Top 10 Substance Abuse Nurse Certification Programs

There are lots of certifications nurses can get. If you want to add a unique certification to the ones you have, then you should consider enrolling in the top nurse substance abuse certification programs that are available for nurses.

Substance abuse is becoming the order of the day in the lives of teenagers and young adults. Lots of delinquent youths who have been raised in society are substance abusers. Substance abuse refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs. According to WHO Africa region, Cannabis remains the most widely used illicit substance in the African Region.

The highest prevalence and increase in use is being reported in West and Central Africa with rates between 5.2% and 13.5%. Other substances that were used by children and youth surveyed in Sierra Leone, included benzodiazepines such as diazepam, chlorpromazine, and different inhalants, while 3.7% were injecting drugs.

 All these substances have adverse effects on their abusers and these effects come from injecting drugs that carry a high risk of infection with bloodborne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, and the sharing of contaminated needles and syringes is an important mode of transmission for those viruses. Some of these youth end up in rehabilitation centers to recuperate and stop drug abuse, while some are sent to affordable military schools to be brought back to order through discipline.

There are free programs designed for troubled youths fighting addictions, drug abuse, and broken homes to help them. They can also be enrolled in free military schools without spending a dime. Part of the individuals who look out for these delinquents are nurses who are certified in how to counsel and take care of youths involved in substance abuse.

Substance abuse nurses help patients who struggle with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and other substances. These nurses are trained in mental health so they can fully understand the complexities of substance use disorders.

To become a substance abuse nurse, you need a nursing degree from an accredited program, a nursing license, and experience in addiction nursing. You might also earn a professional certification to demonstrate your expertise in the field. 

Just as this article will be focusing on, we will look into some of the substance abuse nurse certification programs that can be gotten by interested individuals. There are other certifications for licensed practical nurses to obtain too.

Some of these certifications are gotten through different online platforms like Alison, Coursera,  Udemy, edX, and other popular platforms and most of them are free of charge. Without further ado, let’s delve into these substance abuse nurse certification programs.

Substance Abuse Nurse Certification

There are lots of substance abuse certifications for nurses offered online by different schools. I will be talking about these schools and the programs they offer in this section. Emphasis will be made on the schools that offer them. They are as follows;

  • Liberty University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Southern New Hampshire University Online
  • University of Maine at Augusta
  • Ohio Christian University
  • University of South Dakota
  • Indiana Wesleyan University Online
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of Detroit Mercy
  • Drexel University

1. Liberty University

This is the first school on our list that offers substance abuse certification programs. They offer an online graduate certificate program on addiction studies.

This program covers effective methods for helping people overcome addiction and avoid relapses. The skills you develop can prepare you to make a difference in the lives of your clients and their families – whether you’re working in a hospital, outpatient clinic, residential treatment center, government clinic, mental health clinic, or another relevant setting

With their addiction studies certificate program, you can learn how to address addiction in both individual and group environments.

The training you receive can help you pursue a variety of non-licensure roles in human services and behavioral health – and your courses will provide a solid foundation for future graduate studies if you later decide to complete a full master’s degree

2. Grand Canyon University

This is the next school on our list that offers substance abuse certification programs. Their College of Humanities and Social Sciences offers two programs related to substance abuse. They are;

  • BS in Counseling – Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
  • BS in Behavioral Health Science – Substance Use Disorders

Grand Canyon University’s Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Substance Use Disorders program introduces students to behavioral health and substance abuse disorders and addiction.

 The substance use disorder curriculum offers a strong foundation for students who want to pursue a master’s degree in counseling, mental health, criminal justice, clinical or forensic psychology, or human services.

The Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis on Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse leads to licensure and includes fieldwork to help students put theories into practice. Students will have the opportunity to directly work with those affected by substance abuse.

 However, the BS in behavioral health science degree does not lead to licensure. In this degree program, students gain skills for a career as a behavioral health technician or other behavioral health-related professions.

The counseling degree is specific to counseling and addiction, while a student receiving this behavioral health science degree may have added flexibility to pursue different pathways

3. Southern New Hampshire University Online

The school offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology – Addictions. The cycle of addiction takes the form of many behaviors such as substance abuse, gambling, video games, shopping, and exercise, all of which can take over personal lives. The Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Addiction studies can help you understand how people’s habits and activities can evolve into an addiction and how that cycle can be treated.

This addiction studies degree explores the theories and contemporary research of addictive behaviors, preparing students to understand the compulsions themselves and the people they affect.

The program pairs the fundamentals of addictions with a solid foundation in psychology to teach you the knowledge and skills you need to address a broad range of situations involving addictions.

4. University of Maine at Augusta

This school is also on the list of schools that offer substance abuse certification programs. The Mental Health and Human Services Program offers Associate (A.S) and Bachelor’s (B.S) degrees as well as a graduate certificate in Substance Use Disorders to students seeking a career in a variety of social service settings.

The program is designed for students to tailor a curriculum to match their career goals, whether that is working with young children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. This program will prepare you to be eligible for licensure in the State of Maine.

The school also offers a second program on Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Technician Certificate. The Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Technician (SART) program is a collaborative training initiative offered by the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA) Mental Health & Human Services Program and the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) Rehabilitation and Human Services Program. This unique program is made possible through a collaborative training grant funded by the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

5. Ohio Christian University

This school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Substance Abuse Counselling. The Substance Abuse Counseling major equips students entering the addiction recovery field.

Upon graduating from the program, students should be able to:

  • Integrate Christian principles in critical thinking and decision-making to the study of substance abuse counseling.
  • Appraise the needs of persons through the use of assessment techniques, diagnostic criteria, and treatment planning.
  • Utilize appropriate counseling techniques with individuals, families, and groups.
  • Apply chemical dependency interventions, knowledge of drugs, and ethical codes of conduct.

Students are eligible to apply to the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board for Certified Chemical Dependency Assistant status (CDCA) once they have completed 40 clock hours of chemical dependency training in specific areas. The program is offered both online and on campus.

6. University of South Dakota

This is another school on the list that offers a substance abuse nurse certification program. The program is offered by the School of Health Sciences and is an undergraduate and graduate program on Addiction Counseling and Prevention. The program has both major, minor, and certificate degrees and is all offered online.

This online certificate is designed to prepare addiction and prevention professionals to meet the specialized academic course requirements for South Dakota certification. The required coursework for the undergraduate certificate in addiction counseling and prevention can be applied toward a bachelor’s degree

Through the addiction counseling and prevention program, you’ll gain theoretical knowledge regarding the nature, etiology, prevention, and treatment of substance use disorders. This foundation will be valuable in a wide range of careers. Graduates of this degree will be eligible for addiction/prevention credentialing through the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (SDBAPP).

7. Indiana Wesleyan University Online

This school offers a bachelor’s degree and a graduate certificate in addiction counseling and they are both offered online. Indiana Wesleyan University offers the 18-credit-hour Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling online to persons seeking specialized academic preparation in this area.

Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree. The program is available to students presently enrolled in a non-IWU graduate certificate and counseling program that does not offer sufficient coursework in addiction counseling to complement their current degree program.

Through their graduate Addictions Counseling certificate, Indiana Wesleyan University is an Approved Education Provider of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

Coursework for the Graduate Certificate in Addictions Counseling may be taken online

8. Texas Tech University

This is another school on the list of schools that offer substance abuse certification programs. They offer two programs on substance abuse. Namely;

  • Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies (ADRS) Ph.D. program
  • Bachelor of Science in Counseling and Addiction Recovery Sciences

Texas Tech’s Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies (ADRS) Ph.D. program is an emerging field and is designed to produce graduates who will excel in academic, government, and private sector careers while fulfilling the increasing need for addiction recovery scientists. The core faculty responsible for the program are nationally recognized for their contributions to the addiction recovery field.

Available online or in person. The Counseling and Addiction Recovery Sciences (CARS) degree at Texas Tech University prepares you for a career in Human Services and serves as a strong foundation for graduate coursework in counseling, couple, marriage, and family therapy, addiction counseling, and other helping fields. You may choose to complete an optional concentration in Applied Relational Counseling or Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies. Pre-professional health career options are also available.

9. University of Detroit Mercy

This school offers a minor, bachelor of science, and certificate program in addiction studies by their College of Liberal Arts & Education. The Bachelor of Science with a major in addiction studies provides enhanced undergraduate experience to individuals interested in pursuing a graduate degree in counseling, clinical psychology, or social work while providing the fundamental academic curriculum to prepare them to work in the substance abuse field.

If you already possess a bachelor’s degree in a field related to addiction studies, a post-degree certificate in addiction studies can help prepare you for entry-level positions in alcohol and drug treatment agencies. The certificate meets the minimum educational requirements to initiate a development plan with the Michigan Certification Board for Addiction Professionals (MCBAP).

Detroit Mercy’s addiction studies program also offers a post-graduate certificate in addiction studies for students who already possess a master’s in a field related to addiction studies. This certificate fulfills the academic and internship requirements for the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) credential authorized by the State of Michigan. The CAAC is compulsory for professionals who specialize in the clinical treatment of substance use.

10. Drexel University

This school offers a graduate program (MS) in addiction counseling by the College of Nursing and Health Professions. The Master of Science in Addictions Counseling is an online program consisting of a 57.5-quarter credit curriculum (63.5 with practicum supervision) that meets the educational requirements for Certification as an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) in the state of Pennsylvania. The curriculum covers the knowledge, theory, and skill development areas as suggested by the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) and TAP 21.

Students will gain competence in best treatment practices related to substance abuse and co-occurring behavioral disorders, including assessment, motivational interviewing, recovery and relapse prevention, cultural diversity, and family systems theory.

For students interested in a clinical practicum experience, the program offers clinical supervision as an optional component. Some, but not, all states require a practicum experience as a prerequisite to licensure or certification


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