2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in Texas
Online substance use counseling degrees in Texas consist of prevention and recovery training while providing a foundational understanding of drug and alcohol dependency. To become a certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Texas, students must complete 300 chemical dependency training hours, 270 chemical dependency education hours, and 6,000 experience hours. Fortunately, completing a degree counts towards the 6,000-hour experience requirement. On the other hand, the Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor requirements require only 270 education and 300 practicum hours.
Students may start with an online bachelor's in substance use counseling. Additional options include the most affordable online substance abuse counseling programs and the best online counseling programs.
Texas Tech University (TTU) is a large, public institution with one undergraduate degree in the field of substance use counseling.
- The 120-credit Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Addiction Recovery Sciences focuses on clinical skill development through counseling theories, leadership, administration, assessment, and treatment. There are two concentrations: (1) Applied Relational Counseling or (2) Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. Core courses in this major include General Psychology, Theories of Counseling and Recovery, and Interview and Relational Counseling Skills. Graduates may find careers in addiction counseling, family therapy, and human services.
TTU utilizes Blackboard's learning management system to deliver 100% online coursework on flexible schedules. There are peer-reviewed instruction and tutoring sessions available for online students.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 84%
- Avg. Aid Package: $8,823
- Repayment Rate: 92%
- Acceptance Rate: 69%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 63%
- Retention Rate: 85%
- Recommend Rate: 91%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
- Undergraduate Online: 2,710 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 2,533 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 519 enrolled
Central Texas College (CTC) is a medium-sized, public school with one online associate degree and two online certificates in the field of substance use counseling.
- The Associate of Applied Science in Chemical Dependency requires 60 credits, which can be completed in approximately two years. Students gain communication, interviewing, and intervention skills while learning some of the basic principles of pharmacology, psychology, medical social work, and counseling theories. Classes include Addicted Family Intervention and Dynamics of Group Counseling. Graduates can put 1,000 hours of experience toward becoming a certified counselor in Texas.
- The Certificate of Completion in Chemical Dependency Counseling is a 47-credit program that includes many of the same courses found in the associate degree above. Students learn about pharmacology, health psychology, crisis intervention, and group counseling. A couple of the required courses include Problems of Children and Adolescents as well as Psychology of Personal Adjustment. Graduates can pursue entry-level jobs in hospitals, detoxification clinics, and mental health centers.
- The Certificate of Completion in Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist only requires 36 credits, and students will likely take one year to complete the program online. Students engage in two levels of Substance Abuse Prevention courses, where they'll learn to identify risk factors and understand prevention planning and evaluation methods. The certificate program is designed to prepare graduates for entry-level roles in hospitals, detoxification clinics, and mental health centers.
CTC uses the Blackboard learning management system to host its 100% online programs. Coursework is delivered through synchronous and asynchronous modalities. Online students have access to technical and academic support.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 84%
- Avg. Aid Package: $5,039
- Repayment Rate: 79%
- Acceptance Rate: N/A
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 16%
- Retention Rate: 52%
- Recommend Rate: 83%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
- Undergraduate Online: 4,786 enrolled
- Graduate Online: N/A
- Certificate Online: 1,486 enrolled
Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) is a small, nonprofit, Christian university offering one online addiction counseling program at the associate level.
- The Associate of Science in Addictions Counseling consists of 64 credit hours in general education, behavioral sciences, and biblical studies. Students gain an understanding of prevention, treatment techniques, and ethical competencies. There are courses such as Addictive Behavior and Recovery as well as the Pharmacology of Addiction. Students also receive 300 hours of practical experience to put towards becoming a Texas licensed chemical dependency counselor.
The learning management system SAGU students use is Blackboard, allowing them to engage in flexible online coursework they can complete at their own pace. Enrolled students are supported by 24/7 technical assistance, writing software, and academic planning and study tools.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
- Avg. Aid Package: $12,024
- Repayment Rate: 88%
- Acceptance Rate: 28%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 42%
- Retention Rate: 67%
- Recommend Rate: 100%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 589 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 310 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 48 enrolled
The University of St. Thomas - TX (UST) is a private, nonprofit, and Roman Catholic university with a medium student population. It offers an online associate degree and a certificate program in substance abuse counseling.
- The 60-credit-hour Associate of Applied Science in Drug and Alcohol Counseling helps provide students with the knowledge and skills to help individuals and families affected by addiction. Some of the program’s courses include Individual Counseling Skills, Group and Family Counseling, and Crisis Intervention. Two practicums are required for graduation. Graduates may pursue careers like substance abuse counselors, care coordinators, and recovery specialists.
- A Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling equals 30 credit hours, and it's designed for students who’ve already completed a degree and are seeking to become licensed chemical dependency counselors. Sample courses include Documentation and Records, Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders, and Group and Family Counseling. Prospective careers include chemical dependency counselors, rehabilitation counselors, and recovery coaches.
UST’s learning management system for online asynchronous and synchronous learning is Canvas. Online student resources at UST include career services, academic advising, tutoring, veterans services, counseling, and an online library.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
- Avg. Aid Package: $22,665
- Repayment Rate: 93%
- Acceptance Rate: 81%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 62%
- Retention Rate: 73%
- Recommend Rate: 88%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Private)
- Undergraduate Online: 391 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 507 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 7 enrolled
Substance Abuse Counseling in Texas
Policymakers and analysts in Texas agree that fentanyl is one of the most deadly substances used in the state, but it's just one part of a larger issue. Researchers have found that a steady influx of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine also contributes to a growing illegal drug market, rising cases of substance use disorder, and increases in the drug overdose mortality rate.
State lawmakers are tackling the problem with multiple initiatives designed to enhance law enforcement and increase public awareness. Residents are also calling for a wider range of treatment options and more treatment centers, which could mean additional job opportunities for educated, licensed substance abuse counselors in Texas.
Discover more online counseling degree options on our ranked 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 Texas
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Texas?
If you've earned an on-campus or online substance abuse counseling degree, you can follow one of several possible career paths in the Lone Star State. For example, you could choose to provide counseling and education directly to people struggling with substance use disorders. Although you don't need a degree to earn certification as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC), you will need a master's degree to practice independently as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors in this state earn a mean annual salary of $51,800. There are currently about 16,830 such counselors at work in Texas, but ProjectionsCentral expects the number of substance abuse counseling jobs in this state to increase by 28.2% between 2020 and 2030.
Another option for degree holders is to pursue a nonclinical career in addiction counseling, such as a community service worker or a health education specialist. Your education will help prepare you for jobs in state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations that focus on providing treatment and recovery services. After you've accumulated several years of experience, you may qualify for higher-level management positions.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Texas?
In Texas, aspiring addiction counselors work with the Texas Certification Board to earn one of two levels of substance abuse counseling certification. Although you need to complete some college coursework, you do not need a college degree to become a substance use counselor in this state.
The lower level of certification, which is the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC), allows you to work in substance use counseling in Texas as long as you're working under the supervision of a higher-level certified counselor. To qualify, you'll need to complete 270 hours or about 18 courses of college education, at least half of which must be in the field of chemical dependency and addiction counseling. You will also need to verify that you've completed up to 6,000 hours of related work experience, of which 300 hours must be supervised, and you'll need a passing score on the ADC Exam sponsored by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC).
At the higher level of certification, an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) is licensed to practice independently. For this level, you'll need a master's degree in a clinical counseling subject area, and at least 180 hours or about 12 courses of your college education must cover addiction counseling. You will also need to verify that you've completed 2,000 hours of related work experience, of which 300 hours must be supervised, and you'll need a passing score on the IC&RC AADC Exam.
Texas also requires that all college degrees be earned at accredited universities. If you're thinking about pursuing an online master's degree, you'll find that all of the programs on our site are institutionally accredited. You can find many possible programs on our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's degrees and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's degrees.
If you hold an ADC or AADC license, you'll need to recertify every two years. To complete this process, you'll need to show documentation of 40 hours of continuing education.
Does Texas Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Yes, if you're an IC&RC-certified substance use counselor who is planning to move to Texas, you may be able to transfer your credential to this state. As long as you are in good standing with your current state's licensure board, you may submit an application for reciprocity. However, if you want to provide in-person and online substance abuse counseling in Texas, you will need to live and work in the state at least 51% of the time.
How Long Does It Take to Become A Substance Abuse Counselor in Texas?
The number of years it takes to become a substance abuse counselor in Texas varies depending on your career goals. To become an ADC, you could probably complete the educational requirements in about two years and the work experience component in three additional years, for a minimum of five years. Becoming an AADC requires both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, which may take up to seven years to complete. You'll then need an additional year of work experience, for a total of about eight years.