The National Institute on Drug Abuse affirms that we are all somehow touched by drug abuse and addiction. It affects every age, race and socioeconomic strata and costs our nation more than $484 billion per year in lost earnings, healthcare expenditures, associated crimes and accidents. That's more than diabetes and cancer combined.
While an immense burden to society, the toll substance abuse takes on individuals and families is immeasurable.
For those passionate about helping substance abusers on the road to recovery, Southern New Hampshire University now offers the Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with a concentration in Substance Abuse. This specialized online program serves as an important educational first step toward becoming a drug and alcohol counselor.*
*This program does not guarantee licensure; requirements vary by state.
SNHU's substance abuse degree online provides the training and tools you need to support sufferers of alcoholism, drug addiction and other substance use disorders as they endeavor to restore their lives and relationships.
You'll graduate with a strong educational foundation, able to implement the 12 Core Functions of a drug and alcohol counselor - as established by industry leader International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (or IC&RC). Those capabilities include:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your substance abuse degree online at SNHU include:
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates employment growth in the substance abuse field. Growth is expected as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies.**
With an SNHU substance abuse degree online, you'll be qualified to provide entry-level services to individuals, groups and families in residential addiction treatment facilities, outpatient addiction programs, state drug courts, prisons, mental health centers, community health centers and private practice. Most of these are full-time positions.
Potential job titles include:
The Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services with a concentration in Substance Abuse, offered by Southern New Hampshire University, does not directly lead to licensure. It does provide a significant portion of the substance abuse coursework most often required for licensure. Students seeking licensure and/or certification may be required to complete additional coursework and will be required to complete fieldwork as prescribed by each state. Most states also require a passing score on a licensing exam.
The licensure process and educational requirements for drug and alcohol counselors vary from state to state. This program does not directly lead to licensure.
It is the student's responsibility to contact their state board or agency for additional information regarding the licensure process and educational requirements. If the student moves to another state, the requirements for licensure will likely be different from the state where the student currently resides, and the student is responsible for determining the licensure requirements in the state to which he/she relocates. Southern New Hampshire University does not guarantee that the completion of this program will result in state licensure or certification.
To help guide you through this process, SNHU has provided information on individual state licensure boards.
**Job market data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook is intended to provide insight on occupational opportunities and is not to be construed as a guarantee of salary or job title. SNHU cannot guarantee employment.
Coursework for the BA Human Services concentration in Substance Abuse explores the trajectory of diagnosing, treating and reintroducing a recovering individual to a healthy, sustainable life. You’ll learn about screening techniques, prevention strategies, pharmacological factors, and more. Instructors have years of firsthand experience in the field and can share their own encounters and challenges.
The substance abuse degree online culminates in a capstone experience that allows you to apply what you’ve learned to the real world.
This course introduces students to various types of addictive behaviors as well as their causes and consequences in relation to the individual, family, community, and society. It includes an overview of theories on addiction and approaches to identification, prevention, and treatment.
Learn and apply the 12 core functions of the alcohol and other drug use counselor from screening, intake, orientation, and assessment to planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, and referral. Practice the skills necessary to perform the core functions in consultation with other professionals to provide the continuum of care for individuals diagnosed with substance use and co-occurring disorders.
Explore substance use prevention and early interventions, and evidence-informed programs and practices. Identify evidence-informed strategies in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with substance use and other mental health disorders. Ethical, cultural, and legal considerations are examined. Review the implementation of evidence-informed treatment plans, and methods of dealing with substance use such as group format and medication-assisted therapy. Methods of engaging diverse clients and their families, and involuntary clients, in the treatment process also are covered in this course.
Apply the knowledge and skills addressed in counseling theories to evidence-informed practice with individuals diagnosed with Substance Use and mental health disorders, and their families. Develop ethical and culturally sensitive documentation skills to record treatment plans, individual and group therapy progress notes, and discharge plans.
Explore the physiology and pharmacology of substance use and the impact psychopharmacological chemicals have on the human body. Identify drug classifications, side-effects, and rationales for medication selection. Discuss current trends and issues in drugs of choice and medication-assisted therapy.
The purpose of this course is to engage students in meaningful exploration of theories, basic concepts, and research methodologies in psychological development. Students will gain an understanding of patterns of human development from conception through death, including the biological, cognitive, and social-emotional development and the interplay between these areas. This course will also explore the roles of environmental and genetic factors, culture and history, continuity and change in development. Offered every semester.
This course offers students an opportunity to better understand human behavior. It also studies the similarities and differences between normal and abnormal reactions to environmental stimuli. Offered every year.
Students in this course analyze contemporary social problems in America and other societies. Issues include economic limitations, class and poverty, race and ethnic relations, sexism, ageism, and environmental and population concerns. Offered every year.
This course provides an overview of the historical development of human services and an introduction to the many settings, roles, and functions of the human services professional. Students will gain an understanding of the knowledge and skills needed to help support others toward living a more fulfilling life with particular attention given to behavioral and social theories, common social problems, service delivery systems, ethical behavior, and personal values.
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills to effectively, efficiently, and compassionately communicate both orally and in writing. Emphasis will be given to the tools of communication as well as how to clearly articulate the issues, deal with conflict, and establish rapport. Human services professionals function in many settings requiring the ability to communicate the needs and issues of their clients, programs, and organizations to a broad variety of people.
This course prepares students to function effectively within organizations, as most human services work involves interactions with multiple private and public organizations. Students develop an understanding of organizational structure and functions through an overview of common organizational structures and management systems and the principles of organizational behavior that influence the work environment. An introduction to the strategic planning and budgeting cycle is provided including the process of grant funding. Basic concepts of personnel management and common techniques and procedures for outcome measurement and program evaluation will also be presented.
Students in this course will become acquainted with human services policies and the legislative and private sector processes of policy development. Students will further discover the role of advocacy in influencing social welfare programs for a variety of populations. Students learn the skills needed to act effectively in developing policies and for planning an advocacy campaign.
Students in this course will learn about the laws and regulations that govern human services practice. Specific topics will include confidentiality, parity, involuntary commitment, mandated reporting, duty to warn, minor and parental rights, guardianship, and advanced directives. The course will also discuss the ethical principles that guide human services practice as well as the conflicts that arise between the ethical principles and the law.
Students will learn fundamental theories, concepts, and practices related to the delivery of human services. Topics covered in this course will include client engagement, interviewing, models of service delivery, ethics and professional responsibility, group dynamics and facilitation, boundaries, and formal/informal client-centered support systems. Students will apply course work to real life situations by assessing the needs of clients and designing goal-based care plans. Additionally, students will plan and design interventions, utilize community resources, and assess client outcomes.
This capstone course is the culminating experience for the B.A. in Human Services program. The aim of the capstone is to assess students' ability to synthesize and integrate the knowledge and skills they have developed throughout their coursework, rather than introducing new concepts. This course is structured to support student success in fulfilling program requirements.
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Free Elective Credits: 27
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition rates are subject to change. Changes are generally implemented in June each year.
Additional Costs Books (course by course).
Students are responsible for providing their own internet access.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...