Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor in Arizona
Find Programs for Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Arizona
You likely started studying the field of psychology because you wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When you decide to earn an accredited counseling degree, you can get the training you need to help patients stop harmful habits, turn their lives around, and improve their quality of life.
With addiction rates rising in Arizona, you may be interested in learning how to become a substance abuse and addiction counselor. Arizona has a complex variety of substance abuse issues, particularly a growing availability and demand for synthetic opioids (FOX 10 Phoenix, 2016).
If you’re curious about how you can get started in this field, check out the list of degree and training programs for Arizona substance abuse counselors below.
Request information from the schools that interest you.
Substance Abuse Counselor Training in Arizona
If this is your first time studying psychology, you may be considering earning your AZ substance abuse counselor certification with a Bachelor’s degree. This four-year undergraduate degree includes many specialized courses. Your curriculum should focus on the pharmacology of illicit drugs, comorbid diagnoses, how addictions develop and evolve, and which treatments are effective for addiction.
In addition to taking courses like those listed below, you may get several hundred hours of experience working with a certified substance abuse counselor.
Bachelor’s-Level Substance Abuse Counseling Courses
- Spirituality and Addiction
- Foundations of Substance Use Disorders
- Group Interventions
- Process Addictions
- Treatment of Substance Use Disorders in Adolescents
- Professional Issues in Substance Use Counseling
Master’s in Substance Abuse Counseling—Arizona Requirements
An Arizona Master’s degree in substance abuse counselor training generally takes between two and four years, depending on which school you decide to attend. While some require as few as 30 credits, others require up to 60 credits of graduate study.
As you complete your training to become an addiction counselor, Arizona degree programs will consist of some basic courses. You should become an expert in addiction theory, various interventions and their efficacy rates, and the techniques used for different types of addiction.
Addictions Counselor Arizona Graduate Courses
- Counseling Theories
- Group Counseling
- Problems of Drug Abuse
- Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders
- Counseling Skills and Techniques
To become a certified addiction counselor, you need quite a bit of hands-on experience. Plan on spending more than 1000 hours working with patients under the supervision of an instructor.
Substance Abuse Counselor Careers in Arizona
After you graduate, you may apply for your AZ substance abuse technician license through the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. There are three levels of licensure:
- Licensed Substance Abuse Technician
- Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor and
- Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor
Education requirements scale up at each step, with the highest license requiring a Master’s degree.
With your training, you may look into different substance abuse counselor careers. In Arizona, addiction counselors claim an average income of $41,000 per year and social workers claim an average income of $31,680 annually (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job growth rates are quite high in this state. O*Net anticipates a 25% increase in substance abuse counselor job openings and a 22% jump in substance abuse social worker job openings through the year 2024 (2016).
Your income and job outlook will depend on what level of licensure you achieve and which part of Arizona you work in. If you work in an area that is typically underserved by medical professionals, you may also qualify for loan repayment programs and other benefits.
Counselors who specialize in substance abuse work with some of the most misrepresented patient groups in the United States. By providing strong guidance, empathy, and accountability, you can help patients break the hold that alcohol and drugs have on them.