Addictions Worker Schools & Colleges

Find Substance Abuse Training Near You

Open your future to opportunities within a career that matters.

Canada's addictions worker schools give caring and motivated students the chance to learn skills that can be used to help vulnerable people overcome behavioural or substance abuse problems. Through meaningful training, your compassion can become a strength that lets you excel in one of the most important professional roles in the field of human services.

Why Addictions Workers Are So Valuable

Whether it involves drugs, alcohol, gambling, or some other type of obsessive behaviour, many Canadians fall into the trap of addiction. It can be caused by anything from mental illness or physical pain to financial stress or social challenges. But people who are affected by addiction usually still have a lot of potential. They just need a little extra assistance to get their lives back on track. Plus, we all win when our fellow Canadians are able to return to being positive contributors in our communities. And problems like substance abuse affect more people than you might think:

  • About one percent of the country's population uses crack or cocaine.** That number may seem small, but it actually represents over 350,000 people.***
  • Between 2010 and 2011, anywhere from 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent of the population in most areas of the country accessed special treatment for a substance addiction.** That equals about 176,000 to 527,000 people.***
  • Substance abuse is estimated to cost Canada about $40 billion every year.**

With all of this in mind, just think of how rewarding it can be to be part of helping people to prevent or overcome their struggles with addiction.

What a Career in Addictions Counselling or Support Work Involves

Professionals in this field often handle a fairly broad range of duties depending on the type of setting they're employed in. For example, an addictions worker at a treatment or outreach facility might:

  • Manage cases by interviewing clients, gathering background information, supervising activities, drafting progress reports, and making plans for the clients' releases
  • Assist in crisis intervention or family-support activities
  • Organize and aid in group discussions and individual counselling sessions
  • Promote addictions prevention and healthy living by giving workshops out in the community

Salary Potential

On average, addictions counsellors in Canada earn $20.61 per hour (roughly equivalent to a full-time salary of $42,870). However, with experience, it's possible to make up to $60,000 or more per year in some locations.****

How Long the Training Takes

The addictions counselling programs at many of Canada's vocational schools last in the range of 44 to 47 weeks. So you can receive the education necessary for getting started in this career in less than a year.

Once you have some work experience, you can then go after voluntary certifications from organizations like the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation.

Explore Your Schooling Options Today

Canada has a good selection of addictions worker schools and substance abuse training programs. And finding one is very simple. Just use the school finder on this page by first entering your postal code.

Main Sources

* Canadian Centre for Addictions, website last visited on June 14, 2017.

** Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, website last visited on June 21, 2017.

*** Statistics Canada, website last visited on June 14, 2017.

**** PayScale, website last visited on June 14, 2017.