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InterCoast College: Become a Substance Abuse Counselor and Get Certified

Do you want to become a substance abuse counselor? Substance abuse is prevalent in the world, with millions of people experiencing drug abuse and alcoholism every year, thus the role of a substance abuse counselor is very important. Are you ready to accept the challenge? Being a substance counselor is a challenging job, yet it is fulfilling to see people’s lives changed because of you. A substance abuse counselor helps addicts suffering from either crisis or long-term management issues to get medical attention, and prevent reoccurrence of the addictive activity. Substance abuse counselors help patients find medical help, housing, employment, and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Do you need to be a college degree holder to become a substance abuse counselor? For those who want to become a substance abuse counselor, a high school diploma must be completed before enrolling a training program, and they are encouraged to pursue a degree like psychology, or any course with a background on mental health, and then pass the licensure examination in order to practice privately in the state the substance counselor wishes to practice. Those who have already finished bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree won’t need any additional training, while those who are high school graduate needs to undergo training and pass the drug and alcoholism certification program before taking the licensure examination. There is an actual on-the-job training with the presence of a client and a substance abuse counselor. There are different topics covered in a drug and alcoholism certification program including patient privacy and confidentiality, crisis management, communication, and administrative work. In most states, licensure requires a clinical experience of 2,000-3,000 working hours under a licensed substance abuse counselor’s supervision and a master’s degree.

Does it require CPE courses to maintain the license of a substance abuse counselor? Why do subtance abuse counselors need to take continuing education courses? Every year, substance abuse counselors also need to complete a fixed number of continuing professional education classes to ensure that they are updated on the best practices, expanding their skill sets as they progress with their career. The different topics that can be considered as CPE approved courses include response and management to clients who have depression, personality disorders, suicidal, as well as juvenile addiction, and addiction treatment for patients with personality disorders.

What are the services that a substance abuse counselor provide? A substance abuse counselor is expected to thoroughly assess and interview a client, develops effective treatment plans, work in collaboration with other professionals such as the client’s psychiatrist, and to find the best course of treatment available. You can find more information about InterCoast College offered courses and training programs to help you become an effective substance abuse counselor.

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