Earning a degree in addiction counseling is needed in order to effectively treat problems with substance abuse. An addiction counselor offers educational, counseling, and supportive services to people who are struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. This counseling professional works in various contexts and helps addicts to gain and maintain sobriety.
Where to Get a Degree in Addiction Counseling
Training programs in addiction counseling are available at different degree and certificate levels. You can get a degree in addiction counseling from many four-year universities as well as community colleges. These degree programs are intended to provide students with the skills and knowledge to support clients in their process of recovery.
However, before you commit to a program, it would be wise to check out the local licensure requirements. Afterall, prerequisites greatly differ by state; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics affirms that there are states requiring students to only have a high school diploma and get certification to be a licensed addiction counselor whereas some states requires you to finish a master’s degree.
Prospective addiction counselors who are enrolled in a formal study program will learn skills such as patient assessment, intervention planning, techniques in individual and group counseling, case management, and professional ethics. You may also learn about many subjects related to substance abus such as the process of addiction, society and drugs, kinds of substance abuse, drugs and crime, and addictive behaviors.
Practical Training Requirements
Students who want to earn a degree in addiction counseling typically need to finish a set number of hours of supervised internship. For example, a typical addiction counseling requirement is for one to complete 460 hours of hands-on experience under a certified professional in mental health or a clinical supervisor. Take note that some clinical experiences are compensated for, a perk that many students look for. There are also internships intended to meet particular requirements in state licensure or certification.
Certification and Licensing
Most states require addiction counselors to get a proper license after earning a degree in addiction counseling. Others states will settle for counselors who are certified by accredited certifying organizations. Again, not every certificate is honored since each state has its own rules about the acknowledgment of certifying organizations.
If you want to get certified by an organization, be aware of their requirements. There are organizations that require considerable academic preparation, like accomplishing graduate coursework before allowing a candidate to take a certifying examination. Addiction counselors might also have to finish coursework in continuing education to maintain their certification or licensure.
Addiction counselors can find work in many different settings and have the opportunity to advance into managerial or supervisory roles. Individuals who have graduate degrees typically are the most flexible in selecting career paths and have the best opportunities for professional growth.
The demand for addiction counselors continues to increase over the years. Where funding from the government is available, more educational institutions choose to employ certified addictions counselors since the advantages of early counseling for substance abuse are acknowledged.
Being an addiction counselor is both a challenging and noble profession. If you want to finish a degree in addiction counseling, then you need to start looking for accredited universities to get started.