How to Become an Addiction Counselor in Louisiana

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What is Addiction Counseling?


Also known as substance abuse counselors, addiction counselors are professionals who take pride in helping people with addiction problems. They assist people who are battling drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions. Addiction counselors are usually extremely compassionate professionals who truly want clients to enjoy their best lives without drugs, alcohol, or addictive behaviors.

Most addiction counselors perform the following duties: assessments, creating treatment plans, teaching clients coping skills, assisting clients with cultivating support networks, helping clients find a job, conducting group sessions, and offering resources to clients.

The best addiction counselors have excellent communication skills. Addiction counselors have a strong desire to listen to all of their clients’ problems so that they can offer incredible support. By doing so, these incredible professionals are able to build trust with their clients.


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Addiction Counseling Education in Louisiana


Louisiana offers a wide range of addiction in counseling degrees for students who want to work as addiction counselors in this state. A bachelor’s of addiction counselor degree and/or a master’s of addiction counselor degree is required to work as a licensed addiction counselor. Check out these degrees to help you find the best addiction counselor schools in Louisiana.

Associate Degree in Addiction Counseling (AS)

An associate addiction counseling degree is specifically designed to offer students the opportunity to explore the addictive behavior counseling field. Once students graduate from this program, they’ll have the necessary skills to excel as an addiction recovery support specialist or psychiatric technician. They will also have the necessary skills and expertise to receive the Registered Addiction Counselor license in Louisiana.

The Southern University-New Orleans is a great school that offers an associate addiction counseling degree.

Bachelor's Degree in Addiction Counseling (BS)

Students who would like to gain an overall, comprehensive understanding of addiction studies should consider pursuing a bachelor’s addiction counseling degree. During the course of one of these programs, students may be required to take any of the following courses: Addiction Counseling Skills, Dynamics of Group Counseling, Pharmacology of Addiction, and Co-occurring Disorders.

These programs definitely do a great job of preparing students to gain experience as an actual counselor. After graduating from one of these programs, students will qualify for the Certified Addiction Counselor license in Louisiana. The best addiction counseling schools in Louisiana for a bachelor’s addiction counseling degree include Southern University-New Orleans and Northwestern State University.

Master's Degree in Addiction Counseling (MS)

A master’s addiction counseling degree is the perfect option for students who want to become a fully licensed counselor. These programs meet the requirements for the Licensed Addiction Counselor license in Louisiana.

The program you choose should cover key topics such as psychopharmacology in counseling, law and ethics in counseling, counseling theories, and diagnostics in counseling. Students will also learn an extensive array of treatment approaches, preparing them to assess, diagnosis, and treat addictive disorders.

Students who complete this type of counseling program are usually able to gain employment at an addiction recovery facility, private practice, community mental health centers, government agencies, or hospital. They will be able to work with individuals, couples, and groups who have mild to extreme substance use disorders. An excellent master’s addiction counseling degree is available at The University of Louisiana-Monroe.

PhD Degree in Addiction Counseling (PhD)

Students who have aspirations of pursuing an addictions counseling career in academic, research, or leadership will need to receive a PhD or doctorate degree in addictions counseling.

This type of graduate counseling program requires students to complete doctoral-level courses and a research dissertation. Doctoral-level courses may include Advanced Counseling Theories, Advanced Counseling Intervention, and Advanced Supervision in Counseling.

Many graduates who receive this graduate degree obtain careers as university professors or researcher in family counseling, rehabilitation counseling, chemical dependency counseling, or clinical mental health counseling. Students who graduate from these programs can also become administrators at an addictions counseling centers.

The University of New Orleans offers a great PhD/Doctorate program where students can choose addiction counseling as an emphasis.

Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Louisiana


Many people want to pursue an awarding career as an addiction counselor, but the path to becoming one may be unclear. Will future addiction counselors need to obtain a degree? Does this state require licensure? Here’s exactly how to become an addiction counselor in Louisiana.

  • Graduate from High School

    The first step to becoming an addiction counselor in Louisiana is to graduate from high school. In fact, one of the addiction license requirements is to complete high school.

    During high school, you might want to take classes in psychology, English, and social science. A great way to prepare for a career as an addiction counselor is to volunteer in the addiction counseling field. Once students obtain a high school diploma, they will be prepared to enroll in a college degree program.

  • Earn an Addiction Counseling Degree

    If students haven’t volunteered in the addiction counseling field, they may want to think about earning an associate addiction counseling degree before moving into higher-level education. An associate addiction counseling degree will help them determine whether or not they want to pursue a career as an addiction counselor.

    A minimum of a bachelor’s addiction counseling degree is required to become a licensed addiction counselor, which will probably take a couple of years to complete if students have an associate addiction counseling degree or four years to complete if they do not already have an associate’s.

    A master’s addiction counseling degree will grant graduates access to an extensive array of career options, including working as a fully licensed counselor in an addiction recovery facility. And while a PhD or doctorate in addiction counseling is not a requirement to becoming a fully licensed addiction counselor, it’s a great option for students who want to pursue a career in academic or research. Students who graduate from these programs should be able to obtain leadership positions in addictions counseling.

    Regardless of the specific addiction counseling degree that potential students choose, they’ll want to make sure that the program is accredited by The Southern Regional Accreditation Boards or The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs. When they obtain an addiction counseling degree with these accreditations, students will have the high-quality education that makes them a competitive applicant to employers.

  • Obtain an Addiction Counseling License

    In order to work as an addiction counselor in Louisiana, the state requires graduates of counseling degree programs to receive licensure. The Addiction Disorder Regulatory Authority or ADRA offers the following licensing options: Licensed Addiction Counselor, Certified Addiction Counselor, and Registered Addiction Counselor.

    • Registered Addiction Counselor: The registered addiction counselor certification requires applicants to graduate from high school and obtain 6,000 hours of supervised work practice in the addiction counseling field.
    • Certified Addiction Counselor: The certified addiction counselor credential requires a minimum of a bachelor’s addiction counseling degree. Before applying for this license, applicants must have 4,000 hours of supervised work experience in the addiction counseling field.
    • Licensed Addiction Counselor: The licensed addiction counselor credential requires a minimum of a master’s addiction counseling degree, and only 2,000 hours of supervised practice in the addiction counseling field.

    Once applicants submit their application to the ADRA, they will all be able to complete the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium examination. When applicants pass this test, they’ll become a licensed addiction counselor in Louisiana.

  • Acquire Certification

    The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals or NCCAP offers the NCC AP Certification. Professional addiction counselors who receive this certification are considered true leaders in the field.

    The organization offers three distinct certifications: National Certified Addiction Counselor, Level I; National Certified Addiction Counselor, Level II; Master Addiction Counselor;