Help people overcome addictions and lead a healthy life.
What does an Addictions Counselor do?
Many of us associate addiction with just drugs or alcohol, but there are various other kinds too. People can also get hooked on sex, gambling, shopping, or food. The job of an Addictions Counselor is to help people who are suffering from any of these unhealthy cravings.
As an Addictions Counselor, like Counselors of any kind, you meet with clients either individually or in group sessions. Recovering from addiction is a difficult process, and success can only be achieved when a person decides he really wants to change his life.
This means that no matter how badly you want to help, you can only take your cue from the client, and your role is more of a supportive one. You teach your clients coping techniques, help them solve other issues that keep them around their drug of choice, and encourage them to take responsibility for their actions. You might introduce them to a 12-step program, or get them admitted to a rehab facility. It all depends on your client’s individual needs.
You might also work with family members affected by the addiction, either encouraging them to communicate with the patient or helping them deal with the anger or guilt caused by the person’s actions. You can help families and friends stage interventions to encourage the client to get help. Or you can find resources that will help the patient or their family during the recovery period.
You should know that addictions counseling can be a draining job, and there tends to be a high level of burnout among Counselors. This is because addicts can be emotionally hurtful, and act in ways they normally wouldn’t. Relapse is also common, which can be frustrating after you’ve put in months of work.
However, it is also a very rewarding career. When a client does get well, success is all the more special because both of you have had to hurdle extremely tough obstacles to attain it.