If you have a desire to build a career helping people, consider studying to become a substance abuse and behavioral counselor. They work with people who are challenged by a variety of behavioral health issues, including drug and alcohol addiction or eating disorders. These professionals provide treatment and support to clients seeking to overcome these issues. To obtain certification as a counselor in Indiana, you need a bachelor's degree in a behavioral health or related program.
Indiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors Schools
Licensure as a substance abuse and behavioral counselor requires either a bachelor's or master's degree in addiction counseling, psychology, social work, sociology, or related field.
- Indiana University Northwest: Students choose between a Bachelor of Social Work or a Master of Social Work program. Graduates leave prepared for a variety of careers in social work, including advocacy, child and youth services, and community crisis centers.
- University of Saint Francis: This school offers a Bachelor of Social Work for students in Fort Wayne. Graduates learn to advocate for their clients, as well as how to develop and evaluate programs in their community.
- Indiana Wesleyan University: Located in Marion, students choose from a variety of degree programs in the Division of Behavioral Sciences, including Addictions Counseling, Psychology, and Social Work.
- Martin University: Located in Indianapolis, students choose between Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in social sciences, including Addictions Counseling. Martin's original focus was low-income, minority, and adult learners, and today the school continues cultivating a broad demographic of students.
- University of Southern Indiana: This campus in Evansville offers both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Social Work, with a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.
After earning your degree, you need two years' experience in a supervised environment, including 150 hours of face-to-face supervision by a board-approved supervisor.
What to Expect from Indiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors Programs
To obtain certification, you must complete a degree program that includes specific coursework. Classes you'll take in one of these programs include:
- Abnormal psychology
- Addictions counseling skills
- Addictions theory
- Cultural competency
- Developmental psychology
- Ethics & professional development
- Family education
- Psychoactive drugs
Successful completion prepares graduates for licensure examination, as well as a wide variety of careers, including client advocate, case manager, and social worker.
Indiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License
Indiana requires substance abuse counselors to obtain licensing to work within the state. Licensing is available in two levels:
- Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC)
- Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC)
LAC license requirements include a criminal background check, a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, completion of a field experience program, and two years of supervised experience. In addition, you must take and pass an examination by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). You must also pass the Indiana Jurisprudence examination and submit your completed application, along with the required fee.
To obtain LCAC licensing, you must obtain a master's degree in a behavioral science discipline, as well as complete all requirements listed for LAC. One difference is the supervised experience requirement, which is 200 hours for an LCAC license.
Resources for Indiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors