Online Certificate Programs in Drug and Alcohol Counseling

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: Requirements for online drug and alcohol counseling certificate programs vary by state, though generally do not require prior completion of a degree program.
  • Professional Prerequisites: Online drug and alcohol counseling certificate programs might require current or previous professional experience in education, rehabilitation, or counseling, depending on the state and individual program.
  • Average Program Length: 1 year (full time); 2 years (part time)

Online certificate programs in drug and alcohol counseling are geared towards those who want to counsel others suffering from the effects of substance or alcohol abuse. Curriculum often focuses on understanding the recovery process and providing students with the essential tools to help rehabilitate others. An online drug and alcohol counseling certificate program is ideal for those looking to build on their knowledge of counseling, communication, crisis management, or intervention, as well as understand advanced advocacy and support techniques. Students can apply this unique combination of academic, medical, and behavioral and social skills in a variety of professional opportunities in treatment centers, hospitals, and state or government agencies, just to name a few.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Drug and Alcohol Counseling

During an online certificate program in drug and alcohol counseling, students will typically learn how to assess their clients’ history of substance abuse and establish a path to recovery. Students might also focus on a more specialized discipline within this broad field, such as case management or inmate counseling, for instance. Through a fully online drug and alcohol counseling certificate program, the student can take advantage of flexible scheduling options, online lectures and seminars, and live interaction with professors and students.

Although not a universal requirement, many online certificate programs strongly encourage students to participate in internships, training, or other professional experience while completing this certificate to gain realistic perspective of the practical application of skills in a counseling-related environment. Once students have finished this online certificate program, they may have a variety of professional options in drug and alcohol counseling, social work, or even case management, among others.

What Your Online Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling Can Do for You

The online drug and alcohol counseling certification program is designed to provide students with the broad range of skills needed to counsel clients in the recovery process. Students will learn how to assess substance abuse issues, plan treatment, counsel groups and individuals, manage cases, perform interventions, educate clients, and share community resources. Although this certificate introduces students to the delicate balance of analytical and clinical qualifications needed to practice counseling in this field, it also provides greater flexibility to those just starting out in their careers, allowing students to pursue an online certificate while gaining experience, and deciding if they want to pursue a higher degree or extend their education. Online certificate also takes less time to complete than an online degree program, and is often more accommodating for students’ schedules than traditional, on-campus course work.

Graduates of an accredited online drug and alcohol counseling certificate program qualify for a variety of humanitarian, social, educational, and community-based careers. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are expected to see an increase in job growth of 27% by the year 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is because of the general increase in world population, and as the population grows, so will the number of people requiring substance abuse or behavioral counseling. In addition, the criminal justice system has recently recognized that people committing drug-related crimes are less likely to be repeat offenders if they receive substance abuse treatment, and, as a result, drug and alcohol treatment programs, as well as the demand for drug and alcohol counselors, are expected to continue to rise dramatically, especially in and around the criminal justice system. Keep in mind, though, that job prospects will also depend on your education, experience, location, and field.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

Gainful employment information can be found at and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement and occupations.

Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.