The Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Recovery is designed to help provide additional training for current and aspiring social workers, nurses, physicians and counselors as well as individuals in a range of other fields such as education, business, law, law enforcement and religious-based service. Through our program, individuals with a bachelor’s degree or higher in any field can gain specialized knowledge in the treatment of substance use disorders, formerly called substance abuse.

A marked expansion of health insurance coverage for addiction and substance use disorders treatment under the 2010 Affordable Care Act means that more people have access to help from addiction professionals than in previous years.

In 2016, more than 20 million people aged 12 or older had a substance use disorder in the past year, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Of those, 15.1 million had an alcohol use disorder, 7.4 million had an illicit use disorder, and about 2.3 million had both. The Affordable Care Act has helped increase access for people with substance use disorders by requiring that insurers offer mental health and substance use disorder coverage comparable to what they offer for general medical and surgical care.

The increased access to health insurance for millions of Americans has thrown a stark light on the need for better training and preparation of addiction counselors and the professional workforce. Many individuals who provide addiction treatment do not have the knowledge, skills and credentials needed to deliver effective, evidence-based treatment, according to a landmark 2012 study by Columbia University’s National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA).

The demand for well-trained addiction and substance use disorder counselors (previously referred to as substance abuse counselors) is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that employment in the field will grow by 23 percent over the next decade. Substance use disorder counselors with focused training and experience will have particularly favorable job prospects. Online training is a flexible, convenient way for working professionals to advance their careers, take the next step towards addiction counselor certification and improve the quality of care they provide.

Our program aims to help meet the growing need for well-trained addiction professionals, including substance use disorder (formerly substance abuse) counselors, and will prepare a workforce that’s well equipped to address the opioid epidemic, a major component of America’s No. 1 public health problem.

We encourage you to take the next step toward a career as an addiction professional with UF’s online Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Recovery.