Addiction and Recovery Careers

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Steve Bailey
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Steve Bailey is an experienced writer and editor focused on education. For the past 11 years, he has served as a senior associate with the Donovan Group, a communication firm that serves public schools and school districts across the United States. T...
Updated on April 20, 2023
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Careers in addiction and recovery allow caring and passionate people to make a considerable impact on the lives of individuals living with substance abuse and related challenges.

This guide offers information and insights on the benefits of addiction and recovery careers, job outlook data, potential career paths, and methods for career advancement. You will also find resources for expanding your knowledge and gaining skills that can help you serve your community.

Why Pursue a Career in Addiction and Recovery?

Suitable for individuals with a passion for helping others, addiction and recovery careers focus on helping people overcome major life challenges. While these jobs can be quite challenging, they provide great opportunities for those who work well with others, want to improve people's lives, and believe in second chances. Some people choose to pursue careers in addiction and recovery because they have personally overcome similar issues.

Addiction, substance abuse, and mental health issues can cause terrible damage to a person's life, but you can help them address and conquer these challenges by serving as a critical resource on their path to recovery.

Addiction and Recovery Career Outlook

Although careers with an addiction and recovery degree may not be the most lucrative, the people who take on these roles typically do so for the opportunity to help others. As you advance in your career, you may find more opportunities to move into roles featuring more responsibility and greater salaries. Additionally, social workers tend to make higher pay than addiction and substance abuse counselors.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 25% job growth for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors between 2019 and 2019 — considerably higher than the average growth rate for all careers nationwide.

The table below includes salary information and data for several common careers in addiction and recovery.

Median Annual Salary for Addiction and Recovery Careers
Job Title Entry-Level (0-12 months) Early Career (1-4 Years) Mid Career (5-9 Years) Experienced (10-19 Years)
Addiction Counselor $37,980 $39,110 $38,470 $41,970
Substance Abuse Counselor $35,560 $38,220 $41,160 $43,560
Mental Health Counselor $38,990 $40,970 $45,530 $49,180
Social Worker $40,940 $44,390 $49,670 $54,160

Source: PayScale

Popular Online Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Skills Gained With an Addiction and Recovery Degree

With curricula based largely in social and human services administration, addiction and recovery programs train students to identify, diagnose, and treat substance misuse and collateral mental illnesses. Learners gain integrative communication skills that enable them to convey complex technical information to clients and their families, government officials, and healthcare professionals.

In graduate programs, students develop the leadership skills needed to manage diverse teams. They also delve into research methods. Practitioners usually obtain state licensure and/or industry certification on top of their college credentials in order to qualify for clinical positions. The following list details the core skills gained while completing an addiction and recovery degree program.

Diagnosis and Intake

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Students learn to evaluate the physiological, social, and psychological signs of drug abuse. They analyze symptoms to determine if a client meets the eligibility criteria for program intake with respect to government regulations, laws, and organizational policies. Learners also develop the ability to diagnose coexisting conditions that require additional social or medical services.

Assessment and Treatment Planning

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To gain these critical skills, students practice gathering client history, choosing appropriate assessment tools, and explaining results to clients and their families. They learn how to collaborate with clients to establish immediate and long-term goals. Students also gain practice in writing treatment plans that use specialized behavioral terms to explain treatment methods and resources.

Case Management

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An integral skill for counselors and support staff, case management comprises the activities needed to gather resources and services to achieve specific patient results. Students learn how to coordinate staff and agencies to provide holistic support for patients, including medical treatment and vocational rehabilitation. They also develop the communication skills necessary to explain action plans to clients.

Crisis Intervention

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Individuals who engage in drug and alcohol misuse often experience distress or trauma caused by their addiction. All clinical recovery students must learn to recognize crisis elements and implement immediate actions to negate behavior that threatens to compromise the rehabilitation effort. Students also need to factor past crisis scenarios into long-term treatment plans.

Client and Community Education

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In addition to providing clinical services and counseling, professionals in this field act as formal and informal educators who help individuals, families, and communities understand drug use and abuse. Students learn how to present information about health and social services and provide referrals for external resources and additional support.

Addiction and Recovery Career Paths

There are many possible careers for an addiction and recovery major. Graduates may work directly with individuals dealing with addiction through counseling or therapy, or they may take on more administrative roles within treatment centers or healthcare organizations.

The list below features five potential career areas for students who earn an addiction and recovery degree.

Substance Abuse Counseling

These counselors work directly with people who are addicted to drugs or alcohol — either one-on-one or in a group setting. They may also consult with the loved ones of their clients, giving them tools to help their family member or friend overcome substance abuse.

Addiction Therapy

Clinical psychologists use a variety of techniques to help people experiencing addiction better understand why they face the challenges they do. This often comes down to identifying patterns in people's lives and establishing specific treatment plans, which may include medication and regular consultation with a psychologist.

Clinical Rehabilitation

Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals may provide specialized medical attention to individuals who have addictions, usually in an inpatient or outpatient rehab facility. A person experiencing a drug overdose, for example, may need immediate medical attention. Patients may then undergo detoxification and receive help dealing with the symptoms of withdrawal.

Addiction Treatment Care

Caretakers within addiction treatment centers or homes make sure patients follow the rules, avoid a slide back into substance use, and continue to make progress on their road to recovery. They may help care for patients' hygiene or take on administrative duties, such as distributing mail and processing intake documentation.

Nutrition Services

Many people who have an addiction do not take proper care of their physical health, which can have a significant negative impact on their quality of life well into the recovery process. Nutritionists and dietitians help these individuals improve their diets and give their bodies the strength they need to overcome substance abuse.

How to Start Your Career in Addiction and Recovery

Your career options in addiction and recovery greatly depend on your education level. With a bachelor's degree, you can work as a health educator, community service coordinator, or behavioral health technician.

Most counseling positions require practitioners to hold a master's degree and specific licensure and/or certification. By enrolling in a master's program in addiction counseling, learners prepare for careers as substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors where they can help patients overcome addictions and eating disorders.

They may also pursue roles as mental health counselors in hospitals, inpatient and outpatient clinics, and correctional facilities. Additional career options include social worker, school/career counselor, and social service manager.

With doctoral training, professionals can work as university professors, organizational directors, clinical psychologists, and psychiatrists.

Popular Online Bachelor's in Addiction and Recovery Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Bachelor's Degree in Addiction and Recovery

Bachelor's in addiction counseling programs typically require a minimum of 120 credits, which full-time students can complete in four years. Accelerated online tracks enable distance learners to complete their training in less time. Additionally, many higher education institutions provide degree completion pathways for learners with an associate degree and other returning students.

A typical curriculum covers core concepts in abnormal psychology, lifespan development, and sociology of social problems. Students develop addiction counseling skills to help individuals, groups, and dysfunctional family systems. They also complete counseling practica and capstone projects, preparing for career entry or graduate-level academics.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Addiction and Recovery?

Health Educator

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Health educators teach individuals about healthy and unhealthy behaviors. They gather and analyze data about community health needs to implement effective outreach events and social service programs. As organizational leaders, health educators also train staff, coordinate volunteers, and advocate for improved resources and better public policies.

Salary: $46,910

Correctional Treatment Specialist

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Also known as correctional counselors, these professionals support parolees and probationers. They work with clients and their families to develop rehabilitation plans and may help negotiate an inmate's release. Correctional treatment specialists also connect clients with addiction and mental health counseling services, job placement programs, and affordable housing resources.

Salary: $54,290

Social Services Coordinator

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Social services coordinators act as links connecting individuals to government resources and human services. These professionals typically work for community organizations, helping clients assess their needs and apply for social service offerings like food stamps, reduced-cost school lunches, and low-income housing. Social services coordinators work with a variety of underserved populations, including recovering addicts, veterans, and the elderly.

Salary: $44,160

Mental Health Case Manager

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These managers work for hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and government agencies. They oversee the intake process, assess client eligibility and medical needs, and submit required paperwork to healthcare providers. They also collaborate with counselors and physicians to develop action plans. Mental health case managers regularly check on clients' progress and ensure that provided services meet government standards.

Salary: $38,340

Master's Degree in Addiction and Recovery

Master's programs in addiction counseling generally feature 30-40 credits, which students typically complete in around two years. However, learners may be able to enroll in accelerated online options and earn their degree in just 12 months.

These programs often include courses like substance abuse prevention, psychopharmacology, and group counseling techniques. Students often take advanced classes in a chosen concentration, selecting from counseling specialties such as mental health, adolescent drug use, and excessive alcohol use. They typically complete their studies with a capstone project and/or comprehensive exam.

What Can You Do With a Master's in Addiction and Recovery?

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

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Also called addiction counselors, these practitioners work with individual clients and groups. They identify problems and develop treatment plans that include health services and supplementary resources. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors also help clients gain new skills and rebuild family relationships.

Salary: $46,240

Mental Health Counselor

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Mental health counselors find employment in hospitals, community centers, and correctional facilities. By conducting assessments and recommending treatments, they help clients deal with psychological issues including addiction, anxiety, depression, sexual/domestic violence, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Mental health counselors often work with a specific group, such as children, veterans, or senior citizens.

Salary: $49,050

School and Career Counselor

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School counselors help students overcome behavioral and social problems by connecting them with support systems and health services. They also help students develop better study habits and plan for graduation. Career counselors work in educational institutions, community organizations, and government agencies. They conduct aptitude tests and assist clients with skill development and job searches.

Salary: $57,040

Social Service Manager

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These organizational leaders oversee the development and implementation of social service programs. They collaborate with stakeholders and community members to identify areas of need and define objectives. Social service managers write funding proposals, allocate resources, and administer programs. They also conduct evaluations to determine program effectiveness. Many of these positions require a master's degree.

Salary: $67,150

Social Worker

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Social workers support individuals and communities in need. They help clients cope with life challenges such as unemployment, illness, and divorce. Social workers who obtain state licensure can diagnose emotional, mental, and behavioral disorders. They may also develop treatment plans and conduct therapy sessions. Social workers often specialize in an area like healthcare, education, mental health, or child and family services. Clinical social workers must hold a master's degree.

Salary: $50,470

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Doctoral Degree in Addiction and Recovery

Doctoral degrees in addiction and recovery open the door to high-level clinical and executive positions. Colleges and universities generally offer either a Ph.D. in psychology or a doctor of professional counseling (DPC) degree with a concentration in addiction studies. The former emphasizes research and teaching, while the latter focuses on practical skill application in clinical settings.

Ph.D. and DPC programs typically require 50-80 credits, and students generally graduate in 4-7 years. They spend the first two years completing required classes in areas such as addictive behaviors and substance abuse, appraisal and psychometrics, and advanced counseling skills and techniques. They spend the remaining time conducting research, writing, and completing field experiences to prepare for their dissertation defense.

By earning a doctorate, practitioners can work as licensed psychologists. They may also pursue leadership roles with colleges and universities, community health and rehabilitation centers, and pharmaceutical companies.

What Can You Do With a Doctorate in Addiction and Recovery?

Postsecondary Instructor

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Postsecondary teachers provide classroom instruction in their area of expertise. They help students find internships, navigate degree plans, and prepare for post-graduation goals. College and university professors also pursue their own research, publishing findings in scholarly journals and presenting at academic conferences. Within their departments, they assist with curriculum development and student recruitment.

Salary: $79,540

Clinical Psychologist

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Clinical psychologists identify and diagnose behavioral, emotional, and psychological issues. They work with clients to define goals and develop treatment/action plans. These professionals may also teach and pursue their own research. Clinical psychologists must earn a doctorate approved by the American Psychological Association. They then complete postgraduate fellowship programs and apply for state licensure.

Salary: $80,370

Research Scientist

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When working in academic settings, research scientists focus on gathering, evaluating, and presenting knowledge. They keep abreast of developments in their field and collaborate with colleagues on projects and publications. Research scientists can also work for private companies and government entities. There, they conduct research and apply findings to develop products, services, and programs.

Salary: $80,120

Sources: BLS and PayScale

Popular Online Psychology Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

How to Advance Your Career in Addiction and Recovery

Once you earn a degree, you can begin making a real impact by pursuing careers in addiction and recovery. You can advance professionally and continually build your skills through a variety of avenues. These include seeking professional certification and/or licensure, completing continuing education credits, networking, and getting involved with professional associations.

The following sections provide more information about each of these options, as well as ways to leverage them to find success in your career.

Certifications and/or Licensure

To serve in a clinical role, addiction and recovery specialists must earn a state-issued license. Exact licensure requirements vary depending on the laws and regulations of your specific state. However, you likely cannot begin practicing in the field and assisting clients before receiving a license.

Many professionals with careers in addiction and recovery can also benefit from earning a certification from the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). These credentials indicate that professionals possess a high degree of knowledge and competence and that they continually update their skills and knowledge to benefit the people they serve. Certification also shows employers that addiction and recovery specialists have met national standards of excellence.

In addition to addiction counselor credentials, NAADAC offers specialized certification programs in nicotine dependence, student assistance, clinical supervision, peer recovery support, conflict resolution in recovery, recovery to practice, and co-occurring disorders.

Continuing Education

Beyond securing a degree, professionals can improve and advance in their addiction and recovery careers by taking part in a variety of learning opportunities that hone their skills and techniques, which ultimately benefit the people they serve.

NAADAC offers a variety of continuing education opportunities, including a webinar series that is free for all members. The association also provides speciality online training sessions focused on specific prevention and treatment issues, such as working with military veterans and using technology for clinical supervision.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers training and support to addiction and recovery practitioners nationwide. These training sessions take place online and in person throughout the year. Sessions focus on issues you may face in your day-to-day work.

To renew their licenses and certifications, professionals typically need to participate in continuing education opportunities, such as those listed above.

Next Steps

You can find addiction and recovery jobs and hone your skills by using several key tactics. Taking these actions can improve your understanding, aid in your professional development, and give you an ever-increasing set of tools to help you provide excellent service and counsel to the individuals and families who need it most.

The most successful addiction and recovery professionals regularly engage in continuing education courses to learn about the latest techniques and issues in the field. They also network with their fellow professionals to hear about methods that have worked well for others tackling similar issues with their clients. Getting involved in professional organizations also allows workers to attend conferences, training sessions, and networking events throughout the year.

How to Switch Your Career to Addiction and Recovery

Many people begin their professional path in other areas before transitioning into careers in addiction and recovery. Social workers, guidance counselors, healthcare professionals, and educators may find this process quite seamless, as they already possess skills and knowledge that should serve them well in their new roles. These professionals typically hold degrees that allow them to easily secure certification to practice in many addiction and recovery careers.

If you do not possess a degree in a related field, you may need to go back to school to earn a bachelor's or master's degree. Additionally, if you are interested in a clinical role, you also need to meet licensure requirements in your state.

Where Can You Work as an Addiction and Recovery Professional?

Careers in addiction and recovery require competencies related to human and social services, psychology, education, healthcare, and public policy. With this diverse skill set, professionals can access a plethora of career options. They can work with government bodies and private companies as administrators, program directors, and consultants. Practitioners may also occupy counseling and social work positions with health facilities, nonprofit organizations, and universities.

This section explores how factors like location and industry affect job prospects and pay potential.


According to the BLS, professionals serving as substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors earned a mean annual wage of $49,950 in 2019. The salaries individuals earn in this field may depend on where they work, such as in an outpatient care center, mental health facility, or healthcare clinic. Below, you can find more information on five common industries for these practitioners.

Outpatient Care Centers

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Outpatient care centers include hospitals, clinics, schools, and other facilities that deliver medical care to individuals who do not need an overnight stay. Addiction and recovery professionals provide substance abuse counseling as part of these services.

Average Salary: $48,150

Individual and Family Services

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This field includes a variety of service providers, including those focused on individual and family counseling, immigrant and refugee services, disaster relief, and welfare services. Addiction and recovery specialists may take part in all aspects of delivering these services.

Average Salary: $50,700

Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities

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Many people who have mental health challenges also engage in substance abuse. Addiction and recovery practitioners can help clients at a mental health facility get the support they need to overcome substance-related issues.

Average Salary: $42,380

Offices of Other Health Practitioners

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Addiction and recovery professionals may assist general practitioners and other healthcare providers with delivering a full spectrum of care to individuals who may be dealing with substance abuse and related mental health challenges.

Average Salary: $53,620

Local Government

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Government agencies, schools, and community service agencies employ addiction and recovery practitioners to provide counseling and care to individuals and families in need. In some cases, these professionals may work with the criminal justice system.

Average Salary: $57,440


Opportunities for addiction and recovery professionals to find career success, job growth, and solid pay can be found across the country, with states in all regions offering attractive prospects. California, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts employ the largest number of these practitioners, while Utah features the highest annual mean wage — $67,410 per year. Addiction and recovery workers in Nevada, Oregon, Alaska, and New Jersey also tend to earn significantly higher pay than the national average for this occupation.


Interview With a Professional in Addiction and Recovery

Addiction Therapist

Portrait of Cali Estes, Ph.D.

Cali Estes, Ph.D.

Cali Estes, Ph.D., is an author, addiction therapist, and life/corporate coach who specializes in harm reduction. She has over 20 years of experience helping people overcome drug, alcohol, and food addictions.

Dr. Estes is an expert on drug and alcohol addiction. Her no-nonsense approaches to cognitive behavioral therapy, positive psychology, and life coaching provide essential support for addicts. Additionally, Dr. Estes has a deep understanding of food addictions and their effects on individuals.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in addiction psychology? Was it something you were always interested in?

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I became interested in psychology because there are a lot of mental health problems in my family. I always wondered why my family was so different from everyone else's. I had always thought that it was my bad behavior that caused my father to be so angry and so sad, until I later learned that he was severely bipolar. Even then, I didn't know that it was a medical condition in the brain until I actually started studying psychology in college. I think that, had I not had such a crazy home life with all the arguing and violence, I probably would not have studied psychology.

What is so valuable about earning a degree in this field right now?

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A degree in psychology can be used in any field. Psychology is the understanding of human behavior and why people do the things they do, which can even be applied while walking through Walmart. If you want to become successful in any career, you really need to know how to talk to people and what their patterns of behavior and thought processes look like. Whether you're in sales, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, or a janitor, you still need to have those skills and be able to read people -- psychology does that.

What did your career trajectory look like after you graduated? How did you end up in your current position?

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After I graduated with a BA in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, I went on to West Chester University to get a master's degree in criminal justice because I was interested in studying the criminal mind and how it works. After that, I went back to clinical psychology to get my Ph.D. because I wanted to focus on therapy and life coaching in the addiction arena.

What are some of the most challenging aspects of working in addiction psychology and counseling? Some of the most rewarding aspects?

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The most challenging aspect of working in addiction psychology and counseling is having to deal with negative people on a daily basis. A lot of people who suffer from addiction do not want to change, and I spent a lot of my time in the beginning convincing them that they need to and explaining to them how they can have a better life. This can be very draining if you're doing it day in and day out and don't take enough time for yourself and practice self-care.

One of the most rewarding aspects of this career is when I see a client one year, two years, or even five years later and they are successful and thriving. I recently saw one of my clients on a billboard because she won a Grammy. Five years ago, she would never have done that because she was drinking too heavily. So it was very awesome to see that, and it was rewarding to see I was able to impact someone's life in that way.

Another big rewarding aspect is when someone sends me a private message on Facebook or an email telling me I impacted their life, even though they were never a client. They saw a post or a TV show interview or something I did that made them change their thought process, get sober, and have a better life. Both of those things are super rewarding.

What are some of the necessary skills or traits for someone to be successful in an addiction psychology career?

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To be successful in the field of addiction psychology, you need to understand body language to read your clients and have patience, understanding, and parenting skills.

What I mean by parenting is that you need to be able to say no and to guide your client in a direction that is in their best interest. Sometimes this can be very difficult when you're dealing with a client who really doesn't want to change and is being resistant to the treatment. You really have to be able to toe the line, even if the client is nasty or aggressive with you, and you have to make them see the outcome.

Another important trait that an addiction counselor needs is the ability to plan and execute self-care and vacation time. This field has a high burnout rate because a lot of people never say no and they find themselves working 40-, 50-, or 60-hour workweeks and helping friends and family with their personal issues on their downtime. You have to be able to unplug to be good at your job.

What advice would you give to recent addiction psychology graduates seeking a job in the field?

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I would say learn everything you can, do an internship, and get a really good mentor. I learned from my mentor about body language and how to understand someone just by watching their body cues and their social cues. This is important because when an addict is talking, they may be lying to you, so you need to know how to read that.

Resources for Addiction and Recovery Majors

The lists below detail a variety of professional and educational resources to help you grow and find increasing success in the field of addiction and recovery. These include professional organizations, industry publications, and open courseware that can build your skills and knowledge in this challenging field.

Professional Organizations

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American Counseling Association: Established in 1952, ACA is the world's largest organization for professional counselors. The association advocates for practitioners and clients at every level of government. Members benefit from conferences, leadership training, and a comprehensive knowledge database. They can access continuing education resources, including online courses and webinars. ACA also operates a career center where professionals can seek guidance and apply for paid positions and internships.

American Society of Addiction Medicine: ASAM supports over 6,000 physicians, counselors, and related professionals in the addiction medicine field. The society funds research awards and academic scholarships. Members connect through student groups, state chapters, and in-person training seminars. Through an e-learning center, they can access online classes, continuing education programs, and certification guidance.

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing: NCHEC strengthens the health education field through research initiatives and policy development. Users enjoy a comprehensive suite of educational resources, including information on certification options. The commission offers support in the form of career resources and preparation materials for health education specialist exams. NCHEC also provides continuing education tools.

National Association of Social Workers: Founded in 1955, NASW serves more than 120,000 social workers by establishing industry standards and providing resources for professional growth. Members connect through local chapters, leadership committees, and national conferences. NASW provides job search tools and extensive information on certification, continuing education, and specialty practice.

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIAAA conducts research and promotes education on alcohol abuse prevention. Users can access information on the latest best practices, policy developments, and statistical findings. They can also take advantage of research training and career development tools. Furthermore, NIAAA provides research funding, travel grants, and student awards.

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Another member of NIH, NIDA advances scientific knowledge of addiction to improve individual and community health. The institute operates a comprehensive library of scholarly journals, research publications, and online articles on drug misuse and mental health. NIDA collaborates on institutional research projects such as the HEAL (helping to end addiction long-term) initiative. Students and professionals can benefit from career development tools and research grants.

Network for Social Work Management: Founded in 1985, NSWM strives to improve leadership in the health and human services industry. Members can access a library of journals and webinars and connect through online forums and networking events across the U.S. The network operates skill development institutes for emerging leaders and doctoral candidates. NSWM also provides international mentorship and policy fellowship programs.

Society of Addiction Psychology: SoAP facilitates research initiatives on a wide variety of addictive behaviors, including nicotine, alcohol and illicit drug use; gambling; and eating disorders. The society establishes standards for evidence-based practices involving assessment and treatment. Members can collaborate through national conventions and online discussion lists. Student members can seek guidance on credentialing in addiction psychology and early career development.

Society for Public Health Education: Established in 1950, SOPHE is an independent nonprofit organization for health educators and researchers. Members collaborate on projects highlighting focus areas, such as school health, tobacco and smoking cessation, and emergency preparedness. The society provides student internship opportunities and publishes job postings. SOPHE also delivers online professional development tools, including preparation materials for the certified health education specialist exam.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA is dedicated to reducing the effects of mental illness and substance misuse. Professionals in the field benefit from practitioner training in areas like rural opioid addiction assistance and clinical support for serious mental illness. SAMHSA also provides program grants and research funding.

Open Courseware

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Institute for Research, Education, and Training in Addictions: IRETA offers two free online courses: 1) assessment and treatment of adolescent marijuana abuse and dependence and 2) electronic tools for use in the continuum of care for patients with addiction. These courses can help fulfill continuing education requirements for practicing addiction and recovery professionals.

NAADAC Independent Study: NAADAC provides several courses designed for individuals engaged in addiction and recovery careers. Courses cover topics such as the pharmacology of psychoactive substance use, ethical issues in the field, and integrating treatment for co-occurring substance abuse disorders. Professionals can also use these courses to increase their knowledge about addiction counseling theories and clinical supervision.

Hazelden Betty Ford: This addiction treatment organization offers online courses on subjects like the neurobiology of addiction, behavioral therapies, the genetic impact of substance abuse disorders, psychiatric comorbidity, and the use of medication in treating addiction. Many of the courses feature TED-inspired video lectures, while others allow students to examine a variety of patient profiles. The clinic designs its courses largely for medical students.


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Advances in Addiction and Recovery:A quarterly magazine from NAADAC, Advances in Addiction and Recovery offers articles and insights on a variety of issues that professionals encounter on a daily basis. The magazine includes profiles of how practitioners in the field have helped individuals and families overcome a wide variety of substance abuse issues. The publication also covers emerging research that can help addiction and recovery specialists improve on their practice.

Journal of Addiction and Recovery: This academic publication features peer-reviewed research, studies, and articles focused on evidence-based methods of overcoming addiction and related issues. Addiction and recovery professionals can learn about emerging practices to develop tools to better serve their clients.

Addiction Journal:This journal focuses primarily on research in the addiction and recovery field, including pharmacological and behavioral addiction. It also covers policy and practice issues and accepts submissions from researchers and practitioners from around the world. The publication also features editorials, book reviews, letters to the editor, and commentaries.

Recovery Today: Known as a "magazine of hope," Recovery Today offers articles and profiles for people dealing with addiction and the professionals who assist them. The publication often features articles on famous people who have experienced success addressing their addictions. The publisher offers this magazine for free to subscribers across the globe.

The Sober World: Published by a mother who lost her child to addiction, this magazine helps connect individuals and families with the resources they need to confront and recover from addiction and substance abuse. The publication provides a variety of inspirational and informative articles on numerous relevant topics, while also featuring success stories from people who have experienced addiction firsthand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a degree in addiction and recovery worth it?

With an addiction and recovery degree, you can find a variety of careers that provide opportunities to help individuals and families dealing with the many challenges related to substance abuse. If you are interested in making a positive difference in people's lives and the world around you, this field could be a good fit.

What kind of jobs can you get with an addiction and recovery degree?

People who obtain degrees in addiction and recovery tend to serve as substance abuse counselors, mental health counselors, social workers, and social service managers. With a doctoral degree, you can also qualify to work as a clinical psychologist, college professor, or addiction research scientist.

How much do addiction and recovery majors make?

While addiction and recovery careers do not generally come with high salaries, these practitioners benefit from helping others. In general, midcareer professionals can expect to make $40,000-$50,000 per year, depending on their role and where they work. Securing an advanced degree can open up greater career opportunities and more lucrative salaries.

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