Since the year 2000, over 700,000 people have died from drug overdoses. So as you can see, drug addiction is a serious and prevalent issue in this country.
Therefore, substance abuse programs are a necessity. A substance abuse program aims to help addicts stop their addictions. In addition, seeking professional help increases a person’s chances of success.
If you have a passion for helping addicts fight their addictions, you might be interested in becoming a substance abuse counselor.
If this is a field that interests you, it might be helpful to learn the steps you must take to become one. This guide can help you understand these steps.
Table of Contents
Consider the Qualities Needed in a Substance Abuse Counselor
Becoming a counselor that helps people with substance abuse issues isn’t for everyone. It takes specific qualities, and you might want to consider these before enrolling in a program.
First, you must have a passion for people struggling with addiction. Many people become substance abuse counselors after helping a loved one with their addiction.
Secondly, you must be compassionate and kind. Working with addicts isn’t an overnight job. It takes time and requires patience and kindness.
Additionally, you must be a good listener. If you demonstrate these qualities and are interested in preventing substance abuse, this might be a great field for you to consider.
Learn the Educational Requirements in Your State
The next step is learning the educational requirements in your state. Every state has different rules, and the requirements depend on the counseling jobs you want to get.
For example, some states let you take short-term classes that let you earn a certification in substance abuse counseling. These typically last less than one year, allowing you to start working in the field sooner.
Other states require master’s degree programs for most types of counselors. To enroll in a master’s program, you must first complete a bachelor’s program.
You might also want to take additional courses to increase your knowledge and education. For example, you can enroll in a harm reduction course.
Complete the Program and Pass the State Test
Once you choose the program, you must complete it. Most states require several other things after that.
The first is working in a substance abuse facility, and completing a practical. A practical lets you work in the field, acquiring first-hand experience working with addicts.
Finally, you might have to pass a state test before you become a licensed substance abuse counselor. If this is the case, you’ll have to prepare for the test, sign up for it, and pass it.
Use Your Passion to Help People Break Addictions
If you’re looking for a rewarding career and have a passion for helping people with addictions, you might want to become a substance abuse counselor.
You can learn more about programs in your area before enrolling in one.
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