The Addictions Counseling program is a transfer program that could be continued at a four-year institution as part of a bachelor's degree. It's important to consult with your advisor as you take courses to ensure they meet the requirements at the four-year institution to which you intend to transfer. Academic requirements: All coursework in this program must be a grade of C (70 percent) or better. No more than 50 percent of all coursework may be through distance learning (online, correspondence).
Program Overview and Opportunities: Upon successful completion of this two-year program, the student is awarded an Associate of Arts degree (AA). This program follows the prescribed education track to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) in the state of Iowa. In addition to the educational component, the student must complete 1,000 clock hours of supervised experience in substance abuse counseling and pass the certification exam administered through the Iowa Board of Substance Abuse Certification (http://www.iowabc.org/).
In order for the experience to count toward certification, the hours must be completed no more than three years after taking the certification exam. Addiction counselors may work in licensed facilities that provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation and mental health services. With additional education and experience, individuals may pursue such careers as licensed clinical social worker, mental health counselor, chemical dependency counselor, clinical therapist, certified addiction drug therapist, and/or social worker (MSW).
As many as 65 percent of people with alcohol and other drug dependencies suffer from co-occurring mental health disorders (Hazeldon pub. 2008). The term co-occurring disorder has replaced the term dual diagnosis when defining individuals with at least one substance dependency disorder in the presence of at least one major mental disorder, including major depression, bipolar disorder, or a psychotic disorder such a schizophrenia. The substance abuse counseling field is a career area that is expected to grow in employment opportunities by 34 percent in the next few years.
- Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor
- Mental Health Counselor
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Worker
- Social and Human Service Assistant