For diagnosis of a substance use disorder, most mental health professionals use criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), published by the American Psychiatric Association. Those with master’s-level degrees in fields such as psychology, social work, counseling, and related fields can provide individual counseling or may work in private practice. Substance abuse counselors may also utilize an approach known as motivational interviewing to help people with addictions find the motivation to make changes in their lives. Using this strategy, counselors offer empathy and support while encouraging clients to see the discrepancy between where they are now and where they want to be. If you’re experiencing challenges related to substance use, an addiction counselor can help you. While it can be overwhelming to acknowledge and seek help, it’s important that you do — and know that you’re not alone.

substance abuse counseling

Their role may also encompass community outreach such as working with job placement services, support groups and schools, all to support their patients’ goals of living healthier lives. Outpatient counseling– Helps people understand addiction, their triggers, and their reasons for using drugs. This form of treatment substance abuse counseling can be done at a doctor’s office or via telehealth appointment. Evidence-based guidelines can assist doctors with choosing the right treatment options. These guidelines help evaluate a patient’s clinical needs and situation to match them with the right level of care, in the most appropriate available setting.

What are the job requirements and responsibilities for addiction counselors?

A substance abuse counselor works with their patients to identify their needs and goals. Those interested in more than an entry-level position in substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counseling need an advanced degree. If you’re seeking substance abuse counseling services or want to find out more about treatment at The Recovery Village, help is available. There are a few common ways to find an addiction counselor for in-person or teletherapy treatment. You can do a simple Google search to find local practices, call a toll-free hotline or seek a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member who’s been in your shoes.

Recovering counselors in the present study tended to see persons who suffer (or suffered) from addiction and persons who do not (or have not) in two distinct and mutually exclusive categories. The view that one either is or is not an addict was espoused by recovering counselors regardless the level of 12-step beliefs or theoretical orientation. A phenomenological qualitative study enrolled 12 practicing substance abuse counselors. Substance abuse counselors work in various environments, including government and private sector agencies, community clinics, inpatient care facilities, and private practice. Some work with clients one-on-one, while others work with clients in a group setting.

The Importance of Disaster Behavioral Health

It’s a chance to give back and make a positive difference in the world, one person at a time. When you see someone you’ve counseled who has made it to recovery and turned their lives around, the sense of fulfillment is truly incredible. Now is a great time to earn your master’s and enter the field of addiction counseling. This growth is in large part driven by a surging opioid crisis—a national emergency that’s been building for more than 20 years according to the U.S. Court-ordered therapy is also becoming more common, creating numerous counseling jobs in correctional facilities and halfway houses.

Treatment for SUD generally happens either in an inpatient or outpatient setting. Once you’re on the road to recovery, it’s important to engage in self-care, which may include attending a recovery support group and finding activities you enjoy. Guided Self-Change (GSC) is a brief cognitive-behavioral and motivational approach first developed for people with alcohol use disorder and then expanded to treat other types of substance use. It can reinforce motivation to remain sober and target any underlying mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Professionals in private practice must be licensed by the state where they work. Such requirements vary from one state to the next, but most require between 2,000 and 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience, the passage of a state licensing exam, and the completion of continuing education credits every year.

What are the different careers options?

You can start by discussing your substance use with your primary care provider. Or ask for a referral to a specialist in drug addiction, such as a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, or a psychiatrist or psychologist. The median annual salary for substance abuse counselors was $48,520 in May 2021.

substance abuse counseling