What Is Chemical Dependency Counseling?

Chemical dependency counseling involves helping people understand and overcome the root causes of drug or alcohol addiction. Read on for details about chemical dependency counseling and its professionals. Schools offering Addiction Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is Chemical Dependency Counseling?

Chemical dependency counseling addresses the ways in which drugs and alcohol affect people on personal and physical levels and in their relationships with others. A chemical dependency counselor coordinates their efforts with those of other agencies and counselors to get patients the help they need to break their harmful addictions.

Job Duties

Those who go on to become counselors will have opportunities to treat the dependency issues of patients and to discover why they became addicted. With their assistance, patients might find new ways of dealing with difficulties in their lives without relying on alcohol or chemicals to mask their original problems. Counseling professionals may also work with the families of the patients to help them understand how they affect the rehabilitative process and to offer guidance as they cope with the difficulties associated with having an addicted loved one.

Counselors might find ways of coordinating their work with community resources such as those offered by mental health clinics or in-patient centers. They must also be capable of collaborating with insurance providers or locating additional resources so as to help patients afford their treatment. Since it is important that these counseling professionals be available to recovering patients around the clock, they may have on-call or late-hour responsibilities.

Education Requirements

One can find degree programs that include associate's and graduate degrees as well as certificates. These programs begin with the basics. Coursework might attempt to explain how family might enable continued abuse or, alternatively, work with the patient so as to help them to break free. Programs may teach the applications for various styles of therapy while preparing students to determine whether patients might fare better with individual or group counseling. The importance of professional ethics is also highlighted.

Licensing Requirements

Licensing requirements are different depending on the state in which one resides. For example, in Florida, certification is voluntary and no licensing requirements were located. On the other end of the spectrum, Vermont requires a graduate degree and an approved counseling credential prior to applying for a license. Texas wants applicants to have associate's degrees and experience, while Utah requires degrees, experience and certification from the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors or Master Addiction Counselor certifications.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The number of employed behavior disorder and substance abuse counselors was expected to increase 31% from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which is significantly faster than average. These professionals earned a median salary of $38,620 as of 2013.

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