Licensed addition counselors (LAC) help people overcome addictions to drugs and alcohol, and they work primarily in stand-alone facilities, hospitals, other medical centers, and substance abuse treatment facilities.
Addiction counselors carry out complete assessments of substance abuse history, sometimes with assistance of the client, his/her family, and medical personnel; then, an individualized plan can be made. They also provide counseling sessions, both in groups and on an individual basis, and monitor clients over time and document their progress. When certain methods of counseling are not working, the counselor may change techniques and work with the clients' physicians to better understand what sort of care is necessary and what medications are administered. Clients' primary doctors may also have suggestions regarding what sort of counseling would be most effective.
It is important that addiction counselors are patient and extremely caring, as some clients may have side effects from substances that contribute to difficult behavior. A bachelor's degree with concentration in social work, mental health, sociology, nursing, psychology, counseling, or rehabilitation is a minimum requirement for this position, and some positions require a master’s degree. These counselors should also possess certified alcohol and drug counseling certification prior to applying for the position; certification is acquired by completing coursework and testing. A clean background check is usually required, as well.
Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) 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.