Addiction Counselor

Addiction Counselor

Addiction. We all know what it does. Addiction… it ravages destroy the body, leaving the mind naked, to scream, stranded in the dying wreckage of what was once a life. The addict is a nerve end dangling in space, alone.

The biggest liar is addiction.--- Zeretia

Brain scans of thirty-year-olds on meth, for instance, are very similar to the scans of elderly Alzheimer victims— jagged black holes in the brain mass.

Humans can buy drugs that at first mimic the feelings of joy, validation, success. But the price is more than money, the price is a greater need for more and more of the drug that supplies the on-demand feelings, the mood enhancements weaker with every dose.

In a society of instant gratification, pleasure can be bought. On the street or in a doctor’s office. That pleasure is the Big Lie. It feels real at first, but it is a lie.

People choose different chemicals, often due to different friends, different backgrounds. Alcohol, nicotine, heroin, meth, coke, food, and all the other chemical addictions. Then the behavioral ones like sex, dieting, TV, gambling. But always, the need is more, more, more, until there is no more high, only the need itself, enduring, burning, eating away at the very core of life. Yes, the pleasure can be bought, but the price is always rising, until there is no pleasure, only the addiction.

Where can addicts— when they hit bottom, when they see the big lie— seek help?

First, and this is the biggest step, arguably, they must want the help. It can’t be a family member or loved one wanting help for them. The must have hit bottom hard enough to want it for themselves.

That’s where you— the Addiction Counselor— comes into their life. You are more than a rescuer. You are a healer, their last chance at survival.

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors like you fight the ravages of alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating disorders. You counsel individuals to help them to identify behaviors and problems related to their addiction.

And there are so many addicts now. Your counseling can be done on an individual basis, but often you do counseling in a group setting. You do crisis counseling, daily or weekly counseling, and sometimes drop-in counseling supports.

Counseling Session

You are trained to assist in developing personalized recovery programs; you help to establish healthy behaviors and you also provide coping strategies. Often, you work with family members devastated by the addictions of their loved ones. This is some of the hardest emotional work you do…. or anyone ever does.

You widen your approach with conduct programs and community outreach. You try to prevent addiction by educating the public. You work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote mental health.

And you are trained in all the side-effects of addiction, and the co-disorders— depression, anxiety, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, and grief.

How did you become this amazing person— this Addiction Counselor?

You invested yourself in education and training. Education requirements vary with the occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A master’s degree usually is required to be licensed or certified as a counselor.

Counselor education programs in colleges and universities often are found in departments of education, psychology, or human services.

Courses frequently are grouped into core areas, including human growth and development, social and cultural diversity, relationships, group work, career development, counseling techniques, assessment, research and program evaluation, and professional ethics and identity.

In an accredited master’s degree program, 48 to 60 semester hours of graduate study, including a period of supervised clinical experience in counseling, typically are required.

So… do you have a strong desire to help others who are in desperate need? Are you a person who can be incredibly patient, and inspire respect, trust, and confidence?

Do you possess the high physical and emotional energy necessary, to handle the highs and low of stress, when counseling addicts?

If the answers are a resounding Yes!, then go for it— educate, educate, educate!

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