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Substance abuse and behavioral counselors work with individuals facing a wide variety of behavioral health challenges, including addiction. If you pursue this career, you'll have the opportunity to work in behavioral health facilities, community health centers, private practice, and outpatient facilities. In your day-to-day job, you develop treatment plans and support your clients in their efforts to overcome their behavioral health challenges.

Arizona Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors Schools

Launching a career as a substance abuse counselor in Arizona requires, at a minimum, an associate degree in a social or behavioral health program. Across the state, students have a number of choices in schools that offer these programs, including the following:

  • Rio Salado College: This school offers students an associate degree in behavioral health/addictions and substance use disorders program. Graduates leave this program prepared to take the licensing exams by the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners (AzBBHE).

  • Grand Canyon University: This private Christian college offers a bachelor's degree in counseling with an emphasis on addiction, chemical dependency, and substance abuse. Students have both on-campus and online class options.

  • Pima Community College: Students at this school can earn an associate degree in social services or substance use disorders specialty, both of which qualify graduates for AzBBHE licensure examination.

  • Mohave Community College: This school offers an associate degree program in substance abuse counseling. Graduates leave the program prepared for licensure and an entry-level position in their new career.

  • Ottawa University: Students who prefer an online option may attend Ottawa University to earn a master's degree in addiction counseling. This advanced degree prepares graduates for clinical practice and the highest levels of licensure and certification.

After completing your education, you need to complete continuing education courses for higher certification levels, in addition to supervised work experience.

Coursework for Arizona Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors

Whether you choose an associate degree program, or opt to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree, standard coursework includes:

  • Cultural competency
  • Addictions theory
  • Addictions counseling skills
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Psychoactive drugs
  • Family education
  • Ethics & professional development
  • Developmental psychology

Coursework focus on how addiction affects not only your clients but also their families and communities. You learn how to develop treatment programs specifically designed for the individual seeking treatment, as well as how to understand their struggles.

Arizona Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Certification

Arizona requires certification through the AzBBHE, and offers applicants three levels of certification from which to choose:

  • Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT): Requires either an associate or bachelor's degree in chemical dependency.

  • Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC): Requires a bachelor's degree in chemical dependency.

  • Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC): Requires a bachelor's degree in a behavioral science program with 30 semester hours of counseling-related coursework, or a master's degree with 24 semester hours of counseling-related coursework.

Resources for Arizona Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors

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Programs
  • M.S. in Addiction Counseling
  • B.S. in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse
  • M.S. in Christian Counseling of Substance Abuse and Addictive Disorders
  • Why Earn Your Degree from GCU?
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Programs
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • Programs include Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addiction, and more.
  • Approved as an education provider by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).
  • Courses cover topics such as addiction science, assessment, prevention, and treatment.
  • Students learn how to identify, plan, and use resources to help improve client situations.
Programs
  • BA in Psychology
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  • Non-profit university accredited by WASC Senior Commission
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  • Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology
  • M.A. Psychology
  • Online Ph.D. Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
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  • Ranked among the 2015 Best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
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Programs
  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
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Programs
  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
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  • Ranked #4 among the 2015 Best Regional Universities in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report.
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  • Student to faculty ratio of 12:1, with an average class size of 21.
  • 85% of faculty holds a doctorate or terminal degree in their field.
  • Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA).
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  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
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More Arizona Substance Abuse Counselors Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Tempe
Doctorate & First Professional
51,481
Chandler
Associate
10,277
Douglas
Associate
4,133
Flagstaff
Associate
3,664
Thatcher
Associate
5,314
Avondale
Associate
5,973
Glendale
Associate
18,444
Mesa
Associate
24,470
Kingman
Associate
5,879
Flagstaff
Doctorate
21,347
Holbrook
Associate
4,686
Phoenix
Associate
8,574
Phoenix
Associate
11,097
Tucson
Associate
32,982
Prescott
Doctorate
1,007
Tempe
Associate
18,331
Scottsdale
Associate
10,371
Tucson
Doctorate
37,217

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Arizona. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Substance Abuse Counselors

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Substance Abuse Counselors relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Flagstaff 110 $41,150
Lake Havasu City 40 $40,560
Kingman 40 $40,560
Phoenix 1640 $40,610
Mesa 1640 $40,610
Scottsdale 1640 $40,610
Prescott 80 $36,200
Sierra Vista N/A $36,610
Douglas N/A $36,610
Tucson 840 $33,990
Yuma 60 $43,170

Sources:

  1. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm, accessed October31, 2016
  2. Substance Abuse and Counseling Certification in Idaho, Human Services Guide, http://www.humanservicesedu.org/Idaho-substance-abuse-counselor.html, accessed October 31, 2016

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