According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, drug overdose deaths exceeded 100,000 in the 12 months beginning in April 2020. While the drug of choice for Americans has shifted many times over the decades, Americans will continue to need addiction help.
If you want to help, you’ll need the knowledge and credentials. InterCoast Colleges provides programs in addiction studies, including multiple relevant Certificates and Degrees. However, the most comprehensive program is the BAS degree in Addiction Studies.
If you’re considering making a difference in the world and already have an associate’s degree, you could start with this Bachelor’s degree program.
Below, we’ll cover jobs the program might prepare you for, the expectations of the program, and graduation requirements. This may help you decide whether this program fits your professional needs.
Who Should Attend This BAS Degree Program?
The ideal student for this program wants a career in alcohol and drug counseling. Graduates may qualify to pursue up to five California specialty certifications for drug and alcohol treatment.
This program follows a “2 + 2” format. Students entering the program should already have an Associate’s degree in a related field. Students should have at least 255 hours of experience in a clinical internship setting.
Most Associate degree programs that would fit these requirements already require a high school diploma or GED. This program also makes those requirements explicit.
It is preferred that you already possess California certification in the field when applying. However, this shouldn’t stop students who have already completed the necessary education and may still need to take the exam. InterCoast Colleges offers an exam prep class for students in this situation.
What Do You Want?
No two career paths follow the same trajectory. This degree program accounts for that. Graduates should be ready to perform in many fields, including research, counseling, and community support work.
You might be a good fit for the program if you’re considering working at a non-profit agency or a veterans’ affairs office. Those considering working as support at halfway houses, hospitals, and workplace treatment programs may also find the program appropriate.
That said, the program also contains a strong research component for those interested in performing studies on the effects of addiction. Students might be able to pursue careers in government health and social services agencies. If you want to help fight addiction at the data level, this program may help you understand the research skills necessary to help.
Where Do You Want to Work?
While the program may prepare you for work in many states, it focuses on California. The program meets or exceeds multiple California certification requirements. Getting certified will still require meeting other non-education requirements, like work hours in the field.
Not satisfied with the basics? The program may also prepare you for up to five specialty certifications. You can read more about which certifications you can pursue on the ICC website.
What Interests You?
As long as you are interested in some element of the field, you should find something to like in the program. Some areas may get more focus than others.
Are you interested in challenging issues in practice? The program also covers the ethical duties and expectations of the field. This program discusses how to make decisions that respect your clients or patients.
Has something about a specific community caught your eye? The program covers cultural and cross-cultural competencies in addiction treatment.
What Could Disqualify You?
If you have a lot of competing needs for your time, you may want to look for another program. The ICC program has a minimum attendance requirement of 80%. Even if you meet the other standards for graduation, low attendance could disqualify you.
If you rely on Title IV funding for your education, you’ll need to find another program. Currently, ICC’s BAS program doesn’t qualify for these funding sources. But, payment plans and VA funding may be available.
What Are Some Alternatives?
Another option for those with no background in the field is the school’s Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies certificate program or the Associate’s Degree in Substance Use Disorder program. Are you thinking of making a career pivot? These programs may be the better option, as they require no previous knowledge of the field.
What Makes a Good Counselor?
If you’re looking at this program, you’re already in the substance abuse counseling field and looking to improve. Take an inventory of your key skills before proceeding. An education program like this should encourage you to stay in the field.
A good counselor should have strong listening skills, a sense of empathy, and some humility. All three will help you treat patients with compassion and respect.
Just as important is a solid ethical framework and some emotional fortitude. People may come to you with hard choices and painful stories. You could need to carry that weight around, so make sure you’re ready.
A Helping Hand in a Rough Spot
While this BAS degree program can help you make your next career move, it won’t be for everyone. Ideal students already have some motivation to succeed as counselors. A sense of where you’re going in your career helps too.
Looking for some advice on whether this program would suit you best? Get in contact with InterCoast Colleges today. Take some time to review each program and figure out your strongest options, then reach out, and we’ll help you find the right one.