Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors assist people overcoming addiction and working to remain sober. They organize educational programs, group counseling sessions, and other programs to help people overcome substance abuse. Substance abuse counselors also work with family members of addicts. Counselors meet individually with addicts to test them and determine the most effective treatment strategies. Once initial tests are finished, substance abuse counselors submit results to parole and probation officers. Counselors must also determine whether addicts they've worked with who've remained sober for a specified amount of time should receive additional treatments. Substance abuse counselors must take precautions when working with addicts since they sometimes carry communicable diseases and can act erratically.

Qualifications to begin a substance abuse counselor career differ by state. In the majority of states, substance abuse counselors are required to hold a bachelor's degree in sociology, psychology, social work, or related field. Counselors desiring to assist juvenile offenders must have a college degree and a minimum of 1 year of relevant work experience in most states. Substance abuse counselors must certify with state licensing boards and pass an extensive background check.

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