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Substance Use Counseling

College of Professional Studies

Location: Lincoln
Degree Type: 

The Substance Use Counseling major is designed to provide students with an understanding of human behavior and to prepare students to provide treatment and services to individuals with a substance use diagnosis. Through the course work and clinical experience, students develop the knowledge and skills needed to provide direct care to individuals who need substance use disorder treatment in an agency setting.

Course work includes all of the courses required for licensure by the state of Nebraska as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Students complete a six-credit, 300 clock-hour internship experience which emphasizes the implementation and refinement of individual and group counseling skills through direct service work with clients as well as other core professional activities.

As educational requirements vary by state, students interested in these programs should consult the General Licensure and Certification Disclosure page prior to enrollment. Please be aware that states often have state-specific additional licensure and/ or certification requirements. Students considering relocating should contact their program representative in order to determine if the program meets the new state requirements.

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Program Information

Substance Use Counselor

2019 Median Pay: $46,240 per year
Job Outlook: +22% from 2018-28
Substance use counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems. 

Individuals with a degree in substance use counseling are employed in the following settings:

  • Outpatient Substance Abuse Treatment Centers
  • Department of Corrections
  • Regional Centers and Hospitals 
  • Residential Substance Abuse Facilities 
  • Non-Profit Agencies

In the Lincoln area, potential employers include:

  • Lutheran Family Services 
  • St. Monica's 
  • The Bridge Behavioural Health Center
  • Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach 
  • Nebraska Department of Corrections 
  • Lincoln Regional Center

Courses consist of the Doane Core and the following classes:

  • CMS 220 - Interpersonal Communication
  • IDS 206 - Introduction to Research
  • HRE 232 - Case Planning and Management
  • HRE 315 - Group Counseling
  • HRE 318 - Medical & Psychosocial Aspects of Addictions
  • HRE 321 - Clinical Treatment Issues in Chemical Dependency
  • HRE 417 - Multicultural Counseling
  • HRE 421 - Internship in Human Relations
  • HRE 428 - Professional Ethics & Issues
  • HRE 497 - Senior Seminar I
  • HRE 498 - Senior Seminar II
  • PSY 234 - Intro to Counseling Theories & Techniques
  • PSY 259 - Lifespan Development
  • PSY 416 - Abnormal Psychology
  • SOC 288 - Deviance
  • BUS 215 - Statistics

Doane University has an opportunity for a limited number of students to receive free tuition and fees to complete the course work for the Provisional Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification (PLADC). The funding is offered through the US Department of Health and Human Services, and on behalf of the UNMB through the Behavioural Workforce Education and Training Program (BHWET) to Doane University and includes a $750 stipend to purchase a laptop or pay for textbooks. The goal of BHWET's student-training program is to increase the number of behavioral health professionals in Nebraska, especially in rural and underserved areas. There is a great need for addiction counselors in Nebraska, so career growth is strong.

This opportunity is available to bachelor’s level students and non-degree seeking students. Students apply for funding through BHWET. Undergraduate students complete 8 courses and 300 hours of clinical experience in order to apply for the PLADC. Graduate students in the Master of Arts in Counseling program are eligible to receive for funding for three graduate-level courses that meet the PLADC requirements.

For information on the P-LADC and potential funding to earn the provisional licensure, access this link to the BHWET.

For admittance to the P-LADC with access to grant money, complete the UNMC application here.

A new degree program, Substance Use Counseling, includes all of the course work for the PLADC. Students who are interested in learning more about the Substance Use Counseling degree, or funding the opportunity through BHWET should contact their advisor to discuss the best course of action.