Help Others with an MS in Addiction Counseling
Substance use and addictive disorders are diseases that adversely affect individuals, families and communities as a whole. As an aspiring addiction counselor, you could work toward effecting meaningful change in the lives of people in your community. A master’s degree is a required stepping stone toward licensure in many states. The Master of Science in Addiction Counseling at Grand Canyon University follows a rigorous curriculum designed to introduce students to evidence-based substance use disorder assessments and treatments.
Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this MS in addiction counseling is designed to blend classroom instruction with real-world, hands-on learning experiences. Students examine matters of professional ethics, major counseling theories and principles, psychopharmacology and chemical dependency in adolescents. Graduates with a Master’s in Addiction Counseling emerge fully prepared to pursue licensure and work opportunities in various settings.
Examine the Origins of Addiction and Treatment in the Addiction Counseling Master of Science Program
Students may take courses online or at approved campus locations. All classes are taught by fully qualified instructors who guide students through a curriculum designed to provide foundational knowledge and skills in the counseling field. GCU seeks to graduate students who are skilled communicators and effective servant leaders, capable of thinking critically about ethical issues and dilemmas.
In courses such as Introduction to Addictions and Substance Use, Co-Occurring Disorders and Social and Cultural Diversity Issues in Counseling, students will examine the following topic areas:
- The stages, processes and effects of substance use disorders, as well as the professional’s role in prevention, intervention and aftercare
- Screening, assessing and treating individuals with co-occurring disorders, and associated strategies for risk management
- Theories of multicultural counseling, multicultural competencies and strategies for working with diverse populations, including immigrants and refugees
- Major counseling theories and principles, including existential psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral, reality therapy/choice therapy and rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT)
In addition, all students are required to complete the Pre-Practicum. This is a supervised fieldwork experience that includes counseling-related and direct-contact practicum hours. The Pre-Practicum is followed by the Practicum/Internship, which enables students to develop their counseling skills in a real-world setting under supervision.
Prepare to Become a Professional Counselor Specializing in Addiction
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for substance abuse counselors from 2016 through 2026 is expected to grow at a rate of 23 percent. This is much faster than average. More qualified counselors are needed to meet the rising demand for substance abuse and addictive disorder treatment. Professionals with this background may pursue work in any of the following settings:
- Inpatient addiction treatment facilities
- Outpatient treatment programs
- Jails, prisons and juvenile detention centers
- Social work agencies
- Human services organizations
Graduates with an MS in addiction counseling are academically prepared to meet the requirements for licensure in Arizona as a licensed associate substance abuse counselor (LASAC) or a licensed independent substance abuse counselor (LISAC). Graduates may also be prepared to seek licensure or additional certification in other states they may wish to practice in. All students are responsible for understanding the licensing requirements for their states, as criteria may vary from state to state.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.