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Substance Abuse Counselor Job Description

substance abuse counselor job description

If you wish to become a substance abuse counselor, you don’t need to stress as we have your back, and you can get all details here. Ideally, a substance abuse counselor is a qualified mental health expert who specializes in helping one to overcome substance, drug, alcohol, and behavioral addictions.

Their primary duties include evaluating and treating one’s mental and physical health, besides supporting various addicts and caregivers. Being an abuse counselor, you need to assist people with multiple addiction levels.

You mainly need to give the best quality care and counseling to help individuals change their addictive behavior and become sober.

Above all, you play a crucial role in helping people overcome their drug or alcohol addiction. Therefore, your job description is likely to revolve around treating individuals with chemical dependency or narcotics by learning about the leading cause of abuse and helping them with progression to sobriety.

Besides performing these duties, these counselors are likely to schedule some therapy sessions to discuss the main idea behind their condition.

substance abuse counselor job description

Job Description – Substance Abuse Counselor

Under this role, you are likely to be responsible for developing various treatment and recovery plans while identifying behaviors likely to impede rehabilitation. You also need to facilitate group therapy sessions besides individual sessions.

To be a successful substance abuse counselor, you must be familiar with the latest possible treatments and collaborate with other mental care experts.

Top-notch experts have the excellent clinical knowledge and demonstrate the best counseling experience. You need to develop effective treatment plans for patients dealing with addictive behavior and teach them healthy behaviors to replace alcohol drugs.

Counselors are ideally experts who can help one set some support network comprising caring people that can help patients recover in no time.

They tend to hold weekly appointments with the patrons to keep track of their progress and encourage patients to resist their relapse urge.

They are counselors; you need to provide addiction-prevention resources to the public or community by organizing seminars. The main aim is to educate people on the risks associated here.

You must evaluate each patient’s progress and identify the need for further treatment. In addition, you need to ensure that you connect with the patient’s family to be updated about their loved one’s health. Finally, you need to show utmost empathy towards the patient’s condition and understand what they are going through.

Read more: How to Become a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Skills Required – Substance Abuse Counselor

Being a substance abuse counselor, you need to possess compassion skills which means you need to be empathic towards patients dealing with drug or alcohol abuse. In addition, you must have fantastic listening skills as you need to patiently listen to your patient’s issues so you can identify their abuse triggers.

Lastly, you must be apt at interacting with clients, so communication skills are a must for you. It would be best if you offered some recommendations to your clients. This would be helpful for them in addressing the current issues.

Job Responsibilities

  • It would be best to manage all aspects of the patient’s case from the entry date to their discharge.
  • You should also evaluate the patient’s physical and mental issues.
  • You should also develop perfect treatment and recovery plans.
  • Facilitate group or individual therapy sessions.
  • Monitor the patient’s progress and ensure they are on the right path to success.
  • Collaborate with doctors and mental health professionals.
  • Help primary healthcare givers.

Job Requirements

  • Must have an associate degree in chemical dependency counseling or have a bachelor’s degree in chemical dependency.
  • You must be a licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).
  • Brownie point if you have a Master’s degree in counseling.
  • Previous job experience with substance abuse treatment and be familiar with electronic health records.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 Do I need to have a master’s degree to apply for a substance abuse counselor role?

Ans. Although an individual doesn’t need to possess a master’s degree when applying for a substance abuse counselor role, it is always considered better if you have a master’s degree. This is because it increases your chances of getting shortlisted amongst the vast pool of candidates.

2 What are the primary skills needed to be possessed when applying for a substance abuse counselor role?

Ans. In such a challenging role, the individual needs to be very calm and composed. You must possess excellent communication, listening, and analyzing skills. You must have the ability to understand the position of your client and takes action accordingly.

3 Do substance abuse counselors also have to undergo alcohol or drug test regularly?

Ans. This is a subjective answer, and it depends on the company or institution you plan to apply for. When a new employee joins, some companies ask them to undergo the test. This is however not something that happens very regularly. However, there are no fixed rules that the test should regularly have.

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