2023 Best Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees in West Virginia
Becoming a licensed addiction and substance use counselor requires advanced training in substance use and addiction theories, practices, diagnoses, as well as learning the most effective treatments available. Our list below highlights online substance use counseling degrees in West Virginia at all available program levels.
Our ranked lists of the best online substance abuse counseling programs, the most affordable online substance abuse counseling programs, and the best online counseling programs provide some additional options worth exploring.
Morgantown's West Virginia University (WVU) is a large, public institution with an online graduate degree program in the substance use counseling field.
- The Master of Science in Clinical Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. While most coursework is completed online, this 63-credit degree requires two campus visits, a three-credit practicum, and a 12-credit clinical practice. Full-time students generally graduate in two to three years. Courses include Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, Crisis Trauma Grief Counseling, and Medical Aspects of Rehabilitation. Graduates may work as vocational rehabilitation or mental health counselors in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
WVU delivers online coursework and instruction to distance learners asynchronously via Blackboard. WVU supports its online student body by providing remote access to a range of student resources, such as academic coaching and advising, disability and veterans services, the library and bookstore, and tech support.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
- Avg. Aid Package: $10,867
- Repayment Rate: 90%
- Acceptance Rate: 72%
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 64%
- Retention Rate: 81%
- Recommend Rate: 94%
- School Type: Nonprofit (Public)
- Undergraduate Online: 953 enrolled
- Graduate Online: 1,622 enrolled
- Certificate Online: 158 enrolled
Huntington Junior College (HJC) is a small-sized, private, for-profit institution that offers a two-year degree in substance abuse counseling.
- The online Associate of Applied Science in Substance Use Counseling Assistant is a 90-credit-hour that delivers coursework to prepare students to work alongside substance abuse counselors. Sample coursework within this program includes Case Management, Prevention Advocacy, and Abnormal Behavior. An externship is also required for graduation, and then students may pursue careers as substance use counseling assistants, researchers, and recovery coaches.
HJC uses an online learning management system for distance education. Online students at HJC can access disability services, an online library, and tech support.
- Financial Aid Recipients: 79%
- Avg. Aid Package: $7,096
- Repayment Rate: 77%
- Acceptance Rate: N/A
- Avg. Graduation Rate: 25%
- Retention Rate: 42%
- Recommend Rate: N/A
- School Type: For Profit
- Undergraduate Online: 85 enrolled
- Graduate Online: N/A
- Certificate Online: 2 enrolled
Overview of Online Substance Use Counseling in West Virginia
Sadly, in a recent study conducted by WalletHub, West Virginia took the second-highest spot on the list of states with the most significant substance abuse issues. The study's findings were based on 20 metrics, including overdose rates and the number of opioid prescriptions.
In response to this ongoing problem, the governor's office recently released its 2023 strategic plan, which is built around several key objectives, including prevention, community engagement, and treatment. One of the specific action items is to increase the number of health professionals who are trained and certified to treat people with substance use disorder. This statewide goal suggests a bright job outlook ahead for substance abuse professionals in West Virginia.
FAQs About Substance Use Counseling Degrees in West Virginia
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in West Virginia?
If you've graduated with a traditional or online substance abuse counseling degree, you may wonder what job opportunities are available in West Virginia.
Perhaps the obvious choice is to work as a substance use counselor, providing addiction counseling for clients who've been diagnosed with substance abuse disorders. In this state, a bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling qualifies you for Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) certification, and a master's degree or doctorate allows you to pursue Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) certification.
If you're looking for alternative career possibilities that don't involve working with clients face-to-face, you could become a community service worker or a health education specialist at a government agency or nonprofit organization. You can serve your community by developing informative campaigns that raise public awareness of the dangers of substance misuse or by monitoring the outcomes of various treatment programs.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in West Virginia?
If you'd like to become a substance use counselor in West Virginia, you'll need to work with the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP). This certification board, which is a member of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), has established two levels of substance abuse counseling certification.
For the first level of certification — the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) — you do not need a college degree. However, you will need to complete 300 hours, or about 20 college courses, on counseling, of which one-third need to be specifically on addiction counseling. You'll also need six years of qualifying work experience, up to 300 hours of supervised addiction counseling experience, and a passing score on the IC&RC ADC Exam.
To qualify as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC), you'll need a master's degree or doctorate in behavioral science with a clinical focus. Your transcripts also need to show that you've completed 300 hours, or about 20 college courses, on counseling, of which one-third need to be addiction-specific. Additionally, you'll need at least one year of post-master's degree work experience, up to 300 hours of supervised addiction counseling experience, and a passing score on the IC&RC AADC Exam.
If you're thinking about pursuing an online master's degree so you can qualify for AADC certification in West Virginia, you may want to consider some of the options on our ranked lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's degrees and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's degrees.
Both ADC and AADC certification needs to be renewed every two years. To qualify for recertification, you need to complete 40 hours of continuing education, including six hours of addiction-specific ethics.
Does West Virginia Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Yes, if you're a substance use counselor who has been certified by IC&RC in another state, you can transfer your addiction counseling credential to West Virginia without needing to meet any additional requirements. You can begin the process by submitting an application for reciprocity to your current state's licensing board. However, before you can offer in-person, telephone, or online substance abuse counseling in West Virginia, you must demonstrate that you live or work in the state at least 51% of the time.
How Much Does A Substance Abuse Counselor Make in West Virginia?
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide specific salary range information for addiction counselors in West Virginia, it does indicate that substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors as a group in this state earn a mean annual salary of $46,130. ProjectionsCentral expects the number of substance abuse counseling jobs in West Virginia to increase by 27.9% between 2020 and 2030.