Addiction or Substance Abuse Counseling

New and emerging areas falling within the purview of psychology have great practical applications and exciting advancements in the neurosciences have given rise to several new disciplines within this sphere. Psychologist Ann Steele has talked of “11 of the most exciting options in this diverse and intriguing field” one of them being Addiction or Substance Abuse Counseling.
Substance abuse (drugs, alcohol) leading to addiction, affects the lives of addicts and those close to them. This specialization gives students an understanding of the behavioral and mental health problems that can go hand in hand with substance abuse. Counselors help addicts with rehabilitation and integration back into society. Students will acquire tools that give them the potential to work as substance abuse counselors within either a community set up, individually, or in private practice. Programs vary from university to university, some being a Master of Arts, and others being a Master of Science. Whether choosing an M.A. or an M.S. program, it may be in your interest to check that your degree is accepted in whichever part of the world you are planning to practice. An indication of what universities offer in this field is given below, but this is just a broad overview. You should do further research in order to hone in on a program that is ideal for your interests.
The Hazelden Betty Ford Graduate School of Addiction Studies offers an M.A. in Addiction Counseling. The course entails both classroom teaching and clinical placement. The program will give you the “knowledge and skills to address the complexities of addiction treatment and recovery across the continuum of care.” (
A Master of Arts and Certification in Addiction Counseling program is also run by the University of Detroit Mercy. The course provides “specialized training in the prevention, assessment, and treatment of addictive disorders.” It focuses on all areas of addiction – substance as well as behavioral.
London South Bank University offers an MSc in Addiction Psychology and Counselling. After 2 years of coursework, students are required to complete a research project in addiction psychology/therapy. (
For those wishing to pursue a PhD in Addictions, King’s College London has several options available to students. ( )