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Online Substance Abuse and Addictions Programs

Substance Abuse Counseling
Online Substance Abuse and Addictions Programs
Rank School Location
1 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
2 Ohio Christian University Circleville, OH
3 Indiana Wesleyan University Marion, IN
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
5 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, Kansas
6 Purdue University Global Chicago, IL

Successful Student has done the research and chosen online Substance Abuse and Addictions programs that are beneficial to students.

Two of the fastest growing careers we see are the fields of substance abuse and addictions counseling, and sex therapy counseling. We combined them into one article because they both fall under the field of counseling.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates future growth at 31% in abuse and addiction counseling. In order to practice, counselors must first attain certification through an exam, which requires different prerequisites determined by each state's licensing board.

There is a National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) which serves as a centralized source of information for potential candidates. A counselor of this type is a mental health specialist, who focuses on helping individuals suffering from either substance abuse or sexual dysfunction.

There are also opportunities for counselors to work with the family and friends of the individual in counseling. This role can be both extremely challenging and extremely rewarding as you see people in their darkest struggles work to become self-sufficient, well-functioning members of society.

An individual with this sort of counseling certification may choose to work in a clinical setting, private practice, rehab clinics and mental health centers, among others. While all online substance abuse and sex therapy counseling programs are different, the general intent is to provide a means for individuals to obtain a degree while continuing their current job, and can be completed at their own pace.

This article is intended to share Online Substance Abuse and Sex Therapy Colleges, along with a short summary of their degree programs. These programs were ranked with consideration to their accreditation, variety of coursework, and academic reputation. As always at Successful Student, these schools and programs were considered from the student's point of view.

Online Substance Abuse and Addictions Programs


Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University offers three degrees that fall under Substance Abuse.

The Bachelor of Science in Counseling, with an Emphasis on Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse program focuses on addictions and their treatments, substance abuse disorders, and the different ways people struggle with varying disorders.

The degree also allows insight into the ways in which family members deal with these disorders, and successful methods for overcoming different types of addictions.

Completing this degree will meet the requirements for sitting for the certification exam, but you should verify with your state the exact requirements that apply to you.

This degree plan requires 120 credit hours. The online courses typically last for seven weeks in the online program. Field work is also included in order to expose the candidates to real-life situations.

Classes begin frequently, and include courses such as Multicultural Counseling in a Diverse Society, Relapse Prevention in the Treatment of Addiction and Substance Abuse, and Spirituality and Addiction. This degree is accredited.

The Master of Science in Addiction Counseling degree is a route to achieving the highest certification or licensing in most states. A masters degree will allow individuals to own their own counseling clinic.

This masters degree focuses on various aspects of dependencies and additions, including group counseling theory and practice, drug classification, psychiatric disorders combined with substance abuse disorders and the role that family and friends can play in the recovery of a person with an addiction.

This degree can be completed in 36 credits by someone who has already earned a bachelors degree in a related field of study, and each course has a typical length of eight weeks.

The Master of Science in Christian Counseling of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders teaches methods that are intended to ease substance abuse and addiction with God's word.

This degree is especially appealing for individuals who feel called to spread God's word while helping to heal those with addictions. The degree is founded in Christian principles, psychology theory and counseling practices.

Topics in this degree program include but are not limited to:

  • Biblical foundations for counselors
  • Biblical concepts of healthy relationships
  • Family issues and addictive disorders

The degree requires a total of 48 credits, with most courses lasting for eight weeks.


Ohio Christian University

Circleville, OH

The Ohio Christian University Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counseling requires 120 credit hours to be completed. These hours focus on equipping future counselors to enter the addiction recovery arena, and to work towards completing the requirements necessary to become a licensed substance abuse counselor.

The program intends for it's students to gain knowledge and skills necessary to integrate the principles of Christianity into the healing and recovery process for individuals suffering from an addiction, while designing and providing care plans for individuals and their families affected by substance abuse dependencies.

Some of the courses required include:

  • Christian Excellence
  • Transformed Worldview
  • Individual Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling

Indiana Wesleyan University

Marion, IN

The Indiana Wesleyan Bachelor of Science in Addictions Counseling is offered primarily online, and has an on-site practicum experience for program participants. This program is a 22-month long program with a Christian focus, and includes courses such as Addictions Theory, Minority Group Relations, and Theories of Personality, and also addresses group and family counseling.

Upon completion of this degree, students are prepared to take the required licensing exam to become certified counselors. Graduates have several options for employment, including domestic violence centers, in-patient centers, and the court system, to name a few.

Beyond prerequisite courses, this program requires 48 credit hours. This program is accredited by NAADAC, the National Association for Addiction Professionals.

Indiana Wesleyan also offers a Master of Science in Addictions Counseling online.

This program also requires 48 credit hours.

The program is intended to equip counselors to deal with various ailments related to addictive behaviors, including eating, sexual and gambling disorders, with a Christian worldview.

Students can expect to complete courses such as Theory and Techniques in Group Counseling, Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues, Counseling Addicted Families, and Issues in Addiction Recovery.

This program is accredited by both the NAADAC and NASAC (National Addictions Studies Accreditation Commission).


Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University offers an online Master's program in Pastoral Counseling, with an emphasis on Addictions and Recovery.

This program is intended to prepare its graduates to serve in a church setting, conducting nonprofessional counseling, among other options.

Students who complete this program learn to identify and treat addictions while overseeing the recovery. The full recovery process is conducted with a Christian perspective and influence.

The degree can be completed through 36 credit hours.


MidAmerica Nazarene University

Olathe, Kansas

MidAmerica Nazarene University offers an online certification program to help train post-graduate counselors in the treatment of those struggling with various types of sexual addictions.

The Sexual Addictions Treatment Provider Certification is faith-based, and focuses on quality training and clinical application.

The certification can be earned through the completion of 15 credit hours. The certification is all online and can be completed in as little as one year.

Applicants can expect to complete courses such as Neurobiology of Sexual Addictions, Couples' Work in Recovery and Spiritual Dimensions in Recovery.


Purdue University Global

Chicago, IL

Purdue University Global, part the prestigious Purdue University System and an NAADAC-approved educator, prepares students for careers helping those who suffer from substance abuse with several program options.

Through Purdue University Global students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions, a Master of Science in Psychology with an Addictions concentration as well as a Graduate Certificate in Addictions.

The 180-credit online Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addictions degree features courses in Health Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, Case Management in Clinical Settings, Personality Development, and more.

The 65- to 75-credit online Master of Science in Psychology degree with the concentration in Addictions focuses on the principles of addictions counseling, psychopharmacology, group counseling and co-occurring disorders and how to apply them.

The Certificate in Addictions program emphasizes the application of advanced additions counseling, chemical and psychological dependency counseling, and group counseling, among others.

Purdue University Global's courses received verification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Inc. (BACB), and graduates meet requirements to sit for the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) certification exams.

Purdue University Global has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission.

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