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Substance Use Disorder Counseling Overview

If your healthy lifestyle includes low-risk choices regarding substance use, the ability to work independently and within a team, and a desire to use your written and oral communication skills to help others, the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program is the right choice.

SUD Counseling associates are held to high ethical standards to inspire respect, trust, and confidence. Your conduct must never compromise your ability to fulfill your professional responsibilities. To succeed, your skills and character must include:

  • Emotional stability, maturity, self-awareness, self-discipline, and personal responsibility
  • A lifestyle free of substance use-related problems
  • An interest in working with people and appreciation of cultural diversity
  • Strong reading, writing, and abstract thinking skills

In this program, you will learn the skills to help counsel those with substance use disorders including:

  • Clinically evaluate for substance use disorders and treatment needs
  • Develop treatment needs
  • Facilitate referral to meet needs
  • Demonstrate service coordination skills
  • Demonstrate counseling skills with individuals, groups, and families
  • Provide education relevant to substance use
  • Maintain clinical records according to agency, federal, and state guidelines
  • Adhere to accepted culturally competent, ethical, and behavioral conduct

The program includes internship experiences over the last two semesters at clinical sites and treatment-providing agencies where students observe, integrate knowledge, skills, and attitudes acquired earlier in semesters and perform the substance use disorder counselor eight practice dimensions and 12 core functions (the basic tasks and responsibilities that constitute the work of a substance use disorder counselor) with the guidance of a clinical supervisor.

SUD Counseling program graduates are licensed in Wisconsin as Substance Abuse Counselors-In Training, qualifying for entry-level employment in a rewarding career.

Career Opportunities

Case Manager

Court Assessor

Licensed Addictions Counselor

Resident Treatment Worker

Substance Abuse Counselor

Treatment Specialist

Graduate Employers

Eau Claire Academy

LE Phillips Libertas Treatment Center

Lutheran Social Services

St. Croix Correction Center

Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Just the Facts

Substance Use Disorder Counseling
64 Credit Associate Degree

Length of Program //
Two Years

Delivery Method //

Program Location //
Eau Claire

Program Location //

Start Months //

Start Dates //

Bloodborne Pathogens
Students in this program should be aware of the risks associated with bloodborne pathogens. Learn more.


Bloodborne Pathogens

Students entering health programs at CVTC should understand the risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens, including Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDs, through saliva and blood with direct patient care as part of their education.

This exposure can be minimized or eliminated using a combination of engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, training, medical surveillance, Hepatitis B vaccination, signs and labels, and other provisions.

All programs at CVTC comply with local, state, and federal infection control policies, including the use of standard precautions as stipulated by current CDC guidelines. Written policies and instructions on infection control protocol to minimize the risk of disease transmission is provided throughout the courses in the curriculum. Compliance of safety practices is evaluated throughout the students' clinical experiences to ensure a safe educational environment.

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Financial Aid Eligible

Estimated Program Cost 

Term 1



Term 2



Term 3



Term 4



Term 5






 Estimated Total: $10,718

  Earn credit for prior learning! Do you have previous educational or work experience in the field? You could be eligible to receive credit for prior learning. Explore your options today!

Program Courses

These are a few of the courses you can take in the Substance Use Disorder Counseling program.

SUD Counseling/Interviewing
Introduction and application of basic counseling/communication micro-skills used in individual and group therapy.

SUD Assessment and Treatment Planning
Practice clinical evaluation/assessment and treatment planning for substance use disorders.

Ethics and Public Policy
Apply federal and state guidelines to case examples in the areas of confidentiality, clients' rights, dual relationships, fraudulent behavior, and other ethical issues.

Substance Use Disorder Counseling Outcomes

CVTC graduates are ready for the workforce. Each year, we send our graduates the Graduate Follow-Up Survey asking where they are working, whether it is in their degree field, and several other questions related to employment. Below are the program outcomes and job data.

// Program Outcomes


100% of our recent Substance Use Disorder Counseling graduates got a job in the industry.


Yearly Salary

Our recent Substance Use Disorder Counseling graduates reported an average starting salary of $38,749.


Regional Jobs

There are 133 job openings in the CVTC district for the Substance Use Disorder Counseling industry.


Credits to Other Institutions

Transfer your CVTC credits to another institution to continue your education. Explore transfer agreements.


Focus On Student Success

Right away, I just felt at home here. It didn’t feel like a test. I felt passionate about what I was learning and passionate about helping people with this disease. To have addiction issues broken down for me in the first semester showed me what counseling is all about.

Caitlin, SUD Counseling student

Related Programs & Certificates

Whether you're looking to continue your learning to another program or to gain continuing education credit, CVTC offers a variety of learning opportunities for students.

Degrees & Diplomas

Nursing, Associate Degree

Continue Your Learning

CVTC can help you achieve your learning goals whether you are looking to advance your career or enrich your personal life.

// Explore Continuing Ed Opportunities

  Unsure of which program you'd like to go into? Learn more about our Career Assessment to help narrow down your options.