An alcohol and drug addiction counselor manages cases for patients and recommends/administers various programs to help them recover. The counselor will administer tests and analyses to the patient by interview in order to determine the severity of the case and what should be done to resolve it.
Counseling can be done on an individual or group basis. The counselor will also need to work with families and help them understand what to do to aid the patient in his/her recovery. Thus, the counselor should have good communication skills in order to work with the various parties. The counselor will also need to communicate with doctors and other medical parties involved with the patient in order to create a plan and regularly inform the doctors of progress. When necessary, the counselor will provide referrals to appropriate medical entities, as well.
Patience is another key personality aspect to possess, as progress may not be easy depending on the case. Problem-solving is a key part of the job, as the counselor will need to analyze cases and provide objective opinions and plans for the patient’s recovery. Reports regarding the patient’s progress will need to be prepared, and therefore organizational and computer skills are important. The job can be performed in many settings, but most often in medical institutions, penitentiaries and social work facilities.
Some jobs will require a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology while others will require a Master’s degree. Many positions require previous experience in the field. Most positions are full-time, though part-time positions may be available depending on demand.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor Tasks
Develop individual intervention, treatment and recovery plans.
Perform chemical dependency evaluations for patients.
Manage caseload and documentation.
Gather information about patients using interviews, case histories, observations and assessments.
Facilitate and lead group and education sessions.