Be Equipped to Support People Struggling with Substance Disorders

A great need exists now more than ever for counselors trained in supporting individuals struggling with substance use disorders (SUD). According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, nearly 21 million people across the U.S. had a substance use disorder, and that number continues to grow. As a result, the demand for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow 22 percent through 2024.

With the MFT Substance Use Disorder certificate, you can expand on your skills and knowledge as you prepare to help improve the health and wellness of individuals struggling with SUD. The certificate consists of 11 additional units taken at the completion of your MFT program (students who have not already taken PPSY 511 as part of the MFT program must complete it as part of their certificate).

Prepare for a High-Demand Career

Learn more about how the Substance Use Disorder Certificate prepares graduate counseling students to help meet a growing need in California, and beyond.

Students who have graduated from the MFT program may be welcomed back as nondegree students to complete the 11-14 units at APU’s Azusa campus. (Note: the certificate is available only in Azusa.)

Developing Effective Practitioners

  • Study alongside instructors working in the field who incorporate relevant case studies in the classroom.
  • Learn to apply the 12-step approach to substance use, while focusing on the importance of faith in recovery models.
  • Incorporate learning through practical projects, from understanding the neurobiology of the brain on drugs, to creating assessment and treatment plans based on movie characters depicting drug or alcohol addictions.

Benefits of adding the SUD certificate:

  • The need for licensed and licensed-eligible clinicians in the field of substance use disorders has never been greater than it is today.
  • This is a competency that, prior to now, has only been afforded to those working in the SUD field.
  • While other states have licensed addiction specialists, California is unique in that it relies on master’s degree and doctoral level professionals.
  • Clinicians are now managing and directing agencies.

Note: This information is current for the 2022-23 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.