Last Updated on October 13, 2016 by Morris Green
It’s a new year, and maybe you’re thinking about a new you. Maybe you’re advancing your education or considering a career move. Is becoming a substance abuse counselor playing on your mind? If so, then learning about what a substance abuse counselor is will help guide you.
According to the United States Labor Department, a substance abuse counselor is a certified professional who advises people in need of counseling for substance abuse. Substance abuse includes, but is not limited to, addictions to alcohol and drugs, eating disorders, and many other behavioral disorders. The counselor’s job is to walk the road of recovery with the person suffering from these addictions, providing needed physical and emotional support.
What Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Do?
Substance abuse counselors have many duties. They must evaluate their client’s health, both mental and physical, as well as the severity of their addiction. The counselor is in charge of determining if and when their client is ready for treatment, and what kind of treatment will be most effective.
Counselors work through the underlying problems from which addictions stem. Sessions are in both group and individual settings. One of your primary objectives will be to ensure your client has goals and a plan for life, both short and long term. You will be responsible for making sure they are ready for life after addressing their addiction, as well as walking them through a series of steps to safeguard long-term results.
What Is the Counselor’s Role within a Company?
The role of a substance abuse counselor can vary somewhat from company to company. However, the basic professional boundaries remain fixed. These include:
- Working with clients one-on-one and in group settings.
- Encouraging open dialogue.
- Providing needed support during recovery.
- Establishing a life changing relationship through various programs and treatment strategies.
Each company will have its own set of rules to abide by. It is crucial for the counselor to adhere to all of them to avoid any penalties and potential lawsuits.
The Pros and Cons to Substance Abuse Counseling
Is this role right for you? You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons.
Pros: Substance abuse counselors receive an unparalleled sense of self-fulfillment from helping others. The professional relationships they establish often last well beyond treatment. The hours a counselor works, depending on the company, can be more flexible than other professions. And let’s not overlook the opportunity to become an outstanding and active member of your local community by helping others.
Cons: Becoming a substance abuse counselor requires hard work and schooling, which costs time and money. You must be willing and able to commit. The job itself can be emotionally draining and taxing, which means you will need your own support network.
The role of a substance abuse counselor is not glamorous, but it is fulfilling in every sense. Not only does this role allow you to help people transform their lives for the better, but it also allows you to grow as a person and a professional. Are you ready to make a positive impact?
What To Do Next
If you are considering working in the substance abuse field feel free to contact us. We would love to work with you and assist you on your journey to becoming a licensed substance abuse professional in North Carolina.