2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in South Dakota
Substance use counseling programs in South Dakota cover a range of disciplines in the field of addiction. Moreover, some schools offer several degree levels that allow students to choose the extent of their studying before they enter the workforce as certified or licensed counselors. There are no degree requirements in South Dakota to become a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC). However, a professional counselor, or Licensed Addiction Counselor, must have a master's degree and 300 hours of supervised clinical experience.
Students who wish to become a CAC should explore the best online substance abuse counseling programs. Additional options can be found in the most affordable online substance abuse counseling programs and the best online counseling programs.
The University of South Dakota (USD) is a medium-sized, public university that hosts four online substance use counseling programs.
- The Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling and Prevention requires 120 credit hours and covers addiction theory and disorders. Specializations are available in treatment or prevention tracks. Coursework includes Study of Drug Use and Addiction, Ethical and Legal Issues in the Addiction Profession, and Addictive Family Systems and Family Counseling. Graduates are eligible for employment as certified addiction counselors.
- The Master of Arts in Addiction Counseling and Prevention requires a minimum of 33 or up to 45 credits. This advanced degree prepares students to address complex addiction issues at the micro and macro levels with required courses, such as Addiction Counseling, Addiction Studies Research, and Relapse Prevention. Graduates may become licensed addiction counselors.
- The Undergraduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling and Prevention is a 27-credit hour program featuring courses in Substance Use and Addiction in Diverse Populations, Addictive Family Systems and Family Counseling, and Study of Alcohol Use and Addiction. This online certificate program meets the state's certified addiction counselor status standards, allowing graduates to pursue careers as Certified Addiction Counselors.
- The 15-credit hour Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling and Prevention looks at addiction through a scientific lens. Courses include Advanced Legal/Ethical Issues and The Addiction Profession, Substance Use and Addiction Treatment Continuum, and Addiction and Substance Use Counseling Theories. Only 15 of the 21 state-required credential credits are met through this certificate. However, graduates may still pursue a career as a Certified Addiction Counselor.
At USD, students use the learning software Desire2Learn to access their online programs. Coursework is delivered flexibly, allowing students to continue working while they study. Support services include academic and career planning.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
- Avg. Aid Package: $5,196
- Repayment Rate: N/A
- Acceptance Rate: 87%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 60%
- Retention Rate: 77%
- Recommend Rate: 76%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
- Undergraduate Online: 2,117 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 992 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 1,546 enrolled
Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling in South Dakota
After reaching record-high drug overdose mortality rates in 2021, South Dakota had the biggest percentage decrease in deaths in 2022 over other states. Although this was welcome news, state legislators, healthcare providers, and other stakeholders know they must keep taking steps to combat substance misuse in their state.
In this state, the Division of Behavioral Health is charged with coordinating efforts to address this public health crisis. Their initiatives include early intervention, detoxification, and outpatient and inpatient treatment centers. They are relying on highly educated, licensed addiction counselors to provide supportive, effective treatment for those who seek help.
Looking for more online counseling degree options? You can find them on our lists 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 South Dakota
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in South Dakota?
If you're like most graduates of traditional and online substance abuse counseling degree programs, you have a strong desire to help people struggling with substance use disorders. Your degree qualifies you to achieve that by pursuing one of several possible career paths.
One possibility is to become a community service worker or a health education specialist. Your understanding of substance misuse and treatment options gained from your education will help prepare you for these nonclinical roles. These jobs are often available through government agencies and nonprofit organizations that focus on providing treatment and recovery services.
Another possibility is to work directly with clients, providing counseling and education. If you want to become a substance abuse counselor in South Dakota, you will need a master's degree or doctorate to obtain a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) certification.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, the Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (BAPP), a division of the Department of Social Services, is responsible for licensing and monitoring substance use counselors in the state. Becoming a substance use counselor in South Dakota is fairly straightforward because there is only one type of substance abuse counseling certification.
To obtain a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) credential, you must hold a master's degree or doctorate from an accredited university. Your coursework must include several specific subjects, including addiction counseling theories and techniques, case management, treatment planning, multicultural competency, and professional standards.
If you are considering earning or completing your master's degree online, you'll find that all of the programs on our site are institutionally accredited, meaning they meet South Dakota's requirements. To discover some of your many options, review our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's degrees and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's degrees.
Additional LAC requirements include at least 2,000 hours of work experience as an alcohol and drug counselor, of which 300 hours must be supervised. Once your application has been approved, you must pass the AADC Exam sponsored by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
The BAPP recently updated its renewal process to occur every two years. LACs need to complete 40 hours of continuing education to renew their credentials.
Does South Dakota Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Yes, if you're a substance use counselor who is planning to relocate to South Dakota and you have been certified by IC&RC, you may be able to transfer your credential to this state. However, if you want to provide in-person and online substance abuse counseling services, you will need to meet South Dakota's requirements for becoming an LAC.
How Much Do Addiction Counselors Make in South Dakota?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in this state earn a mean annual wage of $48,160. Unfortunately, a specific salary range for those who provide substance use counseling in South Dakota is unavailable. Throughout the course of this decade, substance abuse counseling jobs in South Dakota should grow by 13.5%, according to ProjectionsCentral.