Post-MS in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate Program

Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Impact the Lives of Others with a Post-Master of Science Addiction Counseling Certificate

In 2017, over 70,000 people in the U.S. lost their lives because of a drug overdose, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The statistics on the drug epidemic are alarming. If you feel called to work toward saving lives and strengthening communities, consider earning your addiction counseling certificate at Grand Canyon University. The Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate program is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling, behavioral health, social work, nursing or a related field.

Offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this addiction counseling certificate examines the assessment, treatment and aftercare of substance abuse and addictive disorders. It explores co-occurring disorders and best practices in working with chemically dependent adolescents. There is a focus on Christian principles and biblical truths. Aspiring counselors are encouraged to explore addictions in light of the Christian worldview, and to look for appropriate ways of integrating faith into their practice.

Learn to Analyze and Address Substance Abuse Disorders

Earn your Post-MS certificate in addiction counseling and emerge ready to tackle 21st century problems that adversely affect individuals, families and society as a whole. Refine your communication skills and leadership style as you study matters of professional ethics in the counseling field. A total of 15 credits are required for completion for a substance abuse certificate online. The courses are eight weeks in length and can be completed online or in the evenings.

The program begins with an overview of the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), including the application of its information to the counseling field. Students explore best practices in academic research, writing and the use of community resources. In courses such as Family Issues and Addictive Disorders, Co-Occurring Disorders and Counseling Chemically Dependent Adolescents, you will study the following topic areas:

  • Critical issues and special treatment needs in families with addictive disorders, including a look at intergenerational patterns and solution-focused techniques
  • Signs, symptoms and patterns of adolescent substance abuse, and screening methods and assessment tools
  • Identifying, evaluating and treating co-occurring disorders, including bipolar, depressive, trauma, personality and anxiety disorders
  • Stages, processes and effects of substance abuse disorders, and the professional’s role in prevention, intervention and aftercare, with a focus on recovery and relapse prevention

Apply Addiction Expertise to Individual and Family Therapy

Substance use and addictive disorders are complex problems that require the attention of specially trained counselors. By earning your certificate in addiction counseling, you will be fully prepared to lead individuals out of the depths of addiction, as well as to work with groups and whole families affected by addiction. A Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Certificate may prepare you to pursue positions in any of the following settings:

  • Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs
  • Hospitals and private practice clinics
  • Social service agencies
  • Community-based organizations
  • Schools and universities

Substance abuse counselors are typically responsible for evaluating clients, identifying underlying issues, creating goals and treatment plans, leading group therapy sessions and working with clients in one-on-one sessions. They may also teach clients coping techniques, help them find jobs to get their lives back on track and provide updates to court-mandated programs.

Get More Information!

Loading Form

Total Credits: 15
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

15 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
15 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course provides an introduction to the graduate certificate programs in childhood and adolescence disorders, marriage and family therapy, substance use disorders and addiction, and trauma. Students are introduced to the University policies and procedures, the learning management system, the library, and proper APA formatting for academic writing. In addition, students are introduced to the current DSM and how the information relates to the field of counseling. Students also learn about researching and utilizing community resources, and becoming certified in specializations.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of the stages, processes, and effects of substance use disorders, social and psychological dynamics of substance use disorders, and the professional's role in prevention, intervention, and aftercare, including recovery and relapse prevention. This course explores theories and models of treatment of substance use disorders, drug classification, and assessment. It also continues building foundational knowledge, utilization of professional resources, and exploration of standards to help students prepare for licensure/certification within the counseling industry.

Course Description

This course introduces students to co-occurring disorders. Students examine screening and assessment tools to reveal and evaluate the presence and severity of co-occurring disorders. This course also explores the treatment needs of persons with co-occurring disorders. Strategies for risk management associated with treating individuals with co-occurring disorders are presented.

Course Description

This course examines the impact of substance use disorders in family systems. Various treatment interventions are discussed. The treatment roles and responsibilities of addicted individuals and their families are also examined.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to adolescent substance use disorders prevention and treatment techniques and interventions. Signs, symptoms, and patterns of adolescent substance use are examined. Students also explore adolescent screening methods and assessment tools.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* 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.

Scroll back to top