Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor in Alaska
Find Programs for Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Alaska
In the subfield of counseling, there are many areas of specialty that demand specialized training and supervised experience. One of the growing areas of study in psychology is substance abuse counseling, since addiction and substance abuse rates are rising steadily all over the country.
The state of Alaska struggles with high rates of alcohol, heroin, meth, prescription drugs, and cocaine usage (News Miner, 2016). The Statewide Drug Enforcement Unit notes that Alaska is one of the top 10 states in its illicit drug use rates.
Making it easier for people to employ the services of a certified substance abuse counselor can decrease addiction rates and strengthen society.
Learn more about earning Alaska substance abuse certification by contacting undergraduate and graduate programs below.
Substance Abuse Counselor Training in Alaska
As an undergraduate student, you may want to start your education with an accredited counseling degree. Over a period of four years, you can complete a Bachelor’s degree with 120 credits. You’ll start by taking courses in psychology, human development, pharmacology, and counseling.
Bachelor’s-Level Substance Abuse Counseling Courses
- Foundations of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders
- Community Resources for Addiction and Substance Abuse Disorders
- Relapse Prevention
- Domestic Violence with Substance Abuse Disorders
- Psychopathology of Substance Use Disorders
On top of theory-based counseling courses, you may observe and participate in counseling sessions. Many Bachelor’s-level programs require over 200 hours of supervised practice. You may work with patients with alcohol use issues, an addiction to prescription medication, or an addiction to illicit drugs.
Master’s in Substance Abuse Counseling—Alaska Requirements
To meet Alaska substance abuse counselor requirements for full licensure, you will eventually need a Master’s degree or doctoral degree. After earning a Bachelor’s degree, you may be able to complete your Master’s degree in as little as two years.
This degree emphasizes the importance of clinical experience, so you may spend close to 1000 hours working with patients with substance use disorders.
Addiction Counselor Alaska Graduate Courses
- Human Development for Addiction Professionals
- Assessment of Addiction
- Ethical and Legal Issues in Addiction Treatment
- Theories and Models for Addiction Treatment
- Interventions in Addiction Treatment
- Supervision and Program Management in Addiction Treatment
By the time you complete your Master’s degree, you should be well-versed in the various types of substance abuse and how each substance affects patients differently. This experience can help you tailor your experience to each patient’s history with alcohol and drugs.
Substance Abuse Counselor Careers in Alaska
Before you begin your career as an independent counselor, you have to apply for certification through the Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification.
While you may work in an assistant role with a Bachelor’s degree, you need a Master’s degree from an accredited program to become a certified addiction counselor. You also need to complete a period of supervised work experience before receiving full Alaska counselor technician certification.
Throughout Alaska, the need for professionals with high-level training in substance use disorders is growing. By the year 2024, statewide need for substance abuse counselors may increase 16% (O*Net, 2016). At the same time, job openings for substance abuse social workers may swell 17% (O*Net, 2016).
Salaries in this specialty tend to be fairly competitive, particularly if you work in a high-need part of the state. On average, substance abuse counselor Alaska professionals earn $50,130 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). The average annual salary for a substance abuse social worker is $45,280 (BLS, 2016).
As you prepare for substance abuse counselor careers, compare alcohol and substance abuse counselor programs. Alaska schools may help you get the in-depth experience and knowledge you need.