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Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling | Substance Abuse Counseling Degree | Undergraduate Degree Program

Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling | Substance Abuse Counseling Degree

About OU’s Online Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling Program

Earn your accelerated online degree in addiction counseling with Ottawa University and gain the skills you need to pursue a career helping others overcome substance abuse issues. Prepare to help improve the welfare of those who find their lives jeopardized by various forms of addiction. As our students pursue their accelerated, online degree in addiction counseling, they take courses covering a range of topics including addiction, alcohol and other drugs (AOD), alcoholism, chemical dependency, substance use disorders, harm reduction, co-occurring disorders, and dual diagnosis. 

The accelerated, online Bachelor of Science in Addictions Counseling coursework is focused on the integration of research, theories of addiction, and counseling theories. Students gain understanding of factors that influence the delivery of addiction counseling and substance use disorder services. They also learn how to assist addicted individuals in obtaining long-term recovery through curriculum surrounding cultural competence, screening, intake, assessment, treatment planning, orientation, treatment, case management, crisis intervention, client education, consultation, client referral, and documentation.

Courses and Curriculum

Throughout OU’s accelerated, online addiction counseling program, students develop critical-thinking skills and study the factors that influence the delivery of addiction counseling and substance use disorder services. Our students also learn the importance of cultural competence in serving diverse communities, as they assist individuals in obtaining long-term recovery. Earning your Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling degree is the first step toward pursuing a meaningful career as a substance abuse counselor. You may take classes including:

  • Introduction to Substance Abuse Disorders and Addictions Counseling 
  • Theories of Personality and Addiction
  • Clinical Addiction Counseling Issues
  • Group Counseling in Addiction
  • Practicum/ Internship I and II

The online addiction counseling program is led by Dr. Kirk Bowden, President-Elect of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. Dr. Bowden holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from Northcentral University and serves on the editorial boards of Advances in Addiction and Recovery, the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, and Substance Abuse, the professional journal of the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse (AMERSA).

For more information about earning your B.S. degree online in addiction counseling at Ottawa University, contact us today!

See Also: 

The Importance of Cultural Competence

Best Master of Science in Addiction Counseling

How to Choose a Degree Program

Addiction Counseling | Substance Abuse Counseling Degree is offered at the following locations.

  • Overland Park, Kansas
  • Phoenix, Arizona
  • Queen Creek, Arizona
  • Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Online

Education and Qualifications

Most substance abuse counselor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. However, many of our students continue their education with a Master of Science in Addiction Counseling or a Master of Arts in Counseling.

*This program is available in an online format and is designed to meet the state board of behavioral health licensing/certification and USDOE requirements in a majority of U.S. Because these requirements vary by state, students should confer with their state's licensure or certification authority to assure that this degree program meets their license or certificate requirements.

For curriculum and course descriptions, please download a program overview.

Careers in Addiction Counseling

Upon completion of your online counseling degree, you will be qualified for a number of careers. Substance abuse counselors can work in a variety of settings, including private practices, hospitals, mental health clinics, and rehabilitation facilities.

Addiction Counseling careers may include:

  • Substance Abuse Counselor/Addiction Counseling Agencies
  • Residential Treatment Facilities
  • Hospitals (State, Local & Private)
  • Outpatient Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Centers
  • State and Local Government Agencies
  • Military Addiction and Substance Use Counselors
  • Jail and Prison Addiction Counselors
  • Parole and Probation Officers

Addiction Counseling Major Courses

Intro To Substance Abuse Disorders and Addictions Counseling | ADC 30000 (3 credits)

Examines substance use disorders and process addictions inclusive of compulsive sexual behaviors, eating disorders, and pathological gambling.

Human Development and Addiction | ADC 30003 (3 credits)

Examines theories and research of human growth and development.  Includes a focus on developmental diagnostic and assessment tools, strategies, and their application within addiction counseling.

Theories of Personality and Addiction | ADC 40000 (3 credits)

Examines psychoanalytic, behaviorist, cognitive and humanistic theories of personality development.  Emphasizes their application within addiction counseling.

Psychopharmacology and Addiction | ADC 40003 (3 credits)

Examines the psychoactive and addictive properties of major drug classifications.  Includes psychopharmacology treatment interventions and their application within addiction counseling.

Psychopathological and Co-Occurring Disorders | ADC 40003 (3 credits)

Study of biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences contributing to abnormal behavior patterns including substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.  Includes a focus on intake, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and case management of various psycho-pathological and co-occurring disorders.

Clinical Addiction Counseling Issues | ADC 40009 (3 credits)

Examines the processes of client screening, intake, assessment, treatment planning, crisis interventions, case management reports, record keeping, and client education in addiction counseling.

Multi-Cultural Competencies in Addiction Counseling | ADC 40012 (3 credits)

Study of multicultural issues to include integration, discrimination, prejudice, the social dynamics of conflict, and assimilation.  Includes a focus on their application to addiction counseling.

Professional Responsibility: Legal and Ethics Issues of Addiction Counseling | ADC 40015 (3 credits)

Examines addiction counseling professional responsibilities, legal standards, and ethics issues.

Special Issues in Addiction Counseling | ADC 40018 (3 credits)

Examines prevention and harm reduction in addiction counseling.  Includes a focus on IV and sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS/HIV and Hepatitis C.

Families and Addiction | ADC 40021 (3 credits)

Examines addiction and substance misuse in the family system.  Emphasizes client education, prevention, as well as individual and family system approaches to intervention.  Includes a focus on issues specific to women.

Group Counseling in Addiction | ADC 40024 (3 credits)

Examines addiction counseling skills required to perform therapeutic group sessions.  Focuses on types of groups, client placement, group development, stages of treatment, client confidentiality, client education, and the client referral process.

Adc Practicum/Internship I | ADC 40027 (3 credits)

150 hours of clinical addiction counseling work experience in a supervised setting.  Fifty percent of the practicum hours must be completed in direct client contact.  The practicum is designed to develop addiction counseling skills through practical application in an addiction counseling setting.  Students work under the direct supervision of an approved onsite supervisor and a faculty supervisor.  Capstone assignments throughout Practicum I and II guide students in the development of an integrative e-portfolio project that demonstrates personal achievement of the learning outcomes in the addiction counseling major. Enrollment requires advisor approval.

Adc Practicum/Internship II | ADC 40030 (3 credits)

150 hours of clinical addiction counseling work experience in a supervised setting.  Fifty percent of the practicum hours must be completed in direct client contact.  The practicum is designed to develop addiction counseling skills through practical application in an addiction counseling setting.  Students work under the direct supervision of an approved onsite supervisor and a faculty supervisor.  Capstone assignments throughout Practicum I and II guide students in the development of an integrative e-portfolio project that demonstrates personal achievement of the learning outcomes in the addiction counseling major. Enrollment requires advisor approval.

For curriculum and course descriptions, please download a program overview.

Full Degree Catalog

University Accreditation

Ottawa University, as a whole, is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Specific degree programs within our institution have also been accredited by relevant bodies within the field:

We are proudly recognized for our commitment to student excellence by the following designations:

Why Choose Ottawa
The courses in Ottawa University's programs are 100% online and accredited by The Higher Learning Commission. We make it easy for you to transfer credits in order to help keep tuition costs down. We also offer courses in accelerated 8-week terms in order to reduce your time to completion. These are just a few of the reasons why we are proud to be the best, fastest, and most affordable option locally in the Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Phoenix areas, as well as serving students nationally through our online degrees.

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