Therapy for Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse, and Alcohol Addiction

Sometimes this may involve being on-call and working weekends, evenings, and nights. Professionals who work in substance abuse counseling also work to educate people about the effects and risks of drug and alcohol misuse. Psychoeducation is often conducted in a group therapy setting and helps participants learn more about the effects that substances have, the related behaviors that often contribute to drug use, and the potential consequences. It’s also worth noting that graduates of SNHU’s substance abuse degree concentration are prepared to provide entry-level, non-licensure services.

What is the best major for substance abuse counselor?

In order to become certified as a substance abuse counselor, you'll need to complete a Master's degree in social work or psychology. Your degree options include an MS, MA or MSW (Master's in Social Work). Some programs will allow you to specialize in substance abuse counseling during your graduate work.

Substance abuse counselors and behavioral disorder counselors, also called addiction counselors, work with clients individually and in group sessions. They teach clients how to cope with stress and life’s problems in ways that help them recover. Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career. They also help clients improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problems with family and friends.

General Education Requirements

While coursework in the substance abuse concentration often covers a state’s educational requirement for licensure, you’ll likely need to complete supervised practical training, too. If you’re interested in becoming a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, you should contact your state board or agency for additional information regarding the licensure process and educational requirements. Note that licensed substance abuse counselors must meet similar professional standards as therapists.

Careers for substance abuse/addiction counselors are flourishing, due to the rise in demand as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation is projected to grow 25% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Your curriculum for an online bachelor degree in addiction counseling will teach you how to guide patients to maintain their sobriety and lead you to a successful career in substance abuse counseling. There is an epidemic of substance abuse addiction and overdose deaths in the United States. Substance abuse counseling is a high-demand profession that can make a real difference in your community. Counselors are needed to help people who struggle with drug and alcohol addictions learn to modify their behavior to lead them on the road to eventual recovery.

Online Substance Abuse Degree Concentration

Today, there are substance abuse counseling working with people who struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, domestic violence and health conditions. There are also counselors specifically trained to help people handle grief or manage stress. Generally speaking, you need at least a bachelor’s in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work or a related field to advance to case management work. Addiction counselors work with clients struggling to overcome substance abuse. Those drawn to this profession are passionate about helping substance abusers recover from their addictions and live better lives.

  • The job outlook for substance abuse counselors is expected to grow 23% from 2020 to 2030, which is faster than the average for other occupations.
  • Because tolerance to a drug decreases after a period of abstinence, it is at this time that people have an increased risk of overdose.
  • They may also provide case management services and refer clients to other resources, such as support groups or 12-step programs.
  • People may also feel psychologically dependent on a substance and continue to use it, particularly under stressful circumstances or to alleviate other psychological problems.
  • These disorders include the active use and/or dependency on any mood-altering substance.

Addiction can often be difficult to treat, and there is a good deal of controversy surrounding the causes of addiction and the best approaches to treatment. Individuals who find themselves experiencing an addiction to drugs or alcohol often find the services of a mental health professional to be helpful in overcoming the addiction. The field of human services has expanded as awareness of issues like substance abuse and addiction has grown. Greater patient advocacy has also removed much of the stigma around these conditions.

Coordinated Internship in Human Services

I confirm that the information provided on this form is accurate and complete. I also understand that certain degree programs may not be available in all states. The majority of coursework in National University’s undergraduate certificate is online through live-streaming classrooms. During the last class in the program, the practicum, students are assigned to work with clients on-site in the community, and they participate in a seminar where they go over their fieldwork. “Because of the need in this specialty, we designed the program for professionals who need to pick up enough education credits to get certified in substance abuse therapy,” says Dr. Posson. If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

  • An individual with a substance abuse problem is unique in his/her history, pattern of use and abuse, and counseling and related treatment needs.
  • Counselors must be able to establish the same open, collaborative, therapeutic relationship in counseling individuals with substance abuse problems as they do with other client populations.
  • Your CASAC Trainee certificate will be effective from the date it is issued by OASAS until the end of the five-year period that your application is active.
  • Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
  • BSFT is founded on the concept that each family member’s behavior affects the entire family.

Common techniques cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and dialectical behavioral therapy. News and World Report recently ranked substance abuse counselor as #3 in Best Social Services Jobs and #34 in 100 Best Jobs, based on criteria including median salary, unemployment rate, growth and future job prospects. Yet, school, rehabilitation, and mental health counselor education programs do not require expertise in this area as a prerequisite to receiving a degree.

Our Graduate School

Substance abuse counselors will work one-on-one with clients to develop goals and strategies for pursuing sobriety — all in a compassionate and confidential environment. People who choose a career in addiction counseling can work in a variety of settings, from hospitals and rehabilitation centers to halfway houses, prisons and private practices. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors typically need at least a bachelor’s degree, although the education required or preferred may vary by position, state, or employer. For example, substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors typically need a bachelor’s degree to enter the occupation, but requirements may vary from a high school diploma to a master’s degree. Some addiction counselors work in residential treatment centers, where clients live in the facility during their recovery.

private practice

Fall River has been identified as the city with the 3rd highest addiction rate in the state of Massachusetts. Stephanie Hairston is a freelance mental health writer who spent several years in the field of adult mental health before transitioning to professional writing and editing. As a clinical social worker, she provided group and individual therapy, crisis intervention services, and psychological assessments.

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