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What is Addiction Studies?

It has become impossible to ignore or deny any longer that addiction is widespread in the United States and having devastating impacts. Addiction and substance abuse are so prevalent in today’s society, there are no longer sectors of society untouched by this slowly unraveling tragedy. Today, more than ever, we need qualified, compassionate individuals to provide addiction treatment and therapy.

Almost fifteen years ago, a 2005 national survey conducted by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health, estimated there to be 22.2 million persons over the age of 12 with classifiable substance dependence or abuse. Today, that number has grown by estimates of 8 – 10%. Some studies indicate there are 25 million Americans – or more – using illicit drugs each month (National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)).

According to the 2005 study, only about 10 percent of those people sought treatment in a specialty facility. Today, there continues to be a large “treatment gap” in our country. In 2013, an estimated 22.7 million Americans (8.6 percent of the population) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol, but only about 2.5 million people (0.9 percent of those needing treatment) received treatment at a specialty facility (NIDA).

For many, these statistics feel disheartening. But there is good news: Substance abuse can be successfully treated with proper care from trained and qualified professionals. If you are someone that is inclined towards this profession, And with the right education, you could be one of the specialists who provides help and hope to individuals and families who suffer from substance abuse and addiction issues.

Education and Certification
Working in the field of addiction requires formal education from a respected institution. A great place to start an education in addiction studies is with an addiction studies certification program. Addiction studies certification programs teach a range of skills necessary to work in the field of addiction. Examples of what may be taught in addiction studies programs include:
Addiction assessment and treatment strategies
Counseling of addictive behavior
Professional treatment skills
Physiology and pharmacology of addictions
Group and advanced counseling

After completing a training program, individuals can test for the California Association of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) and/or the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) certifications. Once these exams have been passed, individuals will be certified as Alcohol and Drug Treatment Counselor Associates with CAADAC and/or Certified Addiction Treatment Counselors with CAADE.

After achieving certification, some individuals choose to further their education by continuing towards a degree in psychology. Obtaining a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Psychology can open up additional employment opportunities and lead to higher salaries.

What Can You Do With Your Education in Addiction Studies?
There are a wide range of jobs that individuals with their certificate in addiction studies can pursue, including:

  • Recovery coach
  • Detox specialist
  • DUI program administrator
  • Intervention Specialist
  • Case manager
  • HIV counselor
  • Co-occurring disorders counselor
  • Family therapist

Where Can You Get Your Certificate in Addiction Studies?
If you are interested in a rewarding and fulfilling career in addiction studies, there are a number of respected institutions that provide training programs. William Jessup University in San Jose offers a great Addiction Studies program, taught with a Christian focus. Jessup’s program is designed to be completed quickly, so that graduates can get out in the field in as few as 12 months. At Jessup, we believe in educating the next generation of leaders. Let us help you start making a positive difference in the lives of people who suffer from addiction. Contact Jessup for more information about our Addiction Studies program today!

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