Campus News

UGA launches substance use certificate program

People who struggle with drug or alcohol addiction can face difficulties in finding help. For many in Georgia, the severe shortage of counselors hampers recovery. To address the need, the University of Georgia has launched the Graduate Certificate in Substance Use Counseling.

The certificate program offers a fast track to professional substance use counseling in Georgia. All classroom licensure requirements specific to the state are built into the program’s curriculum.

“Our program gives students everything they need for licensure in Georgia except the required direct work experience and supervision hours, but we make sure students are ready to begin them ASAP after completion,” said Orion Mowbray, an associate professor in the School of Social Work who oversees the program. The coursework includes intensive training in current evidence-based treatment and interdisciplinary practices.

In its Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019 edition, the U.S. Department of Labor noted that treatment demand continues to outpace treatment availability throughout the nation. Employment of substance use, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is projected to grow 23% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services projects that, if trends continue, by 2030 Georgia will need an additional 1,430 addiction counselors to meet the demand.

“We believe that the certificate program will attract students from many programs here at UGA, as well as those who already hold a master’s degree from any university and are ready to return for specialized training in substance use counseling,” said Mowbray.

The program is open to both degree and non-degree students. Applicants must meet the minimum UGA Graduate School standards, and non-degree students are required to apply through the Graduate School. For more information, visit the Certificate in Substance Use Counseling web page.