Last Updated on December 12, 2018 by Keisha Mclean-Green
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, substance abuse counselor employment positions are projected to grow 22% by 2024. The role a counselor plays in their clients’ lives is crucial. It’s not a role just anyone can take on, and becoming a successful counselor involves developing and attaining the needed skills and education. If you are going to be a substance abuse counselor in the state of North Carolina, you will need to follow five important steps:
Step #1: Understand the Job
Learn about what a substance abuse counselor is and what they do. It is crucial to understand every facet of the job. A counselor plays an essential part on the client’s road to recovery, and therefore, it is imperative that you are sure this is the profession you want to pursue. Your passion, skill, and devotion can make or break a patient’s recovery.
Step #2: Receive the Right Training
Credentials are important. Most companies require a Master’s degree from an accredited college in the field of psychology, social work, human services, counseling, or other related field. Specializations for counseling to a specific group of people (i.e. youth, veterans, adults), require relevant education specific to the specialization of your choosing. In the state of North Carolina, you must also have a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor certification or a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist certification.
Step #3: Pass a Background Check
A crucial part of becoming a substance abuse counselor is passing the mandatory background check at CRB Direct. In order to work with people who are unstable, you must make them feel safe. Though there are certain (rare) exceptions, you are required to pass a background check prior to consideration for employment.
Step #4: Gain Experience
It isn’t mandatory that you have any experience, but it is extremely helpful. While attaining your degree, you will complete a certain number of hours in your field. This will contribute to the needed experience to become a substance abuse counselor.
Absolute Advocacy is proud to offer a Supervision Service, through which we provide clinical supervision while you attain your license. We use the Twelve Core Function as outlined by North Carolina’s Substance Abuse Practice Board. Experience working in a counselor role, in a substance abuse environment, conducting counseling sessions, and developing treatment plans are all preferred experiences you can attain via supervision.
Step #5: Be Emotionally Equipped
Few roles are as fulfilling as that of the substance abuse counselor. However, understand this role is also extremely taxing. You will need a positive attitude coupled with a willingness to learn and grow. You must be emotionally able to handle the situations thrown at you as a counselor while also staying empathetic and relatable to the client.
A support network is as important to counselors as it is to their clients. Our Substance Abuse Professional Supervision not only prepares you to enter the profession, but also supplies the needed support to succeed. Together, we create a better future for every patient we see. Contact us today for more information about clinical supervision and career opportunities.