If you possess an enduring sense of compassion for others that are in need of help then earning a bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling may just be your niche. A substance abuse or addiction counselor has a persisting sense of compassion for people who are not capable of controlling addictions. Substance abuse counselors support individuals who are incapable of controlling their intake of various substances, including illegal drugs, prescriptions drugs, alcohol, and other addictive items and help guide them on a pathway to becoming free of addiction. A substance abuse counselor's objective is to help people set and reach their own goals of becoming completely sober and successfully reentering the world. Substance abuse counselors often work in hospitals, rehabilitations centers, medical facilities, and halfway houses for recovering addicts.
While requirements for entering the profession of substance abuse counseling varies from state to state, most are required to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Students obtaining a bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling gain knowledge in areas such as drug prevention and treatment, the physical effects of chronic drug use, and the emotionally destructive effects of continued abuse on drug users and their families.
Classes required to obtain this degree may include group counseling, individual counseling, family counseling, pharmacology, psychopharmacology, sociology of addiction, psychological evaluation, relapse prevention, planning, treatment, chemical dependency diagnosis, and addiction statistics and research.
Students graduating with a bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling are generally required to complete an internship or supervised clinical practicum as a graduation requirement, which will provide them the experience and knowledge needed to successfully counsel addicts. During the internship or practicum phase of the bachelor degree program, those training to become substance abuse counselors typically work directly with a licensed professional in the field who guides them through the early phase of their career. Just as the course requirements above vary from state to state, the mandatory hours and length of the internship and/or practicum hours varies depending on each states requirement; however, generally one full year, or 2,000 hours, of supervised experience is required.
Over twenty million Americans are classified with a substance abuse problem each year, which results in a rise for the need of qualified substance abuse counselors. Substance abuse counseling is among the most rapidly growing fields in the nation. A bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling can be earned online or in a university setting. This degree program commonly takes about four years to complete, and generally requires between 40 to 60 credit hours in the required coursework previously mentioned.
With a degree in substance abuse counseling you would work with individual addicts in an effort to help them detect the problem behaviors that are related to their addiction. You would be specially trained to provide support for addicts by working in collaboration with them to create a personalized recovery program in an effort to provide coping strategies and establish healthy behaviors to influence a new lifestyle.
If the human mind has always fascinated you and you are considering pursuing a career in this field, then obtaining your bachelor’s degree is a great educational place to start. Or, perhaps your ultimate goal is to be a psychologist but you aren’t sure what you need to do to make this happen. Either way, continue reading to learn what you need to know about this career path.
There are two common paths for individuals who want to pursue a career in psychology. Students can obtain their bachelor of arts, which will prepare them for professions that focus more on research related positions or on the academic side of psychology. Should you decide to pursue your Bachelor of Science degree in psychology you will be studying the more clinical aspects of this career. In addition, some colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Science degree that is simultaneously focused on psychology and business. This degree program is ideal for students who plan to practice psychology in another career field, such as social services, law, or business. Of course, the specific course work that you should expect to take will depend upon which type of bachelor’s degree program you decide to pursue. Generally speaking, you will likely be required to complete classes like abnormal psychology, counseling and behavior analysis, statistics, testing and measurement, conditioning and learning, personality, and perception. In addition, some traditional colleges and universities require that their students complete an intensive project just prior to graduation, as well as a semester of internship. This is intended to allow students to apply the knowledge they have been learning in the classroom setting in a real world setting.