Young man talking to out of picture substance abuse counselor during detox.A substance abuse counselor provides many helpful services that you need for healthy drug or alcohol addiction recovery. These professionals work with a wide variety of clients in detox and rehab centers, as well as other places designed for people seeking addiction recovery. These counselors listen to your problems and help you understand why you engage in substance abuse. They also help you learn coping skills, relapse prevention skills and other methods of staying clean and sober.

What Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Do?

People suffering from drug and alcohol addiction need strong support as they work toward recovery. This support also helps them with eating disorders or other co-occurring conditions of addiction. The counselors teach people how to gain sobriety and stay sober in healthy ways. Because relapse can happen anytime, your substance abuse counselors work with you in all stages of recovery. Duties of a substance abuse counselor also include:

  • Performing addiction assessments
  • Helping you create goals for your recovery
  • Teaching coping and relapse prevention skills
  • Helping you with your job search
  • Leading group therapy sessions
  • Referring you to support groups or other services
  • Developing treatment and aftercare plans

Your substance abuse counselor also meets with your family and updates courts about your progress, if you suffered legal problems because of your addiction.

Where Do Substance Abuse Counselors Work?

There are many places a substance abuse counselor may choose to work in their career field. This is what makes the job an exciting one for those who enter the field. Substance abuse counselors with advanced degrees have the most options, although the opioid epidemic and other drug problems of today mean there is no shortage of work in this field. Some substance abuse counselors specialize. This means they choose a specific career path, instead of a general one. Some focus on specific populations, such as young people. Others want to work in specific types of facilities, such as a detox or residential treatment center. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an Occupational Outlook Handbook for annual information about specific career fields and jobs. In this handbook, the locations where these counselors typically work include hospitals, mental health service agencies, addiction treatment programs, state and local governments, schools and afterschool programs.

Education for Counselors of Substance Abuse or Addiction

Each state dictates its own requirements for substance abuse counselors. Not every state requires formal education. Some require a master’s degree in counseling or social work. Regardless of required schooling, having advanced degrees certainly helps these counselors understand more about addiction and the people they help. For private practice, most states require a master’s degree and about 3000 hours of supervised clinical experience. The counselor then must pass an exam to receive a license. Some substance abuse counselors work in the field after completing recovery themselves. They use their own personal experience to help others, in addition to meeting their state’s minimum requirements. When you complete drug or alcohol addiction treatment, you may want work in the field, too.

Serenity House Detox Offers the Substance Abuse Counseling You Need

When you suffer drug or alcohol addiction, a substance abuse counselor provides the link you need between detox and rehab treatment. One of these counselors may be the first person you speak with upon calling a licensed facility for help. Serenity House Detox in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, Florida provides licensed and accredited detox treatment for people just like you. At Serenity House Detox, detox services include:

If you or someone you love suffer addiction to drugs or alcohol, call Serenity House Detox now at 866-294-5306 for more information about available programs. The addiction counseling you need is waiting for you, so call now.