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A student in the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate program standing in front of several flags including the United States flag.

While drug and alcohol addictions can cause serious problems for individuals, family and society, they are treatable. With NECC’s Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate you can learn how to help others understand and recover from their abuse problems, leading to a rewarding career improving lives – including yours!

Why Choose NECC?

With NECC’s program you’ll gain an understanding of drug use, abuse and dependence, and develop the skills to provide therapeutic services to individuals, groups, and families. The program is based on the National Addiction Counselor Competencies and the National Community Support Skill Standards and is approved by the Council of Standards in Human Services Education. With this program you will:

  • Learn counseling techniques, treatment modalities and professional behavior standards
  • Learn to observe, assess, and evaluate people with addiction issues
  • Benefit from supervised practicum experiences in substance abuse treatment facilities
  • Prepare for many career paths including education, outreach, prevention, and detoxification
  • Be able to apply all credits earned to NECC’s Associate Degree in Human Services

Because of NECC

You can capitalize on the demand for trained counselors in a variety of settings, and begin having an immediate impact on people, or choose to continue your education in NECC’s Associate Degree in Human Services. Upon completion of this 35-credit program you can:

  • Work in a variety of treatment environments, including residential facilities, shelters, correctional facilities, hospitals, outpatient treatment centers, and more
  • Apply program credits towards NECC’s Associate Degree in Human Services
  • Pursue becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Career Paths & Job Market

Employment Outlook

Employment Outlook

Prospects for employment within the human services are projected to be excellent according to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Employment Projections 2006-2016, the New Hampshire Employment Projections 2004-2014 and the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2006-2016.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

Graduates who choose to directly enter the workforce, are recruited by a variety of community agencies who work with children, adolescents, adults and seniors in a range of settings such as:

  • Hospitals
  • Schools
  • Vocational programs
  • Residential programs
  • Day habilitation programs
  • and Day treatment programs

Graduates may be given titles such as:

  • Case manager
  • Outreach worker
  • Advocate
  • Mental health worker
  • Crisis counselor
  • Residential counselor
  • Addiction counselor
Career Paths

Career Paths

The broad based skills of the program provide a foundation for a wide range of professional pursuits. Graduates who pursue advanced degrees will have opportunities to choose among many fields including:

  • Social work
  • Guidance counseling
  • Labor negotiations
  • Human resources
  • Academic advising
  • Organizational psychology
  • Mental health
  • Vocational rehabilitation
Licensing and Credentialing for Graduates

Licensing and Credentialing for Graduates

There are a variety of licenses and certifications possible to graduates of the Human Services Program.

External Online Resources

Program Pathway

A pathway is the most efficient sequence of courses semester-to-semester recommended for students to complete their degree. View the suggested pathway for the Alcohol / Drug Abuse Counseling certificate.

Learning Outcomes

Student Learning Outcomes - Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate

Student Learning Outcomes – Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counseling Certificate

  •  Demonstrate well-developed clinical skills, techniques, and approaches consistent with national skills standards as outlined by the Council for Stand in Human Services Education (CSHSE), Community Support Skills Standards (CSSS), Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS), and the International Credentialing and Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC).
  • Describe historical overview of confluence of factors that shaped institutional and direct professional service delivery models with clients & communities, including but no limited to bio-psycho-social, economic, political, and legal issues
  • Provide accurate written and oral, clinical assessments of general health and welare of clients, their families, and communiites guided by ethical standards set forth by the Council for Standards in Human Services Education, and the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • Analyze the effect of the injustices caused by prejudicial and/or discriminatory treatment as they pertain to individuals, families, groups, and institutions. (e.g. race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, ageism, social class, immigrants, et al.)
  • Demonstrate the skills involved in screening, orienting, assessing, crisis intervention, case management, treatment planning, documentation, consultation with other professionals, and appropriate referral of clients and families.
  • Demonstrate a professional level of comfort and expertise with the mechanisms involved in the administrative aspects necessary to deliver services provided by human services agencies and their interacting institutions (e.g. Health Maintenance Organizations, Department of Children and Families, courts, schools et al.) And apply knowledge/skills using data and other managememt systems to develop/improve administrative services involved in the delivery of care

Courses and Requirements


Required Documents


Program Coordinator

Program Coordinator

Brian MacKenna-Rice Office: C-304 M Phone: 978-556-3331

Faculty Contact Information

Faculty Contact Information

Kathleen Bartolini, MA, NCC

Phone: 978-556-3293 Email:

Jack Davidson

Phone: 978-556-3540 Email:

Lisa Fabbri-Lopez, MA


Joseph Hannon, LICSW, LADC I


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