2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Illinois
Our list below highlights online substance use counseling degrees in Illinois, including all program levels available. Earning a bachelor's degree in substance use counseling may be a good first step toward entering this field. For those on a budget, we also list the most affordable online substance use counseling programs.
For degree options in the state of Illinois, below are some graduate-level degrees in addiction studies to help you achieve your goals while studying remotely. Becoming a substance abuse counselor requires training in fundamental theories, practices, diagnoses, and the most effective treatments available for those struggling with addiction as well as their loved ones.
University Park's Governors State University (GSU) in rural Illinois is a mid-sized, public institution offering online graduate degrees in addiction studies.
- The Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies is a 32-credit online degree program. The Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association and the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission accredit this degree Students can choose to complete a criminal justice internship while earning their degree. Courses include Psychopathology and Coexisting Disorders, Substance Abuse Prevention, and Etiology and Epidemiology of Substance Use. While it's unclear if the program curriculum helps prepare students for licensure, it can help prepare them for leadership careers in the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.
- The Master of Health Science in Addictions Studies - Counseling is a more intense addiction studies program that requires 60 credit hours. It introduces students to motivational interviewing, acceptance and commitment therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. It takes roughly two years to complete if attending at a full-time pace. The online curriculum helps prepare students for licensure as counselors. It includes courses such as Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan, Screening and Assessment, and Cultural Considerations, as well as an internship and practicum.
GSU uses the Blackboard learning management system to deliver distance learning programming. Tech support services are offered to distance learners if they struggle to navigate the digital learning platform. Additional online student resources include access to the GSU bookstore and library, computer and IT services, academic advising, tutoring, and writing assistance.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
- Avg. Aid Package: $10,791
- Repayment Rate: 93%
- Acceptance Rate: 39%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 16%
- Retention Rate: 48%
- Recommend Rate: 89%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 760 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 315 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 2 enrolled
Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Illinois
Illinois is home to the third most populated city in the U.S. — Chicago — as well as millions of acres of farmland. Yet, regardless of whether they live in urban or rural settings, the state's residents are experiencing a significant rise in drug and alcohol misuse.
Some alarming statistics support this assertion. For example, the number of drug overdose deaths in Illinois has increased from 10.9 per 100,000 in 2011 to 29 per 100,000 in 2021. Additionally, opioid overdose deaths accounted for 81% of all drug overdose deaths, which is higher than the national average of 75%.
Efforts to stem the tide of drug abuse and addiction are coordinated by the state's Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA). The agency is intent on increasing access to substance use counselors through in-person, internet, and telephone services. DASA also coordinates alcohol and other drug treatment centers, recovery support services, and educational programs with city and county providers.
You may also be interested in our rankings of the best online substance abuse counseling degrees, the most affordable online substance abuse counseling degrees, and the best online counseling degrees.
FAQs About Substance Use Counseling Degrees in Illinois
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Illinois?
With a growing need for licensed addiction counselors in Illinois, graduates with a traditional or online substance abuse counseling degree are well-equipped to pursue several different career paths.
A bachelor's degree will qualify you for three of the four levels of substance abuse counseling certification in Illinois. Only the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CAADC) certification requires a master's degree. As a certified counselor, you'll be able to work directly with clients in inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities.
If you're not interested in providing in-person or online substance abuse counseling, there are still plenty of other job options available to you. For instance, you could become a community health worker in a government-sponsored agency or nonprofit organization. You could spend your time developing prevention programs or working as an educator. As you gain experience, you may be eligible for higher-level roles as health or community services managers.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Illinois?
The Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association, Inc. (IAODAPCA) oversees substance abuse counseling certification in this state. Certification is somewhat complicated as there are four types of counselors. The lowest level, which is the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CADC), is unique to the state of Illinois.
The other three credentials, however, are the same as those issued by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) across the nation:
- Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CRADC)
- Certified Supervisor Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CSADC)
- Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CAADC)
Although the specific requirements for each level of certification vary, they all include education in substance use counseling and treatment and thousands of hours of supervised work experience. To become an IC&RC-certified substance use counselor in Illinois, you must start at the lowest level. As you acquire more experience and possibly more education, you can advance to each successive level.
The highest CAADC level also requires a master's degree in substance abuse counseling, psychology, social work, or a similar clinical program from an accredited university. If you haven't yet earned a master's, you may be interested in our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's programs and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's programs, all of which are accredited.
After meeting these requirements to become certified to provide substance abuse counseling in Illinois, you must then pass an exam. CADC candidates must take a state-authorized substance use counseling exam, while all others take the relevant IC&RC exam.
All types of addiction counseling certifications need to be renewed every other year. To renew your credential, you'll need to show that you've completed 40 hours of continuing education.
Does Illinois Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Certified addiction counselors in good standing from other IC&RC member states can transfer their counseling credentials to Illinois without needing to meet any additional requirements. Professionals who want to become licensed in the state should contact the IC&RC to begin the reciprocity process. With the exception of CADCs, certified counselors in Illinois can also transfer their credentials to another IC&RC member state.
How Much Does a Substance Use Counselor Make in Illinois?
It's difficult to provide an accurate salary range for substance use counselors in Illinois because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not publish detailed salary information like ranges. However, the 12,260 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in the state do have a mean annual income of $54,840. ProjectionsCentral expects the number of substance abuse counseling jobs in Illinois to grow by 17.8% through 2030.