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Substance abuse counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

The new Substance Abuse Counseling program at Bristol Community College offers:

  • Certificate of Achievement in Substance Abuse Counseling (10 courses, 29 credits)
  • Classes in Fall River, Taunton and New Bedford, Fall 2020
  • Work experience through two internship courses (6 credits)
  • Ideal credentials for working professionals, students currently enrolled in Behavioral and Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Human Services, Direct Support and Medical Assisting Programs, as well as persons with prior personal histories or familial issues of addiction.
  • Upon completion of the program, you will be well prepared for the licensing / certification exam to become a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CADAC) or Licensed Alcohol/Drug counselor through the MA Department of Public Health.
  • Employment opportunities include Individual and familial counseling with persons living with addiction; group counseling; case management; positions in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation facilities; psycho-educational and prevention work in the community.

Click here to view the Substance Abuse Counseling Certificate in the Bristol Catalog.

Great Job Outlook:

While the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counseling reports that there is a national crisis in recruiting and retaining substance abuse and addiction counselors, the need for skilled employees in this area is expected to grow over 40% in residential treatment facilities and more than 25% in outpatient facilities through the year 2025. Fall River has been identified as the city with the 3rd highest addiction rate in the state of Massachusetts.

New Bedford as the #1 metropolitan area in the United States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in substance abuse counseling. The demand for qualified counselors has far outpaced the supply. This certificate will promote opportunities for a meaningful career for the student and contribute to the area’s economic growth.

For program information, please contact Patricia Sherblom, Ph.D., Dean of Behavioral & Social Sciences and Education,