What is a Certification in Addiction Studies?

Basic Facts

It is a sad truth that addiction is rampant in the United States. In fact, it permeates pretty much every sector of society. According to a 2005 national survey conducted by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, an estimated 22.2 million persons over the age of 12 were classified with substance dependence or abuse. Tragically, only about 10 percent of these people received treatment in a specialty facility.

While these statistics may be disheartening, there is good news: Substance abuse can be treated with proper care from trained and qualified professionals. And with the right education, you could be one of the specialists who provides hope to individuals and families who suffer from substance abuse.

Education and Certification

Working in the field of addiction requires formal education from a respected institution. A great place to start an education in addiction studies is with an addiction studies certification program. Addiction studies certification programs teach a range of skills necessary to work in the field of addiction. Examples of what may be taught in addiction studies programs include:

  • Addiction assessment and treatment strategies
  • Counseling of addictive behavior
  • Professional treatment skills
  • Physiology and pharmacology of addictions
  • Group and advanced counseling
  • And more

People who complete addiction studies certification programs are able to obtain certification with the California Association of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and/or the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE). Once these exams have been passed, individuals will be certified as Alcohol and Drug Treatment Counselor Associates with CAADAC and/or Certified Addiction Treatment Counselors with CAADE.

Once an industry certification is obtained, some people choose to take their education a step further with a degree in psychology. This additional education can open up additional employment opportunities.

What Can You Do With Your Education?

There are a wide range of jobs that individuals with their certificate in addiction studies can pursue, including:

  • Family therapist
  • Case manager
  • Detox specialist
  • Recovery coach
  • Co-occurring disorders counselor
  • HIV counselor
  • DUI program administrator
  • Interventionist

Where Can You Get Your Certificate of Addiction Studies

There are a number of respected institutions that provide programs on addiction studies. What is important is to find one that meets your personal needs. William Jessup University in San Jose offers a great program that is taught with a Christian focus. It is designed to be completed in a short amount of time (as little as 1 year) so that graduates can get out in the field and start making a positive difference in the lives of people who suffer from addiction.