Athletes, film stars, mothers, teenagers—addiction has many faces and can affect anyone, regardless of occupation, income level, race, or gender.

In fact, one in four Americans will have an alcohol or drug problem at some point in their lives.*

With Walden’s MS in Addiction Counseling program, you can gain the skills you need to offer guidance and treatment to people who struggle with addictive behaviors. The program focuses on ways to address substance abuse as well as addictive behavior exhibited through activities such as binge eating, pathological gambling, and hoarding. Through this online addiction counseling degree program, you can also learn how to work with dual-diagnosis clients who have both an addiction and a mental disorder.

Through Walden’s program, you can prepare to become a counselor with a specialization in addiction counseling and to qualify to sit for the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC).Earning your master’s degree in addiction counseling can prepare you for a career in a variety of settings, including community mental health centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, the juvenile justice system, drug courts, and private practice. Residencies and field experience opportunities help you gain hands-on practice in the field.

Learning Outcomes

The following Learning Outcomes are common to all MS in counseling programs. Graduates of these programs will be prepared to:

  1. Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
  2. Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
  3. Analyze cultural development theories and models.
  4. Examine empirically based theories of human development.
  5. Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
  6. Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
  7. Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
  8. Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
  9. Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
  10. Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.

The competent and confident counseling professional will:

  1. Assess the factors that increase risk for substance abuse and addiction.
  2. Develop biopsychospiritual treatment approaches for addressing the needs of addiction clients.
  3. Evaluate philosophical principles of addiction-related self-help.
  4. Design strategies for helping clients identify the effects of addiction on life problems.

Find detailed information for this program, including possible occupations, completion rate, program costs, and median student loan debt.

*The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, 2007, on the Internet at http://www.casacolumbia.org/templates/Home.aspx?articleid=287&zoneid=32 (viewed April 5, 2012).

Students who are pursuing licensure as a State Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) or a state substance abuse counseling certification should verify individual state laws to determine if this program meets eligibility requirements for licensure and/or certification in the state in which they intend to practice. Designation as a Master Addictions Counselor requires the successful completion of the Examination for Master Addictions Counselors (EMAC), in addition to other requirements.


Adrian Hall

Adrian Hall

MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
Obtaining a doctoral degree in counselor education and supervision is one of my proudest moments, followed by securing a faculty position at Montreat College’s counseling graduate program.
I knew from earning my master’s degree that Walden fit my schedule as an intervention counselor, trainer, and single parent.
I am loving my Walden experience. I believe the university is providing a quality education. I also feel supported by staff and instructors as I move forward.
Lotes Nelson PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision Graduate
Lotes Nelson
Tomica Buford MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
Tomica Buford
Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley MSW Student
Elizabeth Wallmann-Filley
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