A substance abuse counselor is a person who assists addicts to know the kinds of services that are available for them to help them fight their addiction.
Job description of a substance abuse counselor
A substance abuse counselor usually works at clinics mostly outpatient clinics and treatment centers where substance abusers visit for counseling sessions. Substance abusers are also found at halfway houses where they provide help to recovering addicts so as to enable them to become totally cured of substance abuse. Substance abuser counselors can offer individual or group counseling sessions to addicts. There are some addicts who prefer to be counseled alone and there are others who prefer to be counseled in a group so that they can get moral support from their fellow addicts. The main role of the substance abuse counselor in this case is to address the main reason as to why the substance abusers began to abuse substances in the first place.
The substance abuse counselor also helps the patients to discover what triggers the need to abuse drugs. Once the patients identify the triggers, they are taught how to avoid them. The patients who get counseled in groups are usually encouraged to share their stories so that they can learn from each other’s experiences.
A substance abuse counselor also teaches the family of the addict how to relate to the addict. This is because the recovery period is more often than not so hard on the addict and the family needs to be understanding and supportive.
A substance abuse counselor helps addicts that have recovered to rebuild the careers they had before they started their treatment. Most addicts lose their jobs as a result of their habits. The counselor can also help the recovered addict to find a new career path all together.
A substance abuse counselor also educates the community on the needs to stay away from substance abuse. They inform the community on factors that would trigger addictions and teach them how to avoid this.
Substance abuse counselor requirements
A substance abuse counselor is required to have a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health service and counseling related course work. One can also be a holder of an associate degree in applied sciences and take up a course in counseling related course work.
A substance abuse counselor is also required to take out a practicing license. There are hospitals that require a substance abuse counselor to have completed their master’s so as to get employment. The master’s degree they are required to have undertaken is in social work, science or art.
Substance abuse counselor skills
Apart from the academic qualifications, there are skills that a substance abuse counselor is required have. They should have the urge to help addicts recover from their addiction. The counselor should be a person who is easy to open up to. This means that the counselor should have the ability to gain the confidence of the addict.
The substance abuse counselor must also be trustworthy. The counselor should also have the ability to stay emotionally unattached to his patient.