ALBANY, GA – Albany Technical College announces a new degree starting in the Fall Semester 2021, Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling. The Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling Degree at Albany Technical College will be the first of its kind in the State of Georgia under the Technical College System of Georgia’s 22 colleges. The Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling program will provide students with the educational coursework to become addiction counselors. It will also train students to provide counseling, career advice, and therapeutic services to substance abusers and their families. Students will receive training in drug, alcohol, and crisis intervention and courses in psychology and communication.
This 62-credit hour degree will offer courses covering such topics as; Addictions, Theories and Treatments, Multicultural Issues, Biopsychosocial/Case management with Families, Theories of Counseling, Substance Abuse Counseling, and Crisis Intervention.
Addiction and Substance Abuse Counseling graduates will have the ability to work in various positions related to human services such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. Many graduates work for nonprofit organizations, social service agencies, and state and local governments.
"With the increase in drug and alcohol use in the United States and Southwest Georgia, this new degree at Albany Technical College offers individuals in our community opportunities to train and be placed in positions that can save lives by providing counseling and assist in crisis intervention that is so badly needed right now," says Dr. Anthony Parker, President of Albany Technical College.
With the increase in opioid addiction, alcohol abuse, and the use of other illegal drugs, there is a high demand for addiction and substance abuse counselors in Southwest Georgia. One hundred and forty-two people die every day from a drug overdose, and Georgia is among the top 11 states with the highest opioid overdose deaths. Addiction Counselors are needed more than ever to assist with the treatment of abusers and educate abusers' family members and the community.
According to a recent CNN report on drug overdose, the CDC data shows that deaths in 2020 hit the highest number ever documented. Overdose death rates rose close to 30% in the United States in 2020, with more than 93,000 people dying, up from 72,151 in 2019. Cocaine, natural and semi-synthetic opioids all contributed to increases in the number of deaths. The stress and uncertainty for many people have increased drug consumption and created difficulty accessing life-saving treatments for substance use and disorders. The CNN report says that overdoses and opioids have been steadily growing in the United States for decades.
Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other cognitive or behavioral problems. Substance abuse counselors work in various settings, such as mental health centers, community health centers, and prisons.
Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth is expected as people continue to seek addiction and mental health counseling.