Substance Abuse Counseling

Signpost stating help, support, advice, guidance, assistance.

The goal of the Substance Abuse Counseling Program is to provide students with the specialized education that will enable them to be successful in the field of substance use and addiction counseling. Substance abuse and addiction counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client, and the families recover from addictions or modify problem behaviors. Upon completion of the Substance Abuse Counseling Program, students will be eligible apply for Counselor Intern licensure and qualify to take the Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor State exam and obtain state licensure as an LCDC.

Programs at LSCPA

There are two programs available at Lamar State College Port Arthur, an Associate of Applied Science Degree and an Advanced Technical Certificate.

The Associate of Applied Science Degree is a two year program that consists of a total of 60 hours of SAC courses and academic courses that include English, Speech, Biology and Introduction to Computer. For both programs, once completing the needed courses, including 320 hours of field work, the student is eligible for a Counselor Intern licensure with the State of Texas and eligible to work as an intern while completing the necessary 4000 Intern hours.

The Certificate program is only available to students that have already completed a Bachelor’s Degree in a related health field, accepted by the Texas State Licensing Board.

Work Environment

Counselor Interns (CI) and LCDC’s are hired in the prison system, both state and Federal, as well as in outpatient and in-patient treatment facilities, probation and parole offices, private counseling offices, local Mental Health agencies and hospitals.

A graduate of this program will be competent in the latest trends in the field of substance use treatment. Topics include, Pharmacology of addiction, Assessment and evaluation of persons with substance use issues, group counseling, individual counseling, family counseling, multicultural counseling, Ethics of the counseling field, and a variety of other skills needed to provide effective guidance and help to people that suffer with addiction.

Graduates of this program will be able to protect the confidentiality of records, communicate effectively with clients and professionals in a variety of mental health related fields, as well as diagnose substance use related disorders and write treatment plans that are individualized to the client while compliant with state and federal guidelines.

Job Opportunities

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Chemical Dependency/ Substance abuse counselors can expect a greater than average increase in job opportunities. Employment of graduates is projected to grow 31 percent from 2012 to 2022. Numerous job openings will result from the ongoing changes in the medical field and the changes occurring in coding classification systems. Growth is expected partly as a result of addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies. In 2012 the National average salary was reported as $38,520 or $18.50 per hour.