An Addiction Therapist (also known as a Substance Abuse Counselor) will use their clinical and counseling skills in order to help people conquer their substance abuse issues. They will observe, take history, plan, and hopeful cure people of addictions.The career of an Addiction Therapist can be quite rewarding and quite rigorous. You will explore the reasons for the addiction, as well as help to develop a program for a cure from the substance addiction. If this sounds like the career you want to have, then contact your local school for information.
It is recommended that you get at least a Bachelor’s degree in the field. It should be stressed that obtaining a higher degree will increase your odds of obtaining a more specialized and better job. The minimum requirements do vary from state to state, but do consider getting your Master degree in Addiction Therapy. When you first begin to work, you will be required to do some on the job training under the guidance of a degreed and licensed Addiction therapist. How long you must be closely supervised in this fashion will depend on the state where you practice.
Most all states will require an exam to be passed for getting the certificate. The association who monitors and oversees the Addiction Therapist field is the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors. The classes you will take and the order in which you will take them is information that the local school can give to you. The core academic classes will be heavy with a concentration in science, social science, and humanities. The program of degree will be in behavioral or social sciences. Some of the higher-level classes you will take will be:
• Case studies
• Recognizing a substance abuse problem
• Ethics and the Addition Therapist
• Drug Dependency
• Alcoholism Recognition
• Gambling Addictions
• Eating Disorders and Addictions
You will have an internship at a hospital, treatment center, or similar facility. The history of this field is rather new and quite interesting. The treatment as we know it did not begin until the 1980s.
The History of the Profession
The concept of treating the mental and emotional factors, which led to addiction, was not around until the 1980s. The reoccurrence of these disorders means that the reasons or core of the addiction has not be treated or treated properly. Prior to this style of treatment, addiction was associated with a bad behavior that could be stopped by will alone.
Prior to the 1980s, some scientists, researchers, and therapists such as Freud, Marlatt, and McClellan looked at and studied addiction. A highly recognized doctor in the field, who began to operate in the 1970s and through today, was Arnold Washton. He is known for using therapy in his treatment of addictions. He has written many books and made many lectures on the topic. He also founded a famous addiction practice, which is located in New York and also in New Jersey.
If you become an Addiction therapist you will employ some of the many methods these doctors have used in the past.
You will need to counsel those people who have a substance addiction. You will then develop a plan in order help cure them. You will involve family and fiends in this plan. There will be counseling, therapy, and many screenings along the way. The addiction could be to drugs, gambling, alcohol, or it could be something like an eating disorder. The history of the abuse will play a role in determining the plan. As a therapist you will listen a lot and there will be tears and anger. There may be setbacks. You will need to meet with the patient, family, and friends of the addict on a regular basis. At first the addiction treatment may involve daily meetings. The patient may be located at a rehab facility.
The goal of the Addiction Therapist is to determine the problem, plan the therapy, and work toward an addiction free life. You will help to guide the patient on this jourey. You may end up working at a variety of places, such as:
• A prison
• A rehab center
• A private practice
• A group practice
• A hospital
• A treatment facility
• A school
• A government organization
Addiction social worker
Everyone wants to make a difference in the world they live in, and they want for it to be a positive impact that they can have on the lives of the people all around them. If you are looking for a career that will help you fulfill that, you may want to look into social work. There are a huge number of these specific career paths out there. One of the more specialized branches of social work that is expected to see job growth is an addiction social worker. This is a demanding field that will require a great deal of skill, dedication, and passion through your entire career.
What type of personality do you have?
Every job is designed to work best when it is performed by a specific type of person. Someone in the social work area will need to be caring towards the people they work with. Organization is also essential as you will often be dealing with many different cases at once, and you will need to keep them all separate, as well as send out paperwork to the right places on the right dates. Consider what an important role you will be playing in all of your cases’ lives-- you need to be good at listening to their problems and actually hearing what they have to say, and then you will need to be able to make the right decisions on steps to take and advice to give to help your clients stay substance free for the rest of their lives. You will often be put in stressful situations, and you will be expected to help troubled individuals to deal with problems for long hours on most days that you come into work. Make sure that you can handle it before you invest your time in the required education and training for this career.
How much education is requiredf for this career?
Take a look at the companies hiring for this position in your area. All of them will have different expectations from you. Some will require you only to have basic certification that you can obtain through the state, or most colleges and universities will offer programs for social workers. Most places, however, will require at least a bachelor’s degree to secure the position you want. Having further education than this gives you a more competitive edge that will help you get any that you want. It all depends on what company you wish to work for, and the pay rate you are in search of. The more education you have, the more companies will be willing to pay you in the long run.
Do you need on the job training and experience?
Obviously, most companies will only want to hire social workers that know what they are doing, and have the experience that gives them the confidence they need to perform well for their company. If most agencies are only willing to hire well educated and experienced workers, it can be difficult at first to find a job opening with a position that you fit the bill for. Try to start out with job shadowing-- this is a great way to begin. Typically, job shadowing is done early on in your education and can help you make sure that this is the path you want to take. Another alternative is training through a specialized agency. There are a lot of these groups and programs that will give you real, hands-on training, and once you have completed them, you will have the certification that you need. You will be able to find a position this way. However, there is one other alternative that can show better results all around.
You may want to look into other internships. Most colleges and universities, as well as temp agencies, will be able to connect you to the ones that offer at least opportunities in order to get you into the best fitting position. Most internships are paid and can count as work experience. So, while you are getting paid to do a job that you are training for, you are also building experience so that you can work for the company of your dreams, even if they require an amount of experience before hiring you. Finally, one great benefit of the internship is that even though these usually are only for a certain amount of time (sometimes as little as 6 months) you will often be taken on to the regular staff as a result.
Anyone working in this position will tell you that it is a great experience all around. You need to be dedicated to the work, and you need to genuinely care about the work that you do. If you do, it can be very rewarding and even enjoyable. You will help people through some of the most troubling times in their lives, and they will thank you forever for it.