What is a Drug Counselor?
A drug counselor is a trained professional who helps people overcome their addiction to drugs. There are many different forms of a drug counselor and some do become both a alcohol and drug counselor. A counselor at any level will provide support, education and help to design treatment plan for those trying to overcome an addiction. Counselors will work in many different settings depending on the exact needs of the patient. Counselors can work in hospitals, private practices, or many other state or federal funded treatment centers. Treatment centers are located all over the world to aid the patients in overcoming their addiction. Counselors will spend time one on one with their patients and many times will also work with groups of patients with the same addiction.
Educational Requirements to become a Drug Counselor
Students pursuing a career in as a drug counselor will have three main different choices of education that they can choose from. The three different levels of this are national certified addiction counselor level 1, national certified addiction counselor level 2, and a masters addiction counselor. Each state will have its own exact requirements for each of the above levels. The master’s addiction counselor also requires a master’s degree in a relevant subject matter such as psychology or social work. All of these levels require a certain number of hours of hands on training as well.
Skills needed to become a Drug Counselor
Besides the educational requirements listed above, people pursing a career as a drug counselor should be very compassionate people with the desire to help others. Drug Counselors will also have to take some courses that deal with the ethics of being a counselor, so these are also added skills. Drug counselors will also need to be able to work with others, be able to document and keep accurate records of the clients, be able to handle the stress of this job and able to show the patients that they care.
Job and Career outlook for a Drug Counselor
This is one of the fastest growing fields and the job outlook is excellent. Depending on which level of a drug counselor you are will depend on the salary you earn. The salary ranges from the mid to low 20’s to the high 60’s depending on the level.