Top Reasons to Pursue a Career in Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance abuse counselors help clients recover from drug and alcohol addiction through individual, family, and group behavioral counseling. Often in collaboration with other health professionals, these counselors teach coping strategies for dealing with stress and addiction triggers, help clients to repair damaged relationships, and provide resources for rebuilding careers and community.

Substance abuse counselors change lives, helping people to recover from the debilitating effects of drug and alcohol addiction. Personal experience with those impacted by addiction often leads people toward substance abuse counseling as a career. In this growing field, job opportunities are on the rise, and addiction counselors can choose to work in settings such as rehabilitation clinics, prisons, hospitals, and juvenile detention facilities.

Change Lives

Drug and alcohol addiction can wreak havoc on the body, damage personal relationships, and increase the risk of overdose or suicide. With consequences that often extend beyond the individual, addiction can hurt families and lead to financial struggles and homelessness. Recovery can mean huge life improvements, such as the chance to return to work and repair personal relationships.

Substance abuse counselors help their clients to overcome obstacles like low self-esteem, depression, trauma, and low motivation, to recover from addiction and avoid relapses. Family therapy, group therapy, and community involvement can all play a part in recovery, and substance abuse counselors are trained to facilitate those resources.

Substance abuse counselors help their clients to overcome obstacles like low self-esteem, depression, trauma, and low motivation

Personal Experience

People who have experienced first-hand addiction, either because they are in recovery themselves or have known those affected by addiction, often become substance abuse counselors. They may have experienced the benefits of substance abuse counseling and enter the field with a desire to help others in the same way.

Substance abuse counseling requires compassion, interpersonal skills, and patience. Empathetic counselors may be particularly well suited to assist others on their road to recovery.

Substance abuse counseling requires compassion, interpersonal skills, and patience

Variety of Workplace

Substance abuse counselors can choose from a diverse range of workplaces, such as hospitals, rehabilitation centers, prisons, juvenile detention centers, and halfway houses. They may focus on a certain demographic, such as youth or veterans, or they may serve clients in court-ordered recovery.

Substance abuse counseling also means working with many types of people and ushering them through various stages of the recovery process. Counselors may initiate clients to treatment, introducing them to recovery through motivational techniques and behavioral therapy, and continue in the long term to help them avoid relapses.

Choosing to become a substance abuse counselor offers job security and the opportunity to help a growing population of those affected by drug and alcohol addiction

Job Growth

Addiction is a rising problem in the United States, and many states are beginning to understand the crucial role substance abuse counselors can play in recovery. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that demand for these counselors will rise 23% between 2016 and 2026 as many areas move toward recovery programs for drug offenses, rather than jail time. Substance abuse counselors continue to work with military veterans and respond to the continuing opioid crisis.

Choosing to become a substance abuse counselor offers job security and the opportunity to help a growing population of those affected by drug and alcohol addiction.

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