Addiction Studies Graduate Programs

Graduate programs in addiction studies can be commonly found in schools around the country, and these programs prepare students for careers as counselors, case managers, detox specialists, and more. Find out about program requirements and admission standards for master's degree programs in addiction studies.

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Addiction studies is a field that directs students to careers working with addicted individuals. The program empowers students to respond to individuals who are addicted to alcohol and drugs with effective treatments. Below you'll explore some common coursework as well as what it takes to be admitted to one of these graduate programs.

Coursework in Addiction Studies

Students can find many master's degree programs in addiction studies that require varying amounts of time to complete depending on their background. The coursework involved in the addiction studies program covers a broad range of topics, from identifying addiction to prevention and treatment. These programs will typically require between 40 and 60 credits of coursework to complete.

Substance Abuse Education

An essential course for any incoming graduate student into this program is one covering the basics of drugs and addiction. Courses of this kind help students to better understand how drugs impact individuals both physically and psychologically. Students also come to learn more about the social impact that substance abuse can have and how addiction is diagnosed.

Addiction Theories & Perspectives

The use of drugs does not necessarily lead to an addiction to drugs. Courses that examine addiction specifically look at how addiction takes place and how it is diagnosed. Upon completion, students should be knowledgeable regarding social and/or biological theories concerning how drug addiction occurs.

Substance Abuse Treatment

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a degree in this area also includes study of how treatment for drug addiction occurs. Treatment and recovery can be complex and involve many pathways, so treatment courses may involve studies in a wide variety of treatment solutions. Students examine the role of psychotherapy and group counseling in recovery as well other treatment factors, including family support and spiritual beliefs.

Prevention of Addiction

Many aspects of the addiction studies program focus on the dynamic of addiction and treatment. However, it's also important to prevent substance abuse that can lead to addiction in the first place. Courses in prevention prepare students with the counseling skills to halt drug addiction early through evidence-based practices. Some of the practices discussed may revolve around introducing interventions at the community and educational level.

Addiction Studies Internship

Commonly, graduate programs in this field ask that students complete an internship. These internships allow students to build on their learning and apply in it a real-world context. Under close supervision, the student is allowed to implement the theories and practices they've learned regarding addiction and recovery in a professional setting.

Admission Requirements

Although different universities may have their own unique admissions requirements for addiction studies graduate programs, there are a few common requirements you can expect to find among multiple schools. Schools will always ask for your bachelor's degree transcripts. Students are often required to demonstrate they maintained a minimum GPA, but that minimal requirement can vary from school to school. Unlike many other programs, graduate programs in addiction counseling often do not require that you submit your GRE scores.

However, you will typically be asked to complete an essay or statement of purpose, which typically focuses on your interest and/or experience in counseling or addiction studies. You will also need to provide up to three letters of recommendation from professional references, and admission interviews and background checks may be necessary for these programs. Applicants whose first language is not English will also have to submit test scores demonstrating their proficiency in English.

The graduate degree in addiction studies arms students with a thorough knowledge of drugs, addiction, and treatment. Following the completion of the program, students should be able to effectively diagnose and respond to addiction in counseling settings.

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