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How to Become a Drug & Alcohol Counselor


This is very unfortunate to see that dependency on alcohol and drugs is increasing in our society. When individuals are addicted, professional help is required. Drug and alcohol counselors are specially trained professionals who use a variety of techniques to help the affected overcome their addictions and dependency. These counselors are, therefore, responsible to help the addicted deal with their problems and help them lead a better life.

Oftentimes, the counseling is provided to the addicted people in groups. However, drug counselors also hold one-on-one sessions, depending on the requirements. Comparatively, group counseling is more beneficial in terms of group discussions, getting feedbacks and interacting with one another about different experiences. Besides counseling, drug and alcohol counselors also conduct multiple programs targeted at preventing addictions of alcohol and drugs.

Training & Educational Requirements
A bachelor’s degree in drug and alcohol counseling is the minimum requirement to become a counselor. To make a successful career, candidates need to have a master’s degree. Extensive coursework and supervised clinical experience are a part of most of these degree programs. Besides being equipped with the degree, candidates also need to be equipped with the latest therapy and treatment research methods.

In addition to the degree in drug and alcohol counseling, licensing requirements also need to be met. Obtaining of license depends on the state where professionals practice their occupation. 3,000 hours of supervised clinical training is required, aside from the master’s degree. Apart from that, professionals also need to adhere by ethical standards and codes and need to pass a state examination.

Today, degrees in drug and alcohol counseling can be obtained both via campus mode and online. Students need to select an option according to their requirements and preferences. Online education gives a lot of flexibility to students and also saves a lot of time and money.

Career Prospects in Drug & Alcohol Counseling
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate is expected to grow faster than the average of all other professions, increasing at rate of 34% between the years 2006 and 2016. As the awareness about drug and alcohol addiction increases, more and more people turn to counselors for treatment. This increasing requirement also creates good job opportunities. More job positions will be created, as a large number of drug and alcohol counselors reach their age of retirement and take transfers due to their own reasons.

Annual Salary
Salaries of drug and alcohol counseling may vary depending on the work location and working experience. These counselors earn an annual salary ranging between $40,173 and $51,106. With growing experience and skill, the salary of these professional can go beyond $60,000 per year.

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