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Addiction Counseling

Chemical dependency counseling is a rapidly growing field in America as the country comes to grips with long-hidden problems. If you want to help others to save their lives, recover their families, careers, and self-respect, this is a profession that pays emotional as well as financial dividends. More and more, addictions counselors work in private and public health care facilities to help others to identify and treat dependencies on alcohol, drugs, gambling, overeating, and sex. There are hospital and treatment facilities that offer in-patient and outpatient programs the year round to people who are suffering. Other counselors specialize in helping family members and friends of those who are addicted.

Counselors not only work in treatment centers: some work in private practice, others work for corporations and at government offices, some in psychiatric hospitals, schools, and prisons. As an addiction counselor, you?ll need training in assessing a person?s addiction, creating a treatment plan, conducting one-on-one and group counseling sessions, developing an after-care program, and keeping detailed records required by most state governments.

Qualifying for Addiction Counseling
Many people who enter the addiction counseling field have themselves recovered from addictions and are members of 12-step programs or spiritual organizations. Each state in the union has its own specific guidelines and certification examinations for work in the treatment field.

Most counselors train at dedicated addictions programs at campus-based or online colleges, others pursue associates or bachelors degrees in counseling with an addictions emphasis. Typically, you?ll be asked to undertake an internship at a counseling clinic or treatment center before testing for state certification.

Publish date: February 10, 2011