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Substance abuse and behavioral counselors work closely with people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, or other behavioral problems such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. In Tennessee, these professionals can be involved in various stages of a patient's treatment, covering a number of responsibilities -- from prevention and risk assessment to treatment and recovery. Counselors may also work with individuals who have become involved with the criminal justice system.

Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools

There are a number of behavioral and substance abuse counselor schools in Tennessee that prepare individuals to work with those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Following is a list of schools - both on and offline - that offer preparatory programs for behavioral counselors.

  • Memphis Seminary: Memphis Seminary offers a certificate program in drug and alcohol abuse counseling. The program consists of three sessions, with two classes per session. Students will be expected to attend class every Friday evening and Saturday throughout the program, which lasts a total of 30 weeks.

  • Southwest Tennessee Community College: Southwest Tennessee Community College also provides a program for students to earn a technical certification in behavioral counseling. The eight-course, 23-credit hour program counts as a prerequisite for working toward state licensure.

  • University of Memphis: The University of Memphis' Bachelor of Professional Studies program offers a concentration in alcohol and drug abuse services. The program includes general studies in behavioral sciences, as well as an internship and a senior capstone project.

  • Argosy University (Online): Argosy University's BA in Psychology - Substance Abuse is a full-length program consisting of over 70 credit hours of coursework. Throughout the program, students will be responsible for assessing and treating substance abuse and behavioral issues, as well as understanding how these issues affect the home and family dynamic of individuals involved.

  • Drexel University (Online): After earning a Bachelor's degree in a related human services field, students can continue their education online at Drexel University. The post-baccalaureate graduate certificate program consists of 18 credit hours offered in four 10-week quarterly sessions.

Coursework for Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs

As mentioned, the substance abuse counselor programs in Tennessee listed above prepare students to work closely with those suffering from a variety of behavioral issues. Students will learn how to assess and treat these issues through many different counseling methods. Of course, working as a substance abuse and behavioral counselor requires those in the field to exhibit a number of qualities, such as:

  • Compassion
  • Understanding
  • Objectivity
  • Patience
  • Professional demeanor

Before entering into a substance abuse counselor program, prospective students should decide if their personal qualities fit well with the profession.

Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License

Individuals aiming to become Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors in Tennessee will, in addition to completing the above-mentioned coursework, need to become licensed through the NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. To become licensed, students will need to sit for and pass both written and oral exams.

Students can also earn National Certification in Addiction Counseling, as well. There are a few different levels of certification, all of which require professionals to have a specific number of hours of both training and experience. For example, Level One certification requires 270 contact hours of training, as well as 6,000 hours (or three years) of full-time experience as a substance abuse counselor.

Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor In Tennessee

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More Tennessee Substance Abuse Counselors Schools

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Clarksville
Masters
9,094
Nashville
Doctorate & First Professional
4,742
McKenzie
Masters
2,155
Jefferson City
Masters
2,012
Memphis
Masters
1,874
Memphis
Bachelor
1,007
Lebanon
Masters
1,335
Johnson City
Doctorate & First Professional
13,119
Nashville
Masters
814
Nashville
Bachelor
324
Henderson
Masters
2,011
Madisonville
Associate
434
Bristol
Masters
1,515
Jackson
Bachelor
751
Cleveland
Masters
4,089
Harrogate
Doctorate
3,255
Nashville
Doctorate
2,744
Pulaski
Bachelor
924
Maryville
Bachelor
1,176
Murfreesboro
Doctorate
23,246
Milligan College
Masters
1,006
Memphis
Masters
1,697
Chattanooga
Masters
264
Sewanee
Doctorate & First Professional
1,561
Collegedale
Masters
2,640
Memphis
Associate
10,617
Nashville
Doctorate
9,065
Cookeville
Doctorate
10,321
Chattanooga
Doctorate
623
Athens
Bachelor
861
Knoxville
Doctorate
29,937
Chattanooga
Doctorate
9,558
Martin
Masters
7,171
Nashville
Doctorate
2,286
Greeneville
Masters
2,605
Jackson
Doctorate
3,235
Memphis
Doctorate & First Professional
20,379
Nashville
Doctorate & First Professional
11,847

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Substance Abuse Counselors

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Tennessee. 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, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin 240 $43,110
Knoxville 410 $31,970

Sources:

  1. Argosy University Online - Psychology BA, https://www.argosy.edu/locations/online/arts-and-sciences-65/bachelor-of-arts-in-psychology, Accessed October 29, 2016
  2. Drexel University Online - Certificate in Substance Use Disorder Treatment, http://catalog.drexel.edu/graduate/collegeofnursingandhealthprofessions/substanceusedisordertreatment/?_ga=1.154090680.1238863188.1477743708, Accessed October 29, 2016
  3. Memphis Seminary - Drug and Alcohol Certificate, http://memphisseminary.edu/project/drug-and-alcohol-certificate/, Accessed October 29, 2016
  4. NAADAC - Association for Addiction Professionals, http://www.naadac.org,
  5. Southwest Tennessee Community College - Substance Abuse Counseling Technical Certification, http://catalog.southwest.tn.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=1&poid=119, Accessed October 29, 2016
  6. Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, https://www.tn.gov/behavioral-health/section/substance-abuse-services, Accessed October 29, 2016
  7. University of Memphis - Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services, http://www.memphis.edu/ugcatalog/collegeprog/Univ_college/alcohol.php, Accessed October 29, 2016

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