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InterCoast College: How to Become an Effective Substance Abuse Counselor

Are you planning to pursue substance abuse counseling as a career? Substance abuse counselors are valuable in transforming people’s lives. Are you up for the challenge of being a substance abuse cousnelor? Being a substance counselor is a challenging job, yet it is fulfilling to see people’s lives changed because of you. The job of a substance abuse counselor is to help alcoholics and addicts with crisis or long-term management issues to seek medical intervention and prevent them return to the bad habit. A substance abuse counselor helps in finding peer support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA), employment opportunities, housing, and medical help.

What are the requirements to become a licensed substance abuse counselor? A person who wants to become a substance abuse counselor, must enroll in a training program or a higher education, and pass the licensure examination in the state he wishes to practice. A substance abuse counselor with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree won’t need any training anymore. The training for those who only have high school diploma is usually conducted on-the-job training or actual observation of a substance abuse counselor counseling a client. There are different topics covered in a drug and alcoholism certification program including patient privacy and confidentiality, crisis management, communication, and administrative work. In many states, those who want to be licensed as substance abuse counselors should have completed a clinical experience of 2,000-3,000 working hours under the supervision of a licensed counselor, and a master’s degree.

Are there any required CPE hours to be completed to maintain the license of a substance abuse counselor? What are the benefits of taking CPE courses for substance abuse counselors? In order to make sure that substance abuse counselors are able to maintain their license and keep up with the latest best practices of substance abuse counseling, they need to complete a fixed number of continuing professional education classes or CPE hours. 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? Substance abuse counselors are expected to perform a thorough assessment and interview of clients suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, help in developing treatment plans, work in collaboration with other healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists and psychologists, and to find the best course of treatment possible. 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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