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Develop the skills to promote successful delivery of substance use disorders.

Program Type

Professional Development

Semester Start

Fall, Spring, Summer

Study Options

Online, Remote

Minimum Duration

1-2 years

The UMass Boston’s Addictions Counselor Education Program Certificate focuses on helping you develop the professional skills to promote evidence-based treatment of Substance Use Disorders. It’s designed for treatment professionals — from direct care counselors to program directors — who want to hone their skills, add a certification to their résumé, and prepare for the licensure/certification exam. Explore the use of alcohol and other drugs in society, as well as the delivery of treatment and counseling services. Apply these skills to your work in counseling individuals with a substance use disorder. You also have the option to attend a two-day workshop on preparing for the licensure/certification exam.


  • This program consists of seven courses and a practicum.
  • Students earn CEUs upon successful completion of the program.
  • The course fee is $600 each, except the practicum, which is $1,300.
  • There is a review course for the LADC exam that is $150.
  • These fees do not include the cost of books.
  • Students may choose to complete the program entirely online, remote, or a combination of the two.
  • Total estimated cost to complete this program is $5,700.
  • Estimate is based on completing program by minimum duration. Request Info to connect with a program representative for further details.

Admission Requirements

  • A high school diploma or the equivalent
  • Completed application form
  • Interview with an ACEP representative

New Students - The following 3 courses should be taken first:

  • Use of Alcohol and Other Substances in Society , 
  • The Role of the Professional Counselor Treating Substance Use Disorders,
  • Counseling Clients with Substance Use Disorders

How to Register for individual courses

Simply click the “Add to cart” button found to the right of each individual course listing or at the top of the course description page.

Required Courses:

  • Use of Alcohol and Other Substances in Society (ACDTSP001)
    The main emphasis of this course is to provide an overview of the impact of drug use in our society. Discussions will review the pharmacological, cultural, social, and contextual factors. Readings and assignments will describe all phases of substance use and the biopsychosocial impact on the individual and the community at large. Evidence based research will be reviewed and primary, secondary and tertiary prevention in the treatment of SUDs will be analyzed.
    This course is designed for clinicians, case managers, recovery coaches, criminal justice specialists, reentry planners, reentry coaches, and peer support specialists.
  • The Role of the Professional Counselor Treating Substance Use Disorders (ACDTSP002)
    This course will assist students to develop a skill set needed to treat clients with Substance Use Disorders (SUDS). Intense focus on will be on assessment, treatment planning and case management – considered to be fundamental knowledge for inpatient and outpatient settings.
    Ethical dilemmas will be discussed with a review of the theoretical knowledge needed to make appropriate clinical decisions when faced with challenging ethical situations.
  • Counseling Clients with Substance Use Disorders (ACDTSP003)
    This course will review evidence-based techniques for the successful treatment of persons with substance use disorders. There will be a specific focus on cognitive-behavioral and motivational strategies.
  • Neurochemistry and Psychopharmacology of Substances of Use (ACDTSP005)
    This course will provide an introduction to the Neurochemistry of the brain, basic anatomy and physiology and the pharmacological effects of Sedative-Hypnotics, Stimulants, Opiates, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Psychedelics and Cannabis. In addition, medications used to treat Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) will be reviewed.
  • Family and Group Treatment of Substance Use Disorders (ACDTSP006)
    This course examines the changes that occur throughout the family unit when substance use is present in one of the members. Various family systems models will be reviewed with attention to the disruption of homeostasis, family rules, rituals, common characteristics, and family accommodations to disruptions. This course will also examine how groups form and the benefits of both family and group treatment. This course reviews various types of Group Therapy and the important role that it plays in recovery. Skills and techniques are practiced.
  • Practicum in Alcoholism / Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation (ACDTSP007)
    The Capstone Practicum provides a supervised learning experience in a licensed treatment facility or agency that provides treatment to individuals with a Substance Use Disorder.
    Emphasis will be focused on best practice models of treatment, evidence based research, and the 12 core principles.
  • Criminal Justice and Substance Use Disorders (ACDTSP018)
    This course will identify the treatment needs for individuals in the Criminal Justice system and investigate the issues and barriers that affect treatment. It will explore how the counselor can incorporate and partner with the Criminal Justice system for effective treatment for the client. Court function and alternatives to incarceration models will be described. Assessment and Treatment Planning will also be discussed. The skill set of preparing and writing reports, assessments, and evaluations will be reviewed, emphasizing how valuable information assists in determining Criminal Justice sanctions.
    This course is designed for those working in the substance use field as clinicians, case managers, recovery coaches, criminal justice specialists, reentry planners, reentry coaches, and peer support specialists.
  • Substance Use Disorders & Co-Occurring Mental Health Illnesses (ACDTSP044)
    This course will identify research-oriented strategies to effectively integrate the treatment of substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health illnesses. We will examine the correlation of mental health and substance use disorders. A major focus will be to recognize signs and symptoms of both disorders and best practice in simultaneous treatment.

At the completion of your courses and practicum, you’ll be awarded a professional certificate in Addictions Counselor Education. The certificate will demonstrate your expertise in the field on your résumé, as well as in interviews and workplace evaluations. This certificate helps prepare you for the licensure/certification exam. You also have the option to attend a two-day workshop on preparing for the licensure/certification exam. 

Credentials & Licensure
For any information about licensing or credentialing, please contact your licensing or credentialing boards.

Contact state substance abuse credentialing boards for work hour and CEU requirements, as well as current policies regarding acceptance of online educational hours.

Why UMass Boston Online?


Among the lowest online tuition rates of an accredited, public research university.


Study full-time to finish fast, or part-time to suit your schedule. Live sessions scheduled with the working professional in mind.


The same courses taught by the same academic departments as on campus. No third-party providers.

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Addictions Counselor Education Program

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