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Substance Abuse Counseling

Viterbo University's Substance Abuse Counseling program utilizes evidence-based training practices to aid students in becoming effective and skilled AODA counselors. In addition, this program facilitates development of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to identify and treat substance abuse issues. Endorsed by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, this program fulfills the 360 classroom education hours required to become a substance abuse counselor in training (SAC-IT).

Career opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for professional substance and drug abuse counselors will rise by 22% between 2012 and 2024. A bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree with a major in substance abuse counseling can prepare you for careers in psychology, human services, criminal justice, ministry, health care, or education. Some Viterbo Alumni go on to graduate school. Exceptional undergraduate students in the substance abuse counseling program can apply to Viterbo's Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC) 4+2 bachelor's to master's degree program. Others find jobs in the substance abuse field. Here is a sampling of positions:

Residential house manager Chemical dependency counselor Intake counselor for residential treatment
Chemical dependency professional trainee Drug and alcohol counselor Social service specialist
Youth counselor Women's program coordinator Substance abuse clinical supervisor
Behavioral health admissions counselor Addictions counselor Community engagement specialist
Substance abuse counselor Addictions clinician Human service assistant

The substance abuse counseling program offers:

  • a bachelor’s degree while also completing coursework that fulfills the classroom education requirements for licensure as a substance abuse counselor in the state of Wisconsin.
  • evidence-based training practices.
  • counseling labs with video technology to provide students with immediate feedback on counseling skill development.
  • opportunities to complete internships in the field.
  • faculty with mental health and/or substance abuse counseling backgrounds.
  • the opportunity to graduate with a skill set to gain entry into the field of alcohol and drug addiction counseling.
  • online tutoring through Smarthinking - from immediate drop-in assistance to scheduled online tutoring sessions.

Earn credit for prior learning

If you have earned professional certifications, completed training in your workplace, or have a number of years of experience in your field, you may qualify to receive credit for prior learning, which can help you earn your degree more quickly and lower the overall cost. To find out whether or not you might be eligible, use our Credit Predictor Tool.

For More Information

For more information, check out details on the Substance Abuse Counseling program or our Substance Abuse Counseling Degree FAQs. You may contact Adult Learning at Viterbo University by completing the "Request Information" form on this page or by calling (608) 796-3010.