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
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook estimates job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors to increase by approximately 25% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than average, accounting for the addition of an estimated 79,000 jobs in the field.** 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.
*Retrieved from Intelligent.com, “The Best Online Master’s In Addictions And Recovery Degree Programs” in February 2020
**COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is based on 2019, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.