy College Credits earned in certificate program can be used for degree Dobbs Ferry, NY
New York Institute of Technology Also has campuses overseas Westbury, NY
Ohio Christian University Program designed for working adults Circleville, OH
Portland Community College Has the largest addictions counseling program in Oregon Portland, OR
Southern University at New Orleans Trans-disciplinary program New Orleans, LA
University of California-San Diego Practicum requirement La Jolla, CA
University of Cincinnati Students can choose onsite or online classes Cincinnati, OH
University of Detroit Mercy Among the first addictions counseling programs in the country Detroit, MI
University of the Pacific Program developed with students obtaining state certification in mind Stockton, CA
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