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Nearly 21 million Americans struggle with addiction. Compassionate, skilled counselors in the alcohol and drug treatment field are needed. Working with people suffering from addiction can be challenging but also deeply rewarding.
Are you considering a career in addiction studies? Or do you already have your CADC-1 and want to take your substance use disorder counseling career to the next level?
If so, earning a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Addiction Studies may be the key to your future. Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a BAS in Addiction Studies?
A degree in addiction studies prepares you to work with people suffering from substance use disorders. You may become an alcohol and drug abuse treatment counselor with this degree. You might also work as an addiction prevention program leader.
An associate degree in Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies is the first stage in entering the Addiction Studies Bachelor’s degree program.
A BAS in addiction studies is a four-year degree that takes your training to the next level. This degree enables you to treat those suffering from substance abuse and dependency. The program also includes coursework to obtain five different specialty certifications to help you advance your career.
The BAS is aimed at developing treatment and program team leaders. It can broaden your career prospects and may result in a higher salary in the field, particularly if you have also earned the specialty certifications.
Addiction Studies Program Requirements
You must meet some requirements to enroll in an addiction studies program. You’ll need the right educational background. Specific soft skills are also required for a career in addiction studies.
Since the BAS in Addiction Studies is a college degree, applicants must be high school graduates or GED holders.
The BAS program at InterCoast Colleges is a 2 + 2 Degree Program. That means it’s designed for students who’ve already earned a two-year degree like InterCoast Colleges’ AAS degree. You’ll need an associate degree from an accredited post-secondary institution. And you should have earned at least a 2.0-grade point average for entry into the program.
If you have a degree from another institution, you’ll need to show that your program courses match the level of the InterCoast’s AA program. You’ll also need to show you’ve had at least 255 hours of supervised clinical internship.
Do you already have California certification? If not, you must enroll in the InterCoast Colleges’ exam preparation course (a no-credit course). It’ll prepare you for the certification examination. If already certified, you’ll need to provide proof of certification.
You should genuinely like helping other people for a successful addiction studies career. You should be kind and helpful. Drug and alcohol counselors must have empathy and compassion for those suffering from addiction and their families. You’ll need a nurturing and caring personality.
You will benefit from having good communication skills, especially listening skills. You’ll need to be able to listen, hear, and understand what people tell you with their words and body language.
Good problem-solving skills will serve you well. You’ll learn a lot about behavior modification in your training. That includes learning how to assess each individual’s unique personality.
With this training, your problem-solving skills will help you develop solutions that work.
BAS Addiction Studies Program Objectives
Each state has its own credentialing or certifying bodies. In California, your program should meet the standards set by two certifying bodies:
- California Association for Alcohol Drug Educators’ Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (CAADE’s ACCBC)
- California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
Specific course work will vary somewhat between programs. But you should be able to achieve the following outcomes.
You should understand substance use disorder counseling. That includes significant concepts, historical trends, theoretical perspectives, and empirical findings.
You’ll have expertise in counseling methods, theories, and principles. That will allow you to choose and apply suitable treatment strategies. You’ll know how to approach and address personal, social, and organizational problems.
A BAS program will equip you to assess behavioral and mental processing problems. You’ll understand the uses and limits of modern tools and technology. You’ll know how to use them to screen, test, treat, and gauge real-world client progress.
You should be able to use research methodologies in addiction. That includes research design and data analysis. You’ll be able to interpret and verify your findings.
A degree in addiction studies will prepare you to work in alcohol and drug counseling and addiction prevention. You’ll have the expertise needed to make a positive difference in the lives of people struggling with addiction.
A Career in Addiction Studies
A career in addiction studies offers caring practitioners the chance to directly impact people’s lives. And the prospects for future jobs in addiction studies appear good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 23% growth rate for employment in substance abuse, behavior disorders, and mental health counseling by 2030.
A BAS Addiction Studies degree can lead to work in various specialty fields. That includes clinical supervision, recovery program management, or medication-assisted treatment.
You could use your training to manage a recovery program or specialize in treating women. You could become an addiction prevention specialist or an intervention specialist.
A professional with an addiction studies certificate may work in various settings. Your BAS could lead you to work in a hospital or an outpatient facility. You might want to consider working in a school or running a workplace treatment program.
There are opportunities with social services agencies, veteran’s programs, and other non-profits. You might even work with prisoners in a correctional facility or halfway house.
Wherever your career in addiction studies takes you, it will offer unique challenges. And in this field, you’ll have the chance to help people find their way to healing and recovery.
Get Your Addiction Studies Career Started
If you’re ready for a career helping people overcome addiction, then it’s time to get the education you need. InterCoast Colleges has the program for you.
Whether you’ve already completed your associate degree or are just starting, we can help you take your next step. Our BAS Addiction Studies program meets CAADE’s ACCBC and CCAPP minimum standards.
You’ll get the professional training you need to earn your addiction studies certificate. Our BAS can help you build your career as a substance abuse professional. Contact us to get started today.