Drug and Alcohol Counselling Level 3

Our course code: X344

Course fee £375 or from £28 per month

Enrol on our course

The misuse of alcohol and drugs is a major topic in our society. With the rise in addiction cases, demand for substance abuse counsellors has grown. The role offers a serious challenge where the rewards are priceless and make a world of difference to many people. Do you have what it takes to counsel those with addiction? If so, this online Drug and Alcohol Counselling course teaches the initial skills required for a career in the field.

During the course, you’ll learn about addiction, dependency, and the recovery process. As a counsellor, the aim is to help people to think positively, live healthier lifestyles, and work independently. This usually requires sitting down with them, either one-on-one or in group sessions, to help them through their problems. To do this, we’ll teach you the foundations of relevant models that relate to substance misuse and varying types of addictive substances people use. In addition, You’ll also develop skills that enable you to engage in purposeful mentoring and relationship building. Our course is perfect for those looking to move into further education.

Tear down the barriers with our Level 3 Drug and Alcohol Counselling course!

Five Advantages of Becoming a Drug and Alcohol Counsellor

  1. Helping people to live healthier lifestyles without drugs and alcohol
  2. Jobs are abundant. The sector is expected to grow by 34% by 2022
  3. No two days the same. You’ll work with a range of challenging clients
  4. Work in a breadth of sectors, including clinics, hospitals and prisons
  5. Starting your own private practice after further educational training

Equip yourself with the skills to mentor people with dependence on drugs and alcohol.

As a drug or alcohol counsellor, you would need to be calm and caring, and able to build trust with vulnerable people. If you think you could make a difference to people with substance misuse issues, our course is for you.

As a result of enrolling on our Drug and Alcohol Counselling Level 3 course you will:

  • Broaden your knowledge of drug and alcohol misuse
  • Gain insight into addictive substances and their side effects
  • Learn about drug rehabilitation, alcohol recovery and 12 step programmes
  • Discover the importance of SMART goals to aid the recovery process
  • Recognise the stages of change and strategies for each stage change
  • Explore the category classification of substances, from depressants to inhalants
  • Break down a breadth of models and perspectives surrounding substance abuse

The misuse of alcohol and drugs is a major topic in our society. With the rise in addiction cases, demand for substance abuse counsellors has grown. The role offers a […]

  • Study with winners

    We’re an award-winning learning provider and have been recognised for our cutting-edge learning techniques.

  • At your own pace

    Study this course as quickly or slowly as you wish; we’ll work at a speed that suits you.

  • Unlimited Tutor Support

    Get as much help and support as you want from your personal course tutor via email and phone.

Study Hours

Up to 120 hours which is under 40 minutes per day for 6 months. However, additional hours may be required for reading writing and research.

Study Method

The course is specially designed for study by distance learning. Throughout the course, there will be self-assessment questions, and tutor marked assignments (TMAs), to enable you to monitor your progress.

Course Duration

You have up to a year to complete this course and we have included a suggested number of study hours. This is usually ample time for learners, even with full-time jobs and other commitments. Don’t worry if you go over the year though, we can organise an extension to your course for an additional fee, which also extends your tutor support.


Throughout this course, you may be expected to complete assignments, essays, research projects, presentations, video/audio recordings, and practical learning sessions to meet the requirements of your course. This information will be included in your study pack detailing exactly what you need to do to accomplish your goals as a student.

Course Outcomes

At the end of this course, successful learners will receive a certificate of completion and competency.

Additional Information

Difficulty - Level 3

Entry requirements - There are no formal entry requirements for this course, however, it is recommended that you have an intermediate ability to read and write English.

Course Content

1: Introduction to Addictions
  • What causes addiction? You’ll look at areas such as:
    • Signs and symptoms of addiction
    • Physical dependency
    • Psychological dependency
    • Consequences of addiction
    • Financial difficulties
    • Family issues
    • Crime
    • Employment problems
    • Health and mental health problems


2: Addictive Substances
  • Explore various drugs rated highly addictive such as:
    • Amphetamines
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Methadone
    • Heroin
    • Nicotine
    • Alcohol
    • Cocaine
    • MDMA
    • Crystal Meth
3: Models and Perspectives Surrounding Substance Misuse
  • Recognise models relating to addiction. You’ll look at:
    • The moral model
    • Medical models
    • The genetic and neurobiological model
    • Psychological models
  • Find out if there’s an addictive personality? You’ll look at:
    • Behavioural theory
    • Social cognitive learning models
    • Sociocultural models
  • You’ll also learn about:
    • The neurophysiology of addictions
    • Tolerance
4: Classification of Substances
  • Explore the category classification of various substances. You’ll look at substances across six categories:
    • Depressants
    • Opioids/narcotics
    • Stimulants
    • Hallucinogens
    • Cannabinoids
    • Inhalants
5: Treatment and Preventions
  • Learn about preventative mechanisms used to help people with substance misuse problems, including primary, secondary and tertiary prevention.
  • You’ll also gain insight into the following areas:
    • Assessment of those with substance misuse problems
    • Functional analysis of behaviour prior to substance misuse looking at five key areas.
    • Key information all practitioners must remember
6: Stages of Change
  • Learn to evaluate where clients sit on the stages of change model looking at six key stages:
    • Pre-contemplation
    • Contemplation
    • Preperation
    • Action
    • Maintenance
    • Relapse
  • Explore strategies for each stage of change
  • Learn about motivational interviewing, looking at:
    • Discrepancy
    • Empathy
    • Ambivalence
    • Resistance
7: Navigating Recovery
  • Learn the importance of setting SMART goals to help the recovery process. You’ll look at areas such as:
    • Withdrawal management
    • Outpatient services
    • Pharmacotherapy treatments
    • Family counselling
    • Twelve-step programmes
    • Relapse prevention
8: Reflexivity and Diversity
  • Learn about reflexivity as a practitioner, looking at:
    • Challenges faced if you’ve a history of substance misuse
    • Questions to ask if you’ve a history of substance misuse
    • Questions to ask if you’ve no history of substance misuse
  • Other areas you’ll consider in this unit include:
    • Intoxication
    • Compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma
    • Client diversity
9: Further Reading

An in-depth exploration into the history, models, and aspects of drug addiction and counselling. Not a requirement for the course, but this further reading with greatly help when it comes to answering your assignment questions, as well as improve your knowledge of the field.

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Frequently Asked Questions

We have some answers to common student questions, but if you can't find the answer you're looking for then please contact us and we will do everything we can to answer your questions.

You will have access to your personal tutor, via email and telephone, who will mark your assignments and guide you through the course. In addition, you will be supplied with a comprehensive Study Guide which will help you through the study and assessment process. Your personal tutor will be highly experienced in their subject area and qualified to teach.

You don’t need any prior skills in the subject area to start. However, as with all of our courses, we recommend a reasonable level of English reading and writing ability.

We provide all the specially written learning materials you require to study this course at home. The course fee also includes tutor support for the specified duration of your course.

You will receive everything you need to complete this course within the study pack we send to you.

No, this course is assessed by coursework alone.

No, all of the study materials are supplied within your learning pack.

Most students finish comfortably within the course duration period given. However, if you do need more time, your personal tutor support can be extended for an additional fee.

Please check our main FAQs section or Contact Us, we have experienced course advisers who will be delighted to help!