How do I Become a Substance Abuse Counselor?

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A Substance Abuse Counselor is someone who works directly with people who suffer from alcoholism or a drug addiction. They offer treatment and support to clients who are recovering from addiction. These counselors work in a wide range of settings, such as mental health centers, community health centers, prisons, and private practice.

What Are The Degree Options To Become a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Most Substance Abuse Counselor positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. Many facilities will mandates that the employee hold a certification or a master’s degree. Professionals with a higher level degree have the ability to provide a wider range of services to their clients, such as private one-on-one counseling sessions, and they require less supervision than those with less education.

Can I Earn a Family Therapy Degree Online?

There is a wide range of colleges and universities offering online degree programs leading to a degree in substance abuse counseling. Some of the most notable include:

Capella University – Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy in Addictions Psychology

Grand Canyon University – Master of Science in Addictions Counseling

Walden University – Master of Science in Addiction Counseling

How Much Do Substance Abuse Counselors Earn?

The average annual salary for substance abuse counselors was $39,270 in May 2014. This is for degree holders of all levels, meaning that those with a higher educational level will earn more. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $25,310, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $61,420.

Is The Field of Substance Abuse Counseling Growing?

The BLS predicted that jobs for substance abuse counselors will grow at least 22 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is considered to be much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies.

What Are The Daily Responsibilities of a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Substance abuse counselors have a wide range of daily responsibilities including the following:

  • Assess clients’ mental and physical health as well as type and level of addiction to assess the client’s readiness for treatment
  • Work with clients to develop treatment goals and plans
  • Review and recommend treatment options with clients and their families
  • Help clients gather important skills required to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior
  • Work with clients to identify situations that interfere with their recovery
  • Teach families about addiction to help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups
  • Conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior
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