Impact Those in Need with a Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling Degree
Addiction is a disease that tears apart families, ruins lives and adversely affects whole communities. As an aspiring substance abuse counselor, you can make a difference. Enroll in Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse. Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this addiction counseling degree prepares students to serve individuals, families and communities with competence and compassion.
Study the root causes and contributing factors of addiction and substance abuse, and examine the many ways in which chemical dependency affects children, adolescents and adults. Learn to apply the Christian worldview and key concepts in spirituality to understanding and treating addiction. Addiction is a dark, dangerous path that may lead to death. If you become a substance abuse counselor, you may be positioned to intervene in your clients’ lives before it’s too late.
What You’ll Learn with a BS in Addiction Counseling
The BS degree in addiction counseling at GCU is an accredited program that provides students with a firm academic foundation in the counseling field. The degree requires a total of 120 credits for completion. Online classes are available to meet the needs of a diverse student body. Students benefit from learning a blend of theoretical knowledge and applied skills, including hands-on learning experiences. Some of the courses included with this degree program include the following:
- Foundations of Addiction and Substance Use
- Psychopharmacology in Treatment of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
- Multicultural Counseling in a Diverse Society
- Relapse Prevention in the Treatment of Addiction and Substance Use Disorder
- Trauma, Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
Students acquire the necessary skills in screening, intake, assessment, treatment planning and case management. They explore special issues in substance abuse counseling, including considerations when working with children and adolescents, encouraging family involvement in the treatment process and working with clients with co-occurring disorders like HIV/AIDS. The role of spirituality in substance abuse counseling is emphasized. Additionally, students acquire foundational knowledge in matters pertaining to legal standards, professional guidelines and ethical issues.
Take the First Step to Become a Counselor for Addiction, Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse
Earning your online Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling degree is the first step toward pursuing a meaningful career in substance abuse counseling. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, substance abuse is on an alarming upward trend in the United States. In 2002, 8.3 percent of the population had used an illicit drug within the past month. In 2013, an estimated 9.4 percent of the population had used an illicit drug. The upward trend in substance abuse in the U.S. correlates to an increased demand for substance abuse counselors to help those in need. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is expected to grow by 23 percent from 2016 through 2026—a much faster rate than average.
Substance abuse counselors can work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, mental health clinics and rehabilitation facilities. Some jobs may require professional licensure or certification. The BS in addiction counseling degree at GCU may qualify you to become eligible to pursue professional credentials. It may also provide a foundation for enrollment in a graduate degree program in substance abuse counseling.
General Education Requirements
General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.
Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.
- UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
- UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.
- MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
- PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
- BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4
Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.
- HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
This course provides foundational knowledge in theoretical approaches to counseling. Theoretical models studied include psychodynamic, existential, Gestalt, person-centered, cognitive and behavioral therapy, family systems, and narrative- and solution-focused therapies.
This course provides foundational knowledge regarding addiction and substance use disorders. Topics studied include biopsychosocial dynamics; stages, processes, and impact of addiction and substance use; and the role of the addiction professional in prevention, intervention, relapse prevention, and aftercare. In addition, the course provides overviews of the substance abuse counselor's code of ethics, HIPAA, and legal issues involved in counseling.
This course provides a foundational understanding of the biological and psychological components of substance use disorders, addiction and treatment, and application to the client with co-occurring disorders. Students gain foundational knowledge in the principles of pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology as they apply to the major classes of medications. The course also focuses on current drugs used in the treatment of addiction and substance use disorders. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course provides foundational knowledge regarding the treatment of addiction/substance use disorders and a comorbid psychiatric disorder. Students learn about origins of, methods of transmission for, and myths regarding HIV/AIDS, and treatment issues and prevention strategies for the HIV-positive or AIDS client. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses on cultural sensitivity and cultural competence as they relate to the development and use of treatment plans designed for clients from diverse populations. Students learn the importance of being knowledgeable of the values and belief systems of diverse populations as well as issues of social justice when examining incidences of drug use among these groups and implementing individual treatment plans. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course provides foundational knowledge in the study of group dynamics, stages, and processes. Students learn the importance of screening, intervention, and leadership styles in effective group interventions. Self-help groups and community resources are explored. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course provides foundational knowledge on stages of change, interviewing techniques, screening and assessment, report writing, record keeping, treatment planning, and case management. In addition, students develop knowledge and skill in crisis intervention in preparation for working with clients and families with addiction or substance use disorders. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses on relapse prevention. Identifying potential triggers for relapse and developing relapse prevention plans are explored. Students are provided with strategies for connecting their clients with community resources. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses on understanding the family dynamics of addiction. In addition, students learn the importance of working with community and prevention programs in addressing addiction and substance use disorders on a broader level. Skill in presenting educational topics pertaining to addiction and substance use disorders are developed. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses on the legal and ethical responsibilities involved when child abuse, abuse of the elderly, and domestic or family violence has been reported. Understanding the dynamics of working with cases of family violence and domestic partner abuse are explored.
This course provides advanced study in the application of cognitive and behavioral theory, rational emotive behavioral theory, family systems theory, solution-focused therapy, and postmodern theories. Newly developed research-based theories are also discussed. In addition, this course provides advanced application of motivational interviewing techniques. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This writing-intensive course focuses on substance use disorders, diagnosis, assessment, and treatment as they apply to mental health disorders and special populations. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses on the relationship between spirituality and the development and treatment of addictions. It also covers legal, ethical, and spiritual aspects of death, dying, and end of life issues. The course addresses grief and loss as it relates to addiction, death, and dying. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This writing intensive course provides an advanced study in the application of ethical guidelines, legal standards, HIPAA, and professional responsibilities in the treatment of addiction and substance use disorders. Topics include attitudes, skills, and behaviors of addiction and substance use disorder counselors; prevention of burnout and compassion fatigue; the importance of obtaining supervision and consultation; and licensure and certification. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course focuses specifically on the special issues involved in treating children and adolescents struggling with addiction or substance use disorders and how that treatment compares to treatment of adults. Students demonstrate and apply assessment, diagnosis, and treatment methods, as well as understanding of risk factors, social influences, prevention strategies, intervention, treatment planning, and relapse prevention. The importance of family involvement, family education, and legal issues involved in treating children is also discussed. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course provides advanced study in the treatment of process addictions, such as compulsive gambling, sexual addiction, work addiction, spending addiction, and eating disorders. Students learn the special issues involved in screening, assessment, prevention, treatment, and relapse prevention related to process addictions. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
This course provides advanced study in case management. Students examine case studies on addiction and substance use disorders to develop knowledge and skill in screening, intake, assessment, treatment planning, record keeping, report writing, referral, and case management. Prerequisite: PCN-255.
This course provides clinical knowledge of the effects of trauma on clients struggling with addiction and substance use disorders. Students develop knowledge and skill in assessing for anxiety disorders, including trauma, and learn to facilitate a critical incident stress management debriefing. Prerequisites: PCN-100 and PCN-107.
Online and Evening program disclosures (4.5 years)
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.