Addiction Counseling Professional Organizations

partnership organization

You don’t have to be a professional — yet — to join a professional organization. You can become a member of an addiction counselor’s association as early as college. In addition to establishing your professional identity, you’ll be increasing your access to resources. Making that initial investment can mean professional publications delivered to your inbox. It can mean saving money on conferences, policy events, and (eventually) on continuing education. It can provide you with opportunities to get out there and network. If you are pursuing coursework online, conferences and other events are an opportunity to interact with your peers in the real world before you begin your practicum experience.

Just what does one do at a conference besides earn a few CEUs? Sometimes quite a lot! You may hear the perspectives of people who have waged personal battles with addiction as well as those who are fighting national battles. Among the keynote speakers booked for the 2014 Texas Addiction Professionals Association: an official from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and a former teen actress who made a few trip to rehab. The bonus attraction at this particular event was a health fair where addiction professionals got to learn about making referrals to ancillary services like yoga and alternative medicine– and also got to enjoy some food and music.

There are many addiction-related organizations; a more limited number would qualify as professional organizations. Some organizations, like the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network, will provide you with a wealth of educational resources, but not a membership. The National Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals is a membership organization but is geared more toward meeting the needs of facilities than those of individual counselors. So what can you join?

NAADAC Membership

The largest professional organization for addiction counselors is the Association for Addiction Professionals, or NAADAC. Students who are taking addiction coursework or completing internships are also welcome. As a student member, you pay less.

When you become a member, you also become a member of a state society. This means plenty of connections. You may attend state as well as national events. Your state affiliate may also send out a newsletter.

One very tangible thing you can get from membership: discounted rates on insurance.

NAADAC also offers nationally recognized certifications. Membership is not a prerequisite to certification, but if you are going that route, you’ll save money by being a member. NAADAC certifications have more value in some states than others.

If NAADAC sounds like an odd acronym for ‘Association for Addiction Professionals’, you’re right. You will sometimes still hear NAADAC referred to as the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

Membership Opportunities for Master’s or Doctoral Level Practitioners

The International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors is one of the 20 divisions of the American Counseling Association. It is designed for master’s level practitioners – and also for graduate students. As a member of the division, you will also be a member of the American Counseling Association, a very established organization that offers access to numerous professional resources and discounts on insurance and other services.

The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is primarily for physicians, but allows associate members in other addiction-related fields provided that they are sponsored. Generally, qualifying professions are those at the master’s level.

The American Society of Addiction Psychology, Division 50 of the American Psychological Association, provides resources for psychologists and psychology students.

The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry is yet another organization designed for practitioners at the doctoral level.

Featured Programs:
  • Post University is accepting students to their Online Graduate Certificate program in Alcohol and Drug Counseling. This program requires that applicants posses a Bachelor's degree. At this time the program is not enrolling students from California, Colorado, New York, Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky, Idaho, and Pennsylvania. Click here to learn more about this program.
  • Capella University offers an online MS in Addiction Studies and a PhD in Addiction Psychology. Capella University also offers three online CACREP-accredited programs: MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MS in School Counseling, and PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, as well as a COAMFTE-accredited program, MS in Marriage and Family Therapy. Click here to contact Capella University and request information about their programs.
  • The online counseling programs at Walden University are CACREP accredited and will allow you to learn from distinguished faculty members with years of practical experience in their respective fields. Click here to become a knowledgeable leader in your field.
  • Liberty University, a nonprofit University, offers a Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Addictions and Recovery. Liberty University is ranked in the top 1% of online universities for affordability, accessibility, and academic quality and is accredited by the SACSCOC. Click here to further explore this and other programs at Liberty University.
  • Alvernia University's Bachelor's of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment is one of the oldest programs of this kind and considered to be one of the top programs in the country for this area of study. There are multiple start dates this year. Click here to explore Alvernia University and the Bachelor's of Arts in Addictions and Mental Health Treatment program.
  • The bachelor’s degree in psychology in addictions at Purdue University Global is designed for those who want to pursue careers that assist people whose lives are affected by substance abuse, or who suffer from other potentially detrimental behavioral addictions such as gambling.
  • Gain the education you need to make a difference in people’s lives with an online Bachelor of Social Work or Master of Social Work from Campbellsville University. To learn the skills and knowledge needed for careers in social work, with curricula spanning crisis intervention, law, advocacy, social policies, psychopathology and marriage and family relationships click here.

Addiction-Related Organizations