2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Massachusetts
Our list below highlights online substance use counseling degrees in Massachusetts at a variety of program levels. Massachusetts has a few schools offering online undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as certificate programs in the field. Students can expect to receive the knowledge and skills necessary to sit for licensure after graduation. Most schools require students to complete an in-person component, such as internships and practicums.
Overall, earning a bachelor's degree in substance use counseling may be a good first step toward your goal of becoming an addictions counselor. And for those concerned about cost, we also ranked the most affordable online substance use counseling degrees.
Prospective students can pursue the following online degree at the private, women’s-only, and nonprofit institution, Simmons University of Social Work.
- An online Master of Social Work in Substance Use and Misuse is a 65-credit program covering the basic principles of social work before diving into specialized areas of focus. Some of the program’s courses are Social Work Practice, Substance Use & Social Work, and Family Approaches. Students are also expected to complete two in-person, immersive practicum experiences. Future careers for graduates often include addiction counselors, clinical supervisors, and recovery specialists.
Simmons facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on the learning management system Moodle. Simmons offers its social work master's programs with accelerated, full-time, and part-time options. Simmons’ online student resources include career development, accessibility services, counseling, a bookstore, veterans services, an online library, tutoring services, and advising.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
- Avg. Aid Package: $30,753
- Repayment Rate: 98%
- Acceptance Rate: 60%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 71%
- Retention Rate: 86%
- Recommend Rate: 70%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 58 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 2,681 enrolled
- Certificate Online: N/A
The University of Massachusetts - Boston (UMass Boston) is a mid-sized, public university with two online substance use counseling programs.
- The 60-credit Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling prepares students to work as rehabilitation counselors with people experiencing disabilities. The program offers two tracks: (1) clinical rehabilitation and (2) vocational rehabilitation. Example courses include Life Span Human Development, Foundations of Rehabilitation, and Motivational Interviewing. Students are required to complete a practicum and an internship. Prospective careers for graduates of this program are rehabilitation counselors, community health workers, and care coordinators.
- An online Professional Certificate in Addictions Counselor Education is a 24-credit certificate program that prepares students to sit for state licensure to become Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Sample courses include Criminal Justice and Substance Use Disorders, Family and Group Treatment of Substance Use Disorders, and Counseling Clients with Substance Use Disorders. An in-person practicum is required for graduation. Graduates may seek careers like substance abuse counselors, recovery coaches, and case managers.
UMass Boston’s online students use Blackboard to complete courses asynchronously and synchronously. The university offers both fully online and hybrid programs. Online student support at UMass Boston includes counseling, a writing center, disability services, academic support services, tutoring, financial aid support, and a math resource center.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
- Avg. Aid Package: $11,767
- Repayment Rate: N/A
- Acceptance Rate: 75%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 49%
- Retention Rate: 75%
- Recommend Rate: 75%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
- Undergraduate Online: 841 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 1,221 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 17 enrolled
At Bay Path University, a small, private, nonprofit, and women’s-only university, prospective students can pursue the online degree program below for substance use counseling.
- The online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology - Foundations of Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counseling requires 120 credit hours. This program gives students a comprehensive overview of the psychology field, with concentration courses covering human behavior, substance abuse, and counseling foundations, among other topics. Sample courses include Drugs and Behavior, Physiological Psychology, and Counseling Diverse Population. Students are required to complete a 300-hour internship. Potential career options include care coordinators, substance abuse counselors, and recovery coaches.
Canvas is Bay Path’s learning management system for facilitating asynchronous and synchronous online courses. Some programs are 100% online, while others are delivered in hybrid formats. Online student resources at Bay Path include tutoring, accessibility services, financial services, and academic advising.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
- Avg. Aid Package: $28,360
- Repayment Rate: 93%
- Acceptance Rate: 63%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 51%
- Retention Rate: 63%
- Recommend Rate: 88%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 870 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 756 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 44 enrolled
Fisher College is a small, private, nonprofit institution offering an online program in substance abuse counseling.
- The online, 18-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling is an eight-week program designed for students wanting to advance their knowledge and skills and become Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Some of the program’s courses include Addictions, Ethical and Legal Issues in Addictions Treatment, and Motivational Interviewing. If a student doesn’t have clinical experience, the program requires them to complete an internship. Potential careers include case managers, substance abuse counselors, and social workers.
At Fisher, part-time and full-time online students use a learning management system to complete coursework delivered in asynchronous and synchronous formats. Fisher’s online programs are delivered fully online and in hybrid formats. Online student resources at Fisher include a writing and academic support center, career services, student accessibility services, and an online library.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
- Avg. Aid Package: $23,143
- Repayment Rate: 85%
- Acceptance Rate: 66%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 33%
- Retention Rate: 54%
- Recommend Rate: 50%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 619 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 42 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 167 enrolled
Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Massachusetts
Increasing rates of drug misuse and addiction are negatively impacting the residents of Massachusetts in a multitude of ways. Statistics show that nearly one in four residents have been directly affected by the opioid epidemic. Researchers also link substance use issues to rising healthcare costs, unemployment, and crime rates.
Fortunately, city, county, and state officials have banded together to address this public health issue. Among many other actions, they've formed the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Coalition (MOAPC), created a prescription monitoring program, and developed a Naloxone distribution system. Healthcare providers and treatment facilities are also expanding treatment facilities, creating more jobs for substance use counselors across Massachusetts. Students interested in this career may want to join Massachusetts in addressing addiction.
More options for online counseling bachelor's degrees are available on our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling programs, the most affordable online substance abuse counseling programs, and the best online counseling programs.
FAQs About Substance Use Counseling Degrees in Massachusetts
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Massachusetts?
If you've completed a traditional or online substance abuse counseling degree program, you'll have opportunities to follow several different career options in the field of addiction counseling.
For those who hold a bachelor's degree and want to provide direct substance use counseling in Massachusetts, you can become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (LADC II). With this license, you're allowed to offer addiction counseling under the supervision of more experienced counselors. If you hold a master's degree, you can practice independently as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (LADC I).
However, graduates are not limited to clinical counseling roles. You could also provide support for people suffering from substance use disorders by working as, for example, a community health worker or a health education specialist. Some of the daily responsibilities for these types of roles include overseeing treatment programs, developing educational campaigns, and fundraising.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, you have three possible paths to becoming a substance use counselor. The state's Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) has established three levels of substance abuse counseling certification in descending order, from advanced to entry-level roles:
- A Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (LADC I) is licensed to conduct an independent practice of alcohol and drug counseling and to supervise counselors in training.
- A Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (LADC II) is permitted to provide alcohol and drug counseling services under clinical supervision.
- A Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Assistant may provide recovery-based services under direct clinical and administrative supervision.
To earn the highest LADC I level of certification, you must hold a master's or doctoral degree in behavioral sciences, with at least 270 hours of training in the full range of substance addiction counseling subjects. You must also have 6,000 hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling work experience, plus 300 hours of supervised practical training. If you're interested in earning a master's degree online, you may want to review our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's degrees and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's degrees.
For LADC II certification, you must have completed at least 270 hours of training in the full range of substance addiction counseling subjects. You must also have 6,000 hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling work experience, but that requirement drops to 4,000 hours if you hold a bachelor's degree in addiction counseling or something similar. You must also have 300 hours of supervised practical training.
Becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor Assistant requires only 50 hours of training in substance addiction counseling subjects. You must also have 2,000 hours of supervised alcohol and drug counseling work experience.
Applicants for all levels of substance abuse counseling certification must also pass the ADC exam sponsored by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). All licenses must be renewed every other year, and 40 hours of continuing education are required for renewal.
Does Massachusetts Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Yes, Massachusetts grants reciprocity for substance use counselors from other states. Licensed professionals in good standing may transfer their addiction counseling credentials to a comparable level of certification in the state. If you want to provide in-person or online substance abuse counseling in Massachusetts, you may submit an application to the BSAS. Pending a review of your current license, it's possible that you won't be required to retake any licensing exams.
How Much Does an Addictions Counselor Make in Massachusetts?
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the 17,030 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors currently working in the state earn a mean annual wage of $59,780. The number of substance abuse counseling jobs in Massachusetts is expected to grow by 21.8% over the course of this decade, per ProjectionsCentral.