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New York Health Careers

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors

What Do Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Do?

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who have alcoholism or other types of addiction (drugs, gambling, etc.), eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide support and treatments to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors by helping them identify behaviors and issues related to their addiction. They may also teach clients how to cope with stress and life’s problems in ways that help them recover. Many times, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and reestablish their careers. They may also help clients improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problems with family and friends.

Many substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work with other health and mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, social workers, doctors, and nurses. Counseling sessions may be one-on-one, with families, or with groups of people.

For more information about substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, click here.

Where Do Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Work?

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors are most likely to work in outpatient care centers; they also work in individual and family service agencies and residential treatment facilities. Some work in a private practice alone or with other mental health professionals, and they may also work in hospitals or for public health programs.

What Do Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors Earn?

In 2017, the New York median annual income for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was $49,210, higher than the national median annual income for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors of $41,070. The entry level median salary in New York for 2017 is $33,870, while the experienced median salary is $59,420.

Supply and Demand

Between 2014 and 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors jobs nationwide will increase by 22.3%, and increase in New York by 24.8% during the same time period. For more information on the need for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors by New York labor regions, click here.

New York Educational/Licensure Requirements

The Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) is a state certification that requires both academic and work experience and is for individuals who wish to provide alcoholism and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counseling services in approved work settings in New York. In order to apply to become a CASAC in New York, applicants must be at least 18 years of age, reside or work in New York State at least 51 percent of the time, and must have earned at least a high school diploma or GED. CASAC applicants must meet specific competency and ethical conduct requirements, meet specific work experience requirements, meet minimum education and training requirements, and pass the credentialing exam.

For more information about CASACs in New York, go to: https://www.oasas.ny.gov/sqa/credentialing/CASACCover.cfm

Financial Support

Contact the financial aid offices of the education programs listed below to learn about financial support available at that school. Also, check the OASAS Resources page for additional support ideas and opportunities.

Education Programs in New York (subject to change)

The College at Brockport
State University of New York

Department of Counselor Education
184 Albert W. Brown Building
350 New Campus Drive
Brockport, NY 14420-2962
(585) 395-2258
Plattsburgh State University of New York
Counselor Education Program
101 Broad Street, Ward Hall
Plattsburgh, NY 12901-2681
(518) 564-4179
Cazenovia College
22 Sullivan Street
Cazenovia, NY 13035
(315) 655-7288
Syracuse University
Counseling and Human Services
259 Huntington Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
(315) 443-2266
University of Rochester
Counseling and Human Development
Warner School of Education
Box 270425
Rochester, NY 14627-0425
(585) 275-3950
Canisius College
Counseling and Human Services
Churchill Tower 802
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208
(716) 888-2398
Orange County Community College
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940
(845) 341-4890
Lehman College
City University of New York
Department of Counseling, Leadership, Literacy, and
Special Education
Carman Hall, CB-20
250 Bedford Park Blvd. West
Bronx, NY 10468
(718) 960-8173
Long Island University
C.W. Post Campus
Department of Counseling and Development
720 Northern Blvd.
Brookville, NY 11548-1300
(516) 299-2183
St. Bonaventure University
School of Education
Counselor Education Department
3261 West State Road
Plassmann Hall, B36
St. Bonaventure, NY 14778
(716) 375-2368
(716) 375-2021
Iona College
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY   10801
(914) 637-2770
(914) 633-2528
Clinton Community College
State University of New York
136 Clinton Point Drive
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
(518) 562-4192
Kingsborough Community College
2001 Oriental Boulevard
Brooklyn, NY 11235-2398
(718) 368-6547
(718) 368-5235
College of Staten Island
Office of Continuing Education
2800 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, New York  10314
(718) 982-2182

Additional Web Links

For more information on substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, go to:

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