Counselors have different functions and services. There are those who help estranged couples put their differences aside while there are some who help people with depression and suicidal tendencies. And, yes, there are also those who help people with their addictions or substance abuse; they are called addiction counselors. They aid not only the victims but their families as well, helping them to understand the problem and work through it. And it is very serious job; that’s why addiction counselors have to be certified and periodically undergo addiction counseling training.
Training and Education Requirements
There are certificates or associate’s program in addiction counseling that you can take as a two-year or four-year course. These programs include classes on human services, addiction therapy, and psychology. In some cases you will be able to get clinical experience – this experience is often associated with obtaining a certification of sorts, or even obtaining a state license.
Addiction counseling training can also be undertaken by those who have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, behavioral science or other similarly related majors. They can use the training to add to their expertise in human behavior, statistics, and sociological theory. Further knowledge can be obtained in supplementary courses found in developmental, clinical, and abnormal psychology.
If you want to have an advanced license, you need to take up a master’s degree or a graduate course. Mental health counseling, clinical psychology, or other related courses also give you addiction counseling training. These courses involve treating and evaluating addictive disorders in general. They cover prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation of substance abusers found within the family.
Internship, of course, is required for graduation. Internships can last up to a year, depending on the number of hours needed. You will be tasked to work alongside patients and counselors; observing and sometimes participating in their work. During this stage, you will gain a perspective into addictive plans and treatment. As your internship progresses, you will be evaluated by both your teachers and those you work with.
There are states which differ in their certificate procedures. Some states demand experience certificates while there are those that require minimum level of expertise. Most of these requirements can be met through continuing education and partaking in addiction counseling training.
Jobs for Addiction Counselors
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there has been an increase of 13% in jobs available for substance abuse counseling. These job opportunities are expected to continue to grow up to 34 percent in the duration of eight years, ranging from 2008 to 2016.
After you go through addiction counseling training, your ideal job is to treat patients with addictions to gambling, alcohol and drug abuse. But if that is too much for you, you can still find work as a career counselor, a counselor at a kids’ camp, or as a regular psychiatrist.
You can also work at a treatment and addiction clinic or a hospice for those who are aging and who don’t have any people to talk with.