Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in Louisiana can expect good career prospects as the number of roles increase due to more insurers' policies including mental health and addiction counseling. A substance abuse and behavioral counselor will help to advise their clients when they are suffering from an eating disorder, addiction to drugs, alcoholism or another behavioral problem. Providing the right care and treatment, they'll help their clients to overcome this problem.

Louisiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

Anything from a high school diploma to a bachelor degree can be the requirements needed in order to become a substance abuse counselor. Students will also need to have obtained the relevant license from the Louisiana Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority. There are several substance abuse counselor schools in Louisiana, which are:

  • Northwestern State University of Louisiana: Established in 1884, Northwestern State University is steeped in history and also has satellite campuses at Fort Polk, Alexandria and Shreveport. One of their programs is the Bachelor of Science Degree in psychology with a concentration in substance abuse. They also offer a Bachelor of Social Work degree, which contains a specialization in alcohol and substance abuse.

  • Southern University at Shreveport: Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Southern University at Shreveport was originally founded in 1964. They offer an Associate Degree in Human Services with the chance to focus on substance abuse counseling, gaining the higher education hours required in order to go on and gain state licensure.

  • University of Holy Cross: Originally founded as Our Lady of Holy Cross College in 1916, the University of Holy Cross is located on the Mississippi River, minutes away from New Orleans. They provide a variety of courses including an associate degree in addictions counseling, and a bachelor's degree in addictions counseling or applied behavioral science.

  • Southern University at New Orleans: Opened in 1959, SUNO is situated in Ponchartrain Park on a 17-acre site and is the only institute of higher learning in Louisiana to offer degrees in addictive behaviors counseling and prevention. They offer a four-year bachelor's degree or a two-year associate degree in addictive behaviors counseling and prevention.

What to Expect from Louisiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

To equip you with the necessary skills needed for you to pursue your career as a certified counselor, substance abuse counseling programs in Louisiana will cover a plethora of topics. Dividing your time between the classroom and in a drug and alcohol abuse center, these programs will allow you to gain the hours needed for you to take your licensure exam. A range of things may be covered in your course, including:

  • Working with families of drug and alcohol abuse
  • Techniques for group counseling
  • Social work
  • Social problems
  • Public speaking
  • Counseling women
  • Counseling theories
  • Counseling adolescents
  • Chemical dependency counseling

Louisiana Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License

You will require a license in Louisiana in order to practice as a substance abuse counselor. This can be gained through the Louisiana Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (ADRA) who provides a number of different certifications and training programs. These include testing applications for licensed, certified or registered addiction counselors (LAC, CAC or RAC).

Each of these certifications has varying guidelines and you will need to meet the criteria in order to gain the relevant certificate. For example, to obtain the LAC certification, you'll need to have a master's or doctoral degree; be a legal resident in the U.S.; not be in violation of any of the ethical standards listed by ADRA; be 21 or over; have not been a compulsive gambler or substance abuser in the past two years or more; have not been convicted of felony (this can be waived at the discretion of ADRA upon application) and have successfully completed 270 hours of education, with 180 of these relating to substance abuse treatment, 6 to professional ethics and the remainder to a related area.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor in Ohio


  1. Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Occupational Outlook Handbook 2016-17 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,, accessed October 31, 2016
  2. O*NET OnLine Summary Report for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors,, accessed October 31, 2016

Career and College Resources

Real-World Career Reports
Career References and Original Articles