Once you have completed an accredited training program, you can apply for drug and alcohol counseling certification. In this article we look at how to become a drug and alcohol counselor. This will enable you to practice as a substance abuse counselor. In this article, we will briefly overview this occupation. The job entails helping addicts, plus those who feel they have a tendency towards addiction, as well as recovering addicts. Rehabilitation also involves counseling the addict’s friends and family.
Drug and Alcohol Counseling Training and Education
If you are looking at how to become a certified drug and alcohol counselor, the minimum qualification to start this career is a high school diploma. Many counselors receive on-the-job training. This can take from six weeks to two years to complete. Other students attend accredited substance abuse training programs, after which they graduate with an associate’s degree.
These programs in the USA usually last for two years. While studying, you will learn about the psychological and physical implications of addiction. You will also be taught how to do a substance abuse intervention and learn how to handle an emergency situation.
Careers in Drug and Alcohol Counseling
The purpose of counseling sessions is to help addicts to cope with, talk about, and understand their addictions, and this is something that is learned in drug and alcohol counseling courses. To be successful in this occupation, you must have understanding, compassion, and patience. Sometimes you may get frustrated, particularly when patients relapse after they have been sober for a period of time. You will also find yourself in traumatic situations, so you will need the ability to not get emotionally affected.
Job opportunities with drug and alcohol counseling certification vary. They assist recovering addicts to find jobs. A substance abuse counselor is not qualified to prescribe medication or provide medical or psychological therapy. They work under the supervision of psychologists, social workers, or doctors. Many work as full-time employees at drug rehabilitation centers.
Others take jobs at outpatient clinics where they counsel addicts on a regular basis. Some work in hospitals, clinics, human service agencies, or half-way houses. It’s not unusual for a substance abuse counselor to be an ex-addict. Knowing how devastating addiction is, and the consequences involved, they can show addicts how to prevent making common mistakes. Addiction counseling is held in groups or on an individual basis, depending on the individual.
Addiction counselors endeavor to help addicts understand why they use drugs or alcohol. It is vital to establish what triggers their addiction. Once this is identified, the patient can be taught how to use positive coping skills as an alternative to using their addiction as a crutch. Your job also involves assisting addicts regain their self-image, self-esteem, and self-confidence. This will enable them to make a meaningful contribution to society.
Estimated Income and Projected Job Outlook
Drug and alcohol counseling certification is issued by the United States National Board for Certified Counselors. To qualify for certain jobs, you may have to obtain a Bachelors or Masters Degree in sociology, psychology, or another relevant field. It has been predicted that job opportunities for addiction counselors will grow steadily up to the year 2014. The reason for this is the ever-increasing number of addicts seeking rehabilitation. At present, the average salary for a counselor is US$33,000 but this depends on the working environment and the nature of the job.
Substance Abuse and Addiction Counseling Programs
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