Living with addiction is a challenging experience, especially when faced alone. Thankfully, there are many resources available for individuals with a substance use disorder. With all the counselors, medical interventionists and programs available across the country, no one should have to face addiction alone.

When seeking out an addiction counselor, you might wonder what makes counselors qualified to do their jobs and help people better manage their addictions. What type of education and training do addiction counselors go through to learn how to help people with a substance use disorder effectively?

What Do Addiction Counselors Do?

Addiction counseling professionals work with people in different stages of addiction recovery. They teach their clients effective coping mechanisms to deal with their cravings and help them adopt healthier behaviors that replace the misuse of drugs or alcohol.

Substance abuse counselors can work in different settings, including clinics, recovery centers, detox facilities, sober living facilities or hospitals. Considering the number of specialties involved in addiction counseling, different substance abuse counselors may focus on a specific facet of addiction.

What Type of Training Do Addiction Counselors Have?

Addiction counselors must undergo a certain amount of education and training to be hired. Most states across the United States require addiction counselors to have at least a bachelor’s degree along with a specific amount of experience under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Some states may also require a master’s degree and a specific license to work as an addiction counselor.

Once the required degree is obtained and the minimum number of hours of supervised on-the-job work and training is completed for the specific job, a state counseling exam must be taken and passed. Following that, certification will be granted — after which counselors can then apply for their preferred substance abuse counseling job.

Once hired, addiction counselors will receive even more training on the job and will be subject to license renewal every few years to ensure that their skills and knowledge are up-to-date. Addiction counselors may also be required to have a background check and may be subject to random drug testing.

Do You Need Help From an Addiction Counselor?

If you or any of your loved ones are living with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, do not feel like you’re alone. Help is available. At The Recovery Village, we can help you find the right addiction treatment program that best suits your particular challenges to maximize your chances of success.