Learning How to Treat Addictions

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The employment of substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors is expected to grow by a significant 20% between 2016 and 2026. This number reflects an increasing need for counseling professionals who can help individuals who struggle with addiction. Grand Canyon University’s Master of Science in Addiction Counseling degree is designed for those who wish to pursue a rewarding and in-demand career as an addiction counselor. Continue reading to discover some of the ways in which students learn how to treat addictions while earning this degree:

Studying Addiction-Related Topics

GCU’s Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program complete coursework that helps them master the skills they need to be effective addiction counselors. Some of the issues that students study include group counseling theory and practice, counseling chemically dependent adolescents and theories of drug classification, addiction, assessment and treatment. Students also explore areas such as the impact of addiction on family structure, issues related to addiction in a diverse society and counseling ethics and legal standards.

Performing a Counseling Pre-Practicum

This degree program concludes with a supervised fieldwork experience. Students complete the pre-practicum part of the program under the supervision of a faculty member and a GCU-approved onsite clinical supervisor. To finish their pre-practicum, students must complete a minimum of 100 hours of counseling-related activities; at least 40 of these hours must be direct contact.

Completing a Counseling Practicum/Internship

Once they complete their counseling pre-practicum, students move on to their supervised practicum/internship experience. In this part of the Master of Science in Addiction Counseling program, students further develop their counseling skills while performing the activities of a professional counselor under the supervision of a faculty member and a GCU-approved onsite clinical supervisor. This practicum/internship requires the documentation of 150 hours of counseling-related activities, 50 of which must be direct contact hours.

If you’re interested in learning how to treat addictions by pursuing Grand Canyon University’s an online counseling degree, please visit our website or use this page’s Request More Information button to learn more.


  • “Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder and Mental Health Counselors.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from: bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-behavioral-disorder-and-mental-health-counselors.htm

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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