Addiction Studies


About This Program

Addiction Studies Associate of Applied Science is intended for those students who have completed who are seeking a Temporary Permit (ADC-T) through the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. The certificate is intended for those students who have completed a bachelor’s degree and are seeking licensure for Licensed Alcohol and Drug counselor (LADC) through the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. The AAS degree and the certificate satisfies the 270 hours of classroom clock hours required and the 880 hours practicum hours (2 courses of Practicum are equal to 880 hours) required to obtain a temporary permit or license in the State of Minnesota. The coursework in this program will equip students with the intellectual tools and core counseling skills necessary to become an effective addictions counselor. During the practicum the student will practice and further develop skills under the supervision of a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor at an approved practicum site. The practicum experience will cover the entire continuum of drug treatment and rehabilitation care including prevention, intervention, primary care, and aftercare. This program will provide the opportunity for students to develop proficiencies in the twelve core functions or TAP 21 of chemical dependency as defined by the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy. A graduate will have acquired an understanding of the concepts, principles, skills, methods, and techniques needed to work with those whose lives have been seriously affected by addiction or abuse.

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Degrees & Credits

A.A.S. Degree (60 credits)

Certificate (30 credits)

Mesabi Range - Virginia
Online (Minnesota North)

Human Services Program

Program Features

Course Delivery

All courses designed to be delivered by distance learning: Zoom, Telepresence at Rainy River and Hibbing, and D2L.  Most classes will also be able to be attended In-person.

Career Opportunities

A variety of careers

Graduates may seek employment in substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder treatment programs; information, diagnostic, and referral centers; outpatient or follow-up care programs; halfway houses, schools, hospitals, clinics, prisons, social agencies; and programs supported by business, church, and government.

Meet the Faculty

Mary Kay Riendeau LADC, LSW, MSW

Human Services and Chemical Dependency Instructor

Mary Kay Riendeau, LADC LSW, MSW, is the Department Head for Human Services and Addiction Studies at Minnesota North College-Mesabi Range Campus. She has been a faculty member and department head for many years and has developed many innovative distance approaches to teaching over her tenure. In addition, she has received many grants for the program totaling over 1.4 million dollars to assist students in meeting their educational goals in human services and addiction studies. Her dedication to providing quality education in innovative methods to assist students in their life endeavors is a passion for her and will continue.

She has a degree in Addiction Studies from the former named Mesabi Range College, an undergraduate degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Mary Kay has 20 plus years of experience working in addiction studies and has 35 plus years working in the human services field. She has extensive experience and dedication to the field of addiction studies. She has been in every counseling position in treatment centers over the last 20 years including clinical supervision. She has also owned and operated her own business in the addictions field. Additional career experience includes the areas of disabilities and mental health. She has served on many boards in the human service/addiction fields and continues to contribute to her profession with collaborations outside of the college.

David Archambault LADC, BA

Addiction Studies Instructor

David Archambault, LADC, BS is an adjunct faculty for the Addiction Studies program at Minnesota North College, Virginia Campus. He joined the department in 2019 to assist with an above average workload due to grants through St. Louis County and DHS to fill the shortage of workers in the substance use disorder field. He has a degree in Addiction Studies from the former named Mesabi Range College and an undergraduate degree in General Education, with a concentration on Psychology of Addictions from Southern New Hampshire University.

David has 8 years of experience in the substance use disorder field. He is currently the Director of Substance Use disorder Services for Range treatment Center/Detox Center. In addition, he currently teaches the adolescent course and is instrumental in developing new services for adolescents in Northern Minnesota. He is a team member of the Range Hybrid Treatment Court for 6th Judicial District North, along with many collaboratives in the state of Minnesota. He is passionate about serving people in rural areas, prison reform, and watching people become healthy.

Bryan Johnson LADC, LSW, MSW

HS/ADDS Instructor

Bryan A Johnson, LADC, LSW, MSW, is an adjunct faculty for Human Services and Addiction Studies at Minnesota North College-Mesabi Range Campus. She joined the department in 2018 due to program expansion and has adapted to the novelty distance course delivery of the human services and addiction studies program. She is a passionate, dedicated instructor who engages students in a supportive, empowering approach.

Currently, she works as an embedded Substance Use & Recovery Social Worker within the Child Protection Unit at Saint Louis County Health and Human Services in Virginia, Minnesota. She has a degree in Addiction Studies from the former named Mesabi Range College, and an undergraduate degree in Social Work from the College of Saint Scholastica and has a Master of Social Work from University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Bryan has over a 20-year career in addiction studies and human services. She has substantial experience in treatment and detox settings and has been a group counselor, assessor, director and clinical supervisor in both treatment and detox. She has served on many collaboratives in NE Minnesota, and prior to instructing, she was instrumental in devising innovative approaches to solving addiction counselor workforce shortages in Northern Minnesota through partnering with Minnesota North College's Addiction Studies program. She is a driving force in Northern Minnesota in developing real change in the field of addictions and mental health.

Additional Information


Minnesota North – Mesabi does have specific transfer agreements with Social Work programs at the College of St. Scholastica and the University of Wisconsin-Superior leading to BSW degree. Agreements with other colleges are possible.