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Substance Abuse Counseling

The substance abuse counseling field is a career area that is expected to grow in employment opportunities by 34 percent in the next few years.  Iowa Lakes Community College is now offering this program on the Estherville Campus to provide students with the education and skills to meet this demand. 

Students entering in the substance abuse treatment field can expect to earn salaries anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 based on experience and placement.

The Substance Abuse Counseling Program is a two-year program designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed as established by the Iowa Board of Substance Abuse Certification to become a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC). 

The last semester includes a practicum to be completed in an alcohol and drug treatment unit where students will apply the core education and skills they have learned under the direct supervision of a certified counselor.  Students will apply, be interviewed and accepted by the treatment agency before participation in the practicum. 

This program is for students interested in an Associate in Science Degree in Substance Abuse Counseling or for individuals already working in a related field that would like to learn new skills or update current skills and knowledge.

Upon completion of the program and an additional 500 hours of experience, students will be eligible to take the certification exam through the Iowa Board of Substance Abuse Certification.

The program is based on the Estherville Campus, however, many courses are available in an alternate delivery format.

Please research the following link to view more information regarding how to become an Iowa Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) or an Advanced Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ACADC):

*Out-of-state residents: Some residency restrictions may apply by the Iowa Board of Certification.  Please contact the program advisor for more information.

Related Documents

Degree: Associate in Science

Program Length: 68 Credits

Campus: Estherville / Spencer


Questions or comments? Please email us at or call 712-362-2604 or 800-521-5054.
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