An addictions counselor is someone has knowledge in the diverse field of substance abuse, counseling processes, and certain regulations regarding patients. They play a constructive role in helping substance abusers overcome the many obstacles they will face along the road to rehabilitation. Some clients may come to counseling as a penalty to avoid jail time or as a probation requirement, while others may go to return their life to a normal, healthy state.
Substance abuse affects the whole family unit, so an addictions counselor is responsible for ensuring both the patient and the family have a safe and rewarding recovery process without relapse.
Addictions are not limited to heavy drugs, they can also include anything from gambling and smoking, to drinking and marijuana use. Different needs are present for each type of substance or action, as well as a deep, honest, and patient understanding of the users past, as well as their triggers. Identifying those two personal items can give an addictions counselor proper leverage to implement specialized routines and programs for the client.
What Responsibilities Does an Addictions Counselors Have?
Addictions counselors have a variety of tasks to perform including setting up necessary programs for recovery so abusers can avoid returning to their addictions later in life. As well, they are responsible for understanding and showing various coping techniques to help patients better understand how to fight cravings, withdrawal, and other issues they may face.
Often times, many people's behaviors are linked to their home lives or past, so an addictions counselor may recommend bringing in people close to the patient. This will give a clearer picture of everyone's experiences and allow everyone to come to a better solution.
The clients well-being has to be in clear focus, so an addictions counselor may try to better understand destructive behavior that interfere with progress and address it personally or with the help of a psychiatrist. Recovery plans are also made to ensure the client keeps on track, and are personalized to track their progress along the way.
Families of the client may also suffer dismay due to the circumstances they are facing, so the addictions counselor may recommend suitable options for them to cope with and deal positively with the progress of their family member or lover.
What Experience is Needed?
To become an addictions counselor, there a number of different routes you can take. Some jobs require a high school background, or an associates degree or certificate. Although, some require a bachelor's or master's degree. It depends on the specific field you are interested in, and what functions you intend to perform as a counselor and the level of specialization you would like to acquire.
There are a number of different processes that take place before someone can become an addictions counselor including gaining experience in a clinical field and meeting certain licensing requirements and certifications.
Overall, the field of addictions counseling is anticipated to grow and is a great way to better understand real issues that affect real people. By understanding clients, you will not only help them better understand themselves, but change for the better with constructive support!