Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

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Indeed.com estimates that Oregon substance abuse counselors earn an average annual salary of $31,000 to $39,000 by their second year on the job.

Addiction negatively impacts the lives of millions of people. The devastation it unleashes affects every level of society. Treatment and prevention of addiction are essential to reduce the suffering that addiction exacts. Counselors are the crucial link to reversing this epidemic that too often destroys jobs, families, and lives.

The Oregon Employment department forecasts that Portland-area addiction counselor employment will grow 17.2% through 2027.

Why choose Addiction Counseling at PCC?

PCC’s Addiction Counseling program is the single largest addiction counselor education resource in the state. The program provides the skills necessary to begin work as a counselor in the public or private sector.

More about the program
Flexible, effective, and up-to-date

Our program provides courses for new students and for professionals seeking to update skills. The curriculum is uniquely designed for working students, and we offer methods and courses that are aligned with current treatment models.

Addiction Recovery Mentor certification

The AD 107 Addiction Recovery Mentor course is an open enrollment course available to all students. It counts as an elective option for the AAS degree. Students who complete this course, who also identify as being in recovery and who have two years of continuous sobriety, are eligible to become Certified Recovery Mentors (CRM). This is an emerging career opportunity in the addiction field that currently has a large number of job openings.

Degrees and certificates

Degrees and certificates by number of terms to complete
Award Length Financial aid eligible Currently accepting students?
Associate Degree: Addiction Counselor2 yearsLimited entry, see how
to get into this program
Certificate: Addiction StudiesLess than 1 year


What will you learn?

The Addiction Counseling program is carefully designed to develop your skills in:

  • Individual counseling
  • Case management
  • Cross-cultural awareness
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Family education
  • Group counseling
  • Motivational interviewing

What will you do?

As an alcohol and drug counselor, you will work with individuals, families, and groups that are directly impacted by the substance abuse epidemic. You help people identify behaviors and problems related to their addiction and use psychological concepts to develop treatment and prevention plans.

As an addiction counselor, you will:

  • Motivate clients to enter treatment
  • Conduct intake interviews
  • Write treatment plans
  • Provide individual counseling
  • Conduct family education
  • Do group counseling
  • Manage cases
  • Keep records
  • Make ethical decisions
  • Use multicultural competencies
  • Employ gender-specific treatment methods

Who will hire me?

You may find work in:

  • Adolescent programs
  • Correctional alcohol and drug programs
  • Medical centers
  • Multicultural counseling agencies and clinics
  • Older adult programs
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Social service agencies

Next steps

Applying to PCC is free and only takes a few minutes.Apply now
Limited entry awards have an additional application process. Learn about the prerequisite requirements for the Addiction Counseling program.

Not quite ready to apply?

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Related programs

PCC offers more than 90 programs.