A substance abuse counselor specializes in providing support and treatment for people experiencing substance use and addiction problems.
A substance abuse counselor is a mental health counselor who specializes in the treatment of chemical dependency and addiction. These counselors are also known as addiction counselors, and they provide support and services to assist with addiction treatment.1
The requirements for being this type of counselor may differ from state to state, so it is best to check with a local state board for the exact specifications. However, there are some general requirements that most all counselors must meet, which include:
While most of these counselors are only required to have a Bachelor’s degree, a substance use therapist is required to hold a higher degree, such as a Master’s or doctorate degree. These counselors can work at treatment centers, hospitals, or public health centers.
The specific job requirements of what each counselor does will vary depending on what facility they work in, along with the type of patients they help. Most often, however, addiction counselors who hold Bachelor’s degrees will be able to:
After completing any screenings or assessments, the role of this type of counselor is to work with the individual on creating a treatment plan catered specifically to their needs. Treatment plans should focus on the goals that the individual would like to achieve while in treatment.
All forms of substance abuse counseling require some type of therapy. The alcohol and substance abuse counselor will be involved with conducting both group and individual therapy. However, depending on the place of work and state requirements, some counselors must hold a Master’s degree or higher to conduct individual therapy sessions.
To become a substance abuse counselor, it is important to research the education requirements in your state. Those that attend these programs that are aimed at achieving a higher degree, such as a Master’s or doctorate, are more likely to be able to provide individual and family therapy than those with a Bachelor’s degree. A drug abuse counselor with a higher degree may also have the opportunity to work in private practices.
If you’re looking to become this type of counselor, it’s important to think about:
There are several benefits of being this type of counselor, including assisting individuals on their recovery journeys, being able to be a consultant and mentor, and helping to contribute to the community in varying ways.
San Diego Detox is a full-service detoxification center focused on holistic and individualized treatment for addiction and mental health concerns. Using evidence-based practices, our dedicated and compassionate team of mental health professionals work every day to help individuals overcome their substance abuse challenges.
To learn more about addiction counseling and find out the benefits of being a substance abuse counselor, contact us today.