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2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Connecticut

By OnlineU Staff Writers | Updated 9/28/2023

Studying the science of addiction can help students develop a deep understanding of managing and preventing alcoholism, opiate addiction, nicotine dependence, pathological gambling, and multiple substance use issues. Our list below highlights online substance use counseling degrees in Connecticut across all available program levels. A bachelor's degree in substance use counseling is often the first step to becoming an addiction counseling professional. 

Completing education online can be an affordable and convenient way to prepare for becoming an expert in the field and potentially impacting outcomes and policy. For those on a budget, we also list the most affordable online substance use counseling programs.

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University of Connecticut

  • Locations: Storrs
  • Annual Tuition: $41,192

The University of Connecticut (UC, also known as UConn) in suburban Sorres is a large, public institution with an opportunity to study addiction science online.

  • The Graduate Certificate in Addiction Science consists of four courses. This 12-credit certificate program may be appropriate for graduate students, medical students, psychiatric residents, psychology interns, and postdoctoral research fellows in health professions. It's designed to help students develop skills in investigating substance use disorders and applying that knowledge to clinical practice and health policy. Courses in the curriculum include Epidemiology of Substance Use Disorders and Psychiatric Co-morbidities, Clinical and Social Service Systems Research in Alcohol and Addiction Science, Alcohol and Drug Policy Research, and Research Careers and the Responsible Conduct of Research in Alcohol and Addiction Science. Students generally finish in less than a year.

UConn delivers its asynchronous online program content via the Blackboard learning management system. Its student resources for distance learners include tech support, mental health services, disability services, career services, academic advising, and bookstore and library access.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 82%
  • Avg. Aid Package: $15,801
  • Repayment Rate: N/A
  • Acceptance Rate: 48%
  • Avg. Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Retention Rate: 92%
  • Recommend Rate: 89%
  • School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
  • Undergraduate Online: 216 enrolled
  • Graduate Online: 1,324 enrolled
  • Certificate Online: 33 enrolled
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Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Connecticut

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Connecticut ranked 14th on the list of states with the highest drug overdose rates in 2021. In real numbers, the state saw 42.3 deaths per 100,000 people, mostly from unintentional drug overdoses of opioids. It's sobering to realize that Connecticut residents were more likely to die from a drug overdose than from a motor vehicle accident.

In light of the increase in drug misuse in recent years, the state is implementing a range of strategies and tactics designed to address this public health challenge. For instance, the state is participating in the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System, a project that collects data in an effort to better understand chemical dependency and misuse across the nation. Similarly, Connecticut has set up a state-wide database for tracking prescription data to monitor individuals' use of controlled substances.

Of course, providing treatment for people suffering from chemical dependency and drug misuse has been and will continue to be a vital part of the state's overall plan. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 6,070 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health therapists working in the state as of 2022. ProjectionsCentral notes that demand for trained professionals who can provide substance use counseling in Connecticut is expected to grow by 19.6% from 2020 to 2030.

FAQs About Substance Use Counseling Degrees in Connecticut

What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Connecticut?

Graduates who've earned traditional or online substance abuse counseling degrees at the bachelor's level are qualified to pursue several different career opportunities in Connecticut. Most of these occupations are nonclinical positions that don't require licensure. Some examples include community health workers, health education specialists, and community service managers.

If you want to work as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor in Connecticut, you'll need to earn a master's degree in substance abuse counseling or a similar field. Additionally, you'll need to fulfill requirements for supervised clinical practice in paid or unpaid environments, and you'll have to pass a national exam.

How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Connecticut?

Becoming a substance abuse counselor in Connecticut is a fairly straightforward process. In this state, there is only one level of substance abuse counseling certification. 

When you submit your application to become a Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Counselor, you'll need to attach the following documentation:

  • Verification of 300 hours of supervised practical training in alcohol and drug counseling
  • Verification of three years of supervised paid work experience or unpaid internships that involved working directly with alcohol and drug clients
  • Transcripts for 360 hours of approved education, at least 240 hours of which focused on the knowledge and skills used in alcohol and drug abuse counseling
  • Confirmation of a passing score on the International Certification Examination for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors administered by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC)

If you want, you can meet the educational requirements by studying online. Substance abuse counseling bachelor's degrees and substance abuse counseling master's degrees — including affordable master's degrees in substance abuse counseling — are all available through distance learning. All of the schools on our lists are institutionally accredited

Once you're certified, you'll need to renew your certification every two years on your birthday. As part of the maintenance process, you'll need to complete 20 hours of continuing education in the field.

Does Connecticut Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?

Yes, because Connecticut's licensure requirements are similar to the requirements for the highest levels of certification in other states, the Connecticut Certification Board is willing to recognize credentials from outside the state. Certified counselors from other states can apply for reciprocal licensing so they can legally practice face-to-face and online substance abuse counseling in Connecticut.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Connecticut?

The number of years it takes to become a licensed substance abuse counselor in Connecticut varies depending on several factors. While some candidates may be able to complete their formal education in six or seven years, others may need longer. Candidates may also need three years or more to accumulate all of the required hours of supervised work experience.

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