NEW ONLINE PROGRAM - What does an Addictions Counselor do? Learn more with an Online Undergraduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling at Kent State University

individuals participate in a group counseling session

Nationwide, there are more than 300,000 job openings for substance abuse treatment providers.

Projections in Ohio indicate an 18% increase in the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor occupation from 2018 to 2028. This ranks as the 19th fastest-growing occupation of 35 occupations listed on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Labor Market Information webpage.1

Substance abuse counselors improve the lives of many people. Getting an online undergraduate certificate in addictions counseling from Kent State can help you start on this path. Certificates are also an excellent opportunity for students looking to ease into a degree program or for students currently working on a degree.

What does an Addiction Counselor do?

An addiction counselor is a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems, eating disorders, and other behavioral issues. They teach individuals how to modify their behavior with the intention of full recovery.2

An addiction counselor assists individuals with exploring what caused addiction, sharing, and processing feelings, increasing awareness of negative thought and behavior patterns, learning healthy coping skills, identifying potential triggers, and creating a long-term plan to sustain sobriety.3

An addiction counselor’s role is to:

  • Conduct substance abuse evaluations and general assessments
  • Provide unbiased emotional support for individuals throughout a treatment program
  • Conduct one-on-one, couples, and family therapy sessions to get to the root of the addiction
  • Provide psychoeducational
  • Facilitate process groups and group exercises
  • Administer periodic drug and alcohol tests
  • Develop a specialized plan for treatment based on your individual needs and goals
  • Help you create an aftercare plan based on care available in your area

Examples of possible careers include, but are not limited to:4

Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary

  • 20.5% much faster than the average
  • 254,000 jobs
  • $99,090 potential earnings

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

  • 16.8% much faster than the average
  • 123,200 jobs
  • $48,720 potential earnings

Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors

  • 24.7% much faster than the average
  • 319,400 jobs
  • $47,660 potential earnings

Why Kent State University?

The online Addictions Counseling undergraduate certificate program at Kent State is designed to prepare students to sit for applicable licensure or certification in Ohio. If you plan to pursue licensure or certification in a state other than Ohio, please review state educational requirements for licensure or certification and contact information for state licensing boards at Kent State’s website for professional licensure disclosure.5

NEW PROGRAM! Enroll today in the Online Addictions Counseling Undergraduate Certificate at Kent State University

The online Addictions Counseling Undergraduate Certificate prepares students with all the requisite training hours for licensure eligibility as a chemical dependency counselor in Ohio, issued by the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. The certificate supplements existing Kent State health and behavioral health degree programs, such as psychology, health education, and human development and family studies. The certificate also allows in-career professionals to specialize in addictions counseling (e.g., nurses, clergy, rehabilitation counselors, mental health therapists). Successful completion of the first course in the certificate provides students the opportunity to apply for the chemical dependency counselor assistant (CDCA) credential from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.

Course content includes theories and models of addiction and addictive behaviors; pharmacology (i.e., review of substances typically misused, as well as medications used to treat symptoms of substance use disorders); screening and diagnostic assessment of substance use and co-occurring disorders; case conceptualization and treatment planning using the American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria; evidence-based practices in addictions (e.g., motivational interviewing, contingency management); and legal and ethical considerations in addictions counseling.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Articulate comprehension of a range of models or theories of addiction and evidence-based practices in addictions counseling.
  • Demonstrate at least minimal competence in addiction-related services, including assessment, treatment planning, counseling session facilitation, and coordination of care.
  • Apply for licensure as a chemical dependency counselor in Ohio.
  • Apply for the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) credential through the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).

For more information on Kent State’s Online Addictions Counseling Undergraduate Certificate, visit

1 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from
2 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from
3 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from
4 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from
5 Retrieved on March 22, 2022, from

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Dr. Astrid N. Sambolín Morales is an Assistant Professor in Kent State Online’s 100% Online Master of Education degree in Cultural Foundations. She received her PhD in Educational Equity and Cultural Diversity from the University of Colorado Boulder and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research provides a more nuanced picture of the agency, resistance, and empowerment enacted by displaced Puerto Rican m(others) in the U.S., and her work was funded by several grants, including the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center, the BUENO Center for Multicultural Education, the URBAN Research Network, and the NAEd Spencer Foundation.