3 Incredible Benefits of Becoming an Addiction Counselor

Posted December 7, 2021 by in Career

Are you considering becoming a counselor? If so, you should consider getting into addiction counseling. Becoming an addiction counselor gives you many benefits. These include helping people in need and seeing them overcome difficulties in their lives.

But, becoming a drug addiction counselor also has its own, unique set of benefits. This is why so many counselors choose to become drug and addiction counselors instead of taking the mental health counseling route. What are some of the specific advantages of becoming a drug addiction counselor?

We’ll go into 3 of them below. Keep reading to learn why this career might be right for you!

1. You’ll Help People Repair Their Lives

Addiction is devastating, and not only for the people addicted to the substance. When someone becomes addicted to a substance, they often experience a shift in behavior. People may become angrier, have bouts of depression, or take part in reckless behavior.

Drugs and alcohol can cause people to fight more with their families. Researchers have found that both substances have a correlation with domestic violence and abuse. Excessive alcohol consumption can also lead to spikes in sexual violence. 

Alcohol and drugs impair judgment. As such, many people don’t realize how incapacitated they are and get behind the wheel while drunk or high. When this happens, they may have slower reaction times. Others may not have the ability to perform driving-related maneuvers.

As such, many drug and alcohol users have outstanding legal problems. They may also have issues at home or struggle to hold a job. Addiction counselors help these people deal with the source of the issue. These professionals help their clients avoid temptation. Then, the clients are able to rebuild their lives and relationships.

2. You’ll Break Down Preconceptions About Addiction

Many people have faulty preconceptions about addicts and their lives. Quite a few of these have been perpetuated by the media. They have been used to further stigmatize addiction, even if they’re not always true. This stigmatization leads addicted people to feel more depressed or anxious. As a result, some people turn to their addictive substances for comfort.

Honest conversations about addiction are important. If people don’t know what addiction looks like, they might not know they fit the criteria. Others might overlook a loved one’s poor habits and not encourage them to get help. People in areas where heavy drug or alcohol use is more common remain at special risk of an overlooked addiction.

Preconceptions about addicted people also hurt them medically. Sometimes, physicians don’t recognize addiction because a person doesn’t fit their preconceived notion of an addict. The person then misses out on crucial interventions.

If you become an addiction counselor, you’ll have to learn about all the substance abuse disorders. You will get the opportunity to speak with patients and professionals about addiction. Educating your patients will help them deal with their addiction in an honest manner. You can also participate in research, providing accurate resources for others.

3. You Will Get a Thorough Education

The requirements for becoming an addiction counselor vary from state to state. In all states, counselors cannot open a private practice without a graduate-level degree. Those who operate without a graduate-level degree will need supervision.

For the most part, people do not practice without a graduate-level degree unless they are doing internship or practicum hours. This is for the well-being of the patient and the practitioner. A counselor without sufficient training may harm the client on accident, which could result in a lawsuit.

Some people may go into an addiction counseling program. Others may pursue a more general counseling-related degree and choose to focus their internship hours on substance abuse. Whatever you choose, make sure it meets your state’s standards for certification.

If you want to work in a substance abuse center without getting a degree, try seeing if they have non-counseling jobs. Working in a substance abuse center before you graduate can improve your chances of getting a job later.

What Type of Person Becomes a Good Addiction Counselor?

Addiction counseling is a great career, but the responsibilities aren’t for everyone.

Counselors need to have the ability to deal with a variety of client problems without judgment. They need to be willing to work with all different types of people. They should already have (or be willing to obtain) a working knowledge of different cultures and the challenges people groups face. 

A good addiction counselor will combine openness, warmth, and compassion with firmness when appropriate. This person will know how to apply counseling theories to a client’s particular situation. They will know how to tailor treatments to the needs of each individual client. As such, they will also need to be flexible and possess critical thinking skills.

Finally, addiction counseling can involve a willingness to put in the work to see the rewards. Addiction counselors see patients who have come to seek treatment of their own accord. They also see people who have been mandated to get treatment, usually by the state. 

As such, internal motivations for change may vary from client to client. Some may be ready to jump right in, while others will show resistance. The counselor must find ways to motivate all types of clients.

Want to Learn More?

Becoming an addiction counselor is an incredibly rewarding pursuit.

If you get into this exciting field, you’ll have the ability to help a broad range of people. This makes it a perfect fit for those who want to dedicate their lives to helping others. 

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