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Drug and Alcohol Counselor

substance abuse counselor trainingProgram Duration: 6 Months
Course Contact Hours: 380
Student Tuition: $4,250.00

This substance abuse counselor training combines a two course training track:

  • Drug & Alcohol Counseling – Level 1
  • Drug & Alcohol Counseling – Level 2

Drug and Alcohol Counseling reflects the surge of data concerning the knowledge, recognition, and treatment of habit-forming disorders. It inspects the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, barbiturates, amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, and hallucinogens, along with chemicals– such as aerosols, steroids, as well as over-the-counter analgesics. Additionally, this substance abuse counselor training explores solid methods for working with clients, the differences between abusers and addicts; drug effects on kids, teens, and expectant and nursing women; and son or daughters of alcoholics. It also showcases evidence-based treatments offered, incorporating motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Assisting the student step-by-step through treatment, this program presents modern tools, as well as forms and tests needed to deliver superior treatment and to fulfill the greatest criteria demanded by accrediting bodies.

The Job Outlook

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is anticipated to increase by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for many professions. Development is expected as even more people find treatment for their dependencies or other habits and drug offenders are progressively sentenced to treatment as opposed to jail time. Recently, the criminal justice system has acknowledged that individuals committing crimes related to drugs are less likely to offend again if they get treatment for addiction. Because of this, sentences for drug offenders often incorporate treatment programs. This particular method is expected to increase the use of substance abuse treatment programs and the requirement for addiction counselors.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1


Have you ever imagined a job in addiction counseling? Addiction counseling professionals deal with individuals that need substance abuse counseling as well as offer comfort to the family members of individuals who need drug addiction counseling.

After finishing this course, you should be able to:

  • Define methods for detecting and determining addiction type.
  • Recognize approaches for understanding addiction and avoiding triggers.
  • Explain the different treatment approaches.
  • Pinpoint strategies for getting rid of addiction and fixing the problems it has caused.
  • Identify methods for counseling and treatment.


Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 2


Drug and Alcohol Counseling Level 2 is a detailed course for individuals who would like to work with the chemically dependent and addicted in a wide array of treatment settings. This drug and alcohol counselor certification online program shows the student how to use the very best evidence-based treatments available, including motivational enhancement, cognitive behavioral therapy, skills training, medication and 12 step facilitation. Guiding the student bit-by-bit through treatment, this particular course provides advanced resources, and forms and exams required to deliver impressive treatment and to satisfy the highest requirements demanded by accrediting bodies.

After completing this program, you will be able to:

  •  Identify steps for preliminary evaluation and treatment planning.
  • Comprehend numerous therapies and treatment groups available to the individual.
  • Recognize the steps associated with the AA 12 step program.
  • Determine dual diagnoses and family treatment programs.
  • Explain medical staff and qualities of a good counselor.

Prerequisite: Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1


Upon successful completion of our Drug and Alcohol Counseling Level 1 and Level 2 courses, students
may be prepared, in part, to sit for licensing and credentialing exams. Each state has its own regulations.


Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 1


Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 1
Basics of Abuse & Addiction

  • About Substance Abuse
  • The Cost of Chemical Abuse/Addiction
  • Society’s Response
  • The Continuum of Chemical Use
  • Definitions of Terms Used
  • The Growth of New “Addictions”
  • A Basic Misconception
  • Effects & Side Effects of Chemicals
  • The Process of Neurotransmission
  • An Introduction to Alcohol
  • Blood Alcohol Levels
  • Medical Complications of Alcohol
  •  Effects of Alcohol Abuse/Addiction
  • Complications of Chronic Alcohol Use
  • Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome
  • Barbiturates & Barbiturate-Like Compounds
  • Pharmacology of Barbiturates
  • Neuroadaptation, Tolerance & Physical Dependence
Read Full Course Outline

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 2
Commonly Abused Chemicals 1

  • Medical Uses of the Benzodiazepines
  • Side Effects of the Benzodiazepines
  • Long-Term Consequences of Chronic Use
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • CNS Stimulant Abuse
  • Cocaine Abuse & Dependence
  • History of Cocaine
  • Methods of Cocaine Abuse
  • Complications of Cocaine Abuse/Addiction
  • Marijuana Abuse & Addiction
  • History of Marijuana
  • A Medico-Legal Conundrum
  • Methods of Marijuana Abuse
  • Opioid Use, Abuse & Addiction
  • Opiates as Drugs of Abuse

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 3
Commonly Abused Chemicals 2

  • Abuse of & Addiction to Hallucinogens
  • Methods of Hallucinogen Abuse
  • The Pharmacology of LSD
  • Scope of Phencyclidine Abuse
  • Complications of PCP Abuse
  • Salvia Divinorum
  • Abuse of & Addiction to Inhalants
  • Scope of the Problem of Inhalant Abuse
  • Anesthetic Misuse
  • Problem of Steroid Abuse
  • Scope of the Problem of Anabolic Steroids
  • Sources & Methods of Steroid Abuse
  • Over-the-Counter Analgesics
  • OTC Analgesic Overdoses
  • Tobacco Products & Nicotine Addiction
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Chemicals & the Neonate
  • Scope of the Problem for Pregnant Women

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 4
The Many Faces of Substance Abuse

  • Gender & Addiction
  • Differing Effects of Common Drugs on Women
  • The Faces of Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • SUD & the Homeless
  • SUD & the Elderly
  • SUD & Minorities
  • SUD & Children/Adolescents
  • Screening & Assessment Tools
  • Rehabilitation for Children or Adolescents
  • SUD & College Students
  • Consequences of SUD in the College Population
  • Codependency & Enabling
  • Reactions to the Concept of Codependency
  • Addiction and the Family
  • Scope of the Problem
  • Interventions
  • Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 5
Understanding Substance Abuse Disorders

  • The Dual-Diagnosis Client
  • Substance Use Disorder & Mental Illness
  • A Diagnostic Challenge
  • Psychopathology & Drug of Choice
  • Treatment Approaches with Dual-Diagnosis
  • The Medical Model of SUD
  • Applications of the Medical Model of Addictions
  • The Psychosocial Models of SUD
  • Personality Predisposition Theories
  • SUD & Psychological Defenses
  • A Disease of the Human Spirit
  • The Mind-Body Question
  • The Games of Addiction
  • Honesty & False Pride
  • Assessment of SUD
  • The Assessment Format
  • Diagnostic Rules
  • A Definition of Intervention
  • Common Forms of Intervention

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 6
The Treatment of Addiction

  • Treatment Settings
  • Outpatient Treatment
  • Residential Treatment Programs
  • Aftercare Programs
  • The Process of Treatment
  • Methods of Treatment
  • The Stages of Recovery
  • Substance Abuse Rehabilitation
  • Pharmacological Interventions
  • Pharmacotherapy of SUDs
  • Relapse & Other Problems
  • Limit Testing by Clients
  • Treatment Noncompliance
  • Lapse & Relapse
  • Cravings & Urges
  • Toxicology Tests
  • Psycho-Educational Interventions

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 1 Module 7
Other Issues in Chemical Dependence

  • Support Groups for Recovery
  • History of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
  • Elements of AA
  • AA & Outside Organizations
  • The Purpose of AA
  • Effectiveness of AA
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Al-Anon & Alateen
  • Other Types of Support Groups
  • Challenges with 12-Step Programs
  • SUD & Infectious Disease
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Pneumonias & Tuberculosis
  • Viral Hepatitis
  • The Relationship Between Drugs & Crime
  • Drug Use & Violence
  • Designer Drugs
  • The Debate Over Legalization
  • The “War” on Drugs


Drug and Alcohol Counseling – Level 2


Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 1
Counseling: The Initial Hours

  • How to Greet Patients
  • How to Handle Family Members
  • Beginning the Therapeutic Alliance
  • The Initial Assessment
  • The Intoxicated Patient
  • How Patients React in Detoxification
  • The Biopsychosocial Interview
  • Diagnosis and Disposition
  • The Treatment Plan
  • How to Build a Treatment Plan
  • The Problem List
  • Goals and Objectives
  • Treatment Plan Review
  • How to Write Progress Notes

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 2
Counseling and Treatment

  • Individual Treatment Process
  • The Therapeutic Alliance
  • Transference and Countertransference
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Cognitive Therapy
  • Interpersonal Therapy
  • How Patients Use Feelings Inappropriately
  • How Patients Learn Relationship Skills
  • Benefits of Group Therapy
  • Preparation for the Group
  • The Honesty Group
  • The Euphoric Recall Group
  • The Reading Group
  • The Relapse Prevention Group
  • The Spirituality Group
  • The Childhood Group
  • The Men’s Group / Women’s Group
  • The Community Group
  • The Personal Inventory Group
  • Creating and Using Contracts

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 3
The AA 12 Step

  • Step One: Powerless and Unmanageable
  • Step Two: Belief in a Higher Power
  • Step Three: Turn it Over to God
  • Step Four: Fearless Moral Inventory
  • Step Five: Sharing the Moral Inventory
  • Educational Lectures Series
  • Lecture Series: The Disease
  • Lecture Series: Defense Mechanisms
  • Lecture Series: The Great Lie & the Truth
  • Lecture Series: Normal Development
  • Lecture Series: Physical Addiction and Recovery
  • Lecture Series: Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Lecture Series: Understanding Feelings

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 4
Dual Diagnosis and Family Therapy

  • Psychiatric / Psychological Assessment
  • Depressed Patient
  • Angry Patient
  • Homicidal Patient
  • Personality Disorders
  • Antisocial Personality
  • Borderline Patient
  • Narcissistic Patient
  • Anxious Patient
  • Psychotic Patient
  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  • Patient with Low Intellectual Functioning
  • The Elderly Patient
  • Early childhood Trauma
  • Pathological Gambler
  • Adolescent Treatment
  • The Family Program
  • How to Treat Family Members

Drug and Alcohol Counseling 2 Module 5
The Clinical Staff and Being a Good Counselor

  • The Physician
  • Psychologist & Psychiatrist
  • Nursing Staff
  • Clinical Director and Supervisor
  • Chemical Dependency Counselor
  • The Rehabilitation Technician
  • Activities Coordinator
  • Team Building
  • Staff-Patient Problems
  • Discharge Summary and Aftercare
  • Outpatient Discharge Criteria
  • Understanding the Drugs
  • Being a Good Counselor
  • Characteristics of a Good Counselor
  • Code of Ethics

Required Materials: 

  • Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide by Robert R. Perkinson
  • Concepts of Chemical Dependency by Harold E. Doweiko

System Requirements:

Internet Access

  • Broadband or high-speed internet access is required. Broadband includes DSL, cable, and wireless connections.
  • Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Moodle pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.


  • Windows hardware configurations and processors are acceptable
  • Mac computers MUST have Microsoft Window Operating Systems over Bootcamp (Bootcamp is a free download from Apple’s website)
  • 1 GB RAM minimum recommended
  • Operating Systems
  • Windows XP, Vista or 7 and Mac OS X 10 or higher with Windows
  • Web Browsers
  • Google Chrome is highly recommended
  • Internet Explorer is not recommended as it may not display certain menus and links
  • Cookies MUST be enabled
  • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • Kindle Reader App is needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded onto your computer.)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • Media Plug-ins (These may be required depending on your course media.)
  • Adobe Flash Player (Required for many of our career courses and ALL of our IT courses.)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader, Apple Quicktime, Windows Media Player, &/or Real Player
  • PowerPoint Viewer (Use this if you don’t have PowerPoint)