An addiction counselor works with patients who have problems with substance abuse. The counselor manages patients' cases and provides counseling to help them overcome these addictions. The addiction counselor may work at a school or medical facility and provide individual or group counseling; counseling may include dealing with addictions, issues involving mental health, and helping the patients develop their interpersonal skills. The addiction counselor may also need to perform screening for prospective patients or clients as well.
The addiction counselor acts as a link between patients and various professionals so that they can receive all necessary care, potentially including psychotherapists, medical doctors, hospitals, educational programs, and more. The addiction counselor needs to work with other staff members to develop and monitor treatment plans; they should be innovative and flexible as care needs may vary for each patient, while the need exists to adhere to predetermined standards.The position may involve supervising staff and providing training to them. The counselor must work with patient’s families as well.
A bachelor's degree in psychology or a related field is required for this position, though an advanced degree is often required or preferred. Counseling-related certification may be needed as well. Relevant experience in the field is essential for addiction counselor positions, and these professionals generally need basic computer skills for typing up reports and communications. This is usually a full-time position that takes place during regular business hours.
Addiction Counselor Tasks
Counsel individuals or groups and implements therapeutic treatment plans to resolve addictions to drugs or alcohol.
Maintain case history and progress notes while observing their patients.
Provide evaluations, interventions, and individual and group therapy to clients experiencing chemical abuse or chemical dependency.