Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors work with individuals living with addiction or other behavioral disorders including eating disorders, substance abuse, and more. These counselors in New Mexico can work directly for hospitals or schools, prisons, public health departments, or operate their own private practice.

New Mexico Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

Typically, all behavioral counseling licenses in the state require a minimum of an associate degree. There are many great substance abuse counselor schools in New Mexico offering programs to complement and accompany state licensure programs.

  • Eastern New Mexico University: The main campus of ENMU is located in Portales, NM, and serves more than 4,000 students pursuing Associate's, Bachelor's, and graduate programs in Psychology, Counseling, and more.

  • New Mexico Highlands University: Located in Las Vegas, New Mexico Highlands University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in Psychology, Sociology, and relevant coursework through the School of Social Work.

  • New Mexico State University: New Mexico State University offers programs from associate to doctoral degrees. The university offers competitive programs in Counseling & Educational Psychology, as well as Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Behavioral Health.

  • Santa Fe Community College: Santa Fe Community College offers over 50 certificate programs and degrees for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The college offers counseling certifications including LADC programs, and degrees in Psychology and Social Sciences, for associate, Bachelors, and graduate students.

  • University of New Mexico: Located in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico is the largest university in the state, offering programs for both undergraduate and graduate students in Psychology and Behavioral Health, with recently-added concentrations such as Basics in Addiction Counseling.

Coursework for New Mexico Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

Substance abuse and behavioral counseling programs in New Mexico are built to prepare candidates with the skills necessary to succeed in this challenging, but ultimately rewarding career. Skills obtained in these programs, as well as coursework completed, include:

  • Counseling
  • Alcohol & drug abuse
  • Ethics
  • Case management
  • General psychology
  • Addiction & addictive behavior
  • Clinical mental health counseling
  • Individual, group, and family counseling

New Mexico Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors License

Arguably the most important licensure program for New Mexico is the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADAC) program. Three tiers exist for the career following the Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) program.

  • Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) - While a provider holding an LSAA can see patients one-one, they must have a clinical supervisor who oversees and directs their practice. To qualify to be an LSAA, a candidate must hold at least an associate degree, and be at least 21 years of age.

  • Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADAC) - Similar to an LSAA, completion of a LADAC requires a minimum of an associate degree. However, the number of supervised work hours required differs depending on what degree the candidate holds. With an associate degree, 3,000 hours are required to complete a LADAC program. A bachelor's degree lowers this to 2,000 hours, and a master's degree lowers this further to 1,000 hours of supervised work. Finally, candidates must have a passing score on the National Certification Examination for Addiction Counselors to become a fully Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors in New Mexico

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More New Mexico 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
Highest Award
Santa Fe
Las Vegas
Las Cruces
Santa Fe
Doctorate & First Professional
Silver City

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for New Mexico. 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
Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 320 $-1,111
Farmington 30 $45,520
Las Cruces -2222 $46,330
Santa Fe 80 $46,070


  • Counseling and Therapy Practice: Overview, Boards and Commissions, New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department, http://www.rld.state.nm.us/boards/counseling_and_therapy_practice.aspx, accessed October 29, 2016.
  • New Mexico - Distance Learning LSAA & LADAC Training, Institute of Chemical Dependency Studies, http://www.cdstudies.com/counselor_training/distance_learning/newmexico.html, accessed October 29, 2016
  • Substance Abuse Counseling Certification in New Mexico, HumanServicesEdu, http://www.humanservicesedu.org/new-mexico-substance-abuse-counselor.html, accessed October 29, 2016.

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