Tuesday, 20/2/2018 | 7:15 UTC+0

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InterCoast College: Why Choose to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor

Do you want to become a substance abuse counselor? Substance abuse counselors are valuable in transforming people’s lives. Are you up for the challenge of being a substance abuse cousnelor? People greatly suffer because of substance abuse, and substance abuse counselors are available for support, taking all the challenges of the job, yet very fulfilling after knowing that a person’s life has been completely changed for the better. The job of a substance abuse counselor is to help alcoholics and addicts with crisis or long-term management issues to seek medical intervention and prevent them return to the bad habit. Substance abuse counselors help patients find medical help, housing, employment, and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

What are the requirements to become a substance abuse counselor? For those who want to become a substance abuse counselor, a high school diploma must be completed before enrolling a training program, and they are encouraged to pursue a degree like psychology, or any course with a background on mental health, and then pass the licensure examination in order to practice privately in the state the substance counselor wishes to practice. Those who have already finished bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree won’t need any additional training, while those who are high school graduate needs to undergo training and pass the drug and alcoholism certification program before taking the licensure examination. The training for those who only have high school diploma is usually conducted on-the-job training or actual observation of a substance abuse counselor counseling a client. The various subjects that are covered in a drug and alcoholism certification program includes patient privacy and confidentiality, crisis management, communication, and administrative work. Licensing would require a master’s degree and a clinical experience of 2,000-3,000 working hours under a licensed substance abuse counselor’s supervision.

Are there any required CPE hours to be completed to maintain the license of a substance abuse counselor? Why do subtance abuse counselors need to take continuing education courses? Every year, substance abuse counselors also need to complete a fixed number of continuing professional education classes to ensure that they are updated on the best practices, expanding their skill sets as they progress with their career. The relevant topics for CPE courses include management of client depression, juvenile substance abuse, proper response and management to suicidal patients, ethics, and addiction treatment for patients with personality disorders.

What are the responsibilities and job description of a substance abuse counselor? Substance abuse counselor basically perform the same services, interviewing and assessing client’s mental health issues and addictions, and working collaboratively to find the best course of treatment. You can find more information about InterCoast College offered courses and training programs to help you become an effective substance abuse counselor.

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