Counselor Testing & Examination Process In Alabama
In Alabama, youll have to meet the following educational requirements to work as a substance abuse counselor.
Have a masters degree in counseling, with a minimum of 48 semester hours at the graduate level. You can substitute with a minimum of 72 graduate quarter hours at a regionally accredited university or college. This university or college should be accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Look at your previous course work. That will tell you what you need to list on your worksheet for reporting course work. In fact, youll need to complete this worksheet in the process of applying for a test date.
In fact, the two counselor levels (Associate Licensed Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor have similar requirements.
Or Licensure And Certification
Licensed professional counselors in Alabama are required to hold their masters degree in counseling. You should have earned this from a Council on Rehabilitation Education or Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs – accredited educational program or its equivalent. Youll be required to have at least 48 graduate semester hours completed when you begin working for a substance abuse facility.
To be accepted for licensure in Alabama, you need to take courses in counseling theory, which includes courses in basic theories, the principles and techniques of counseling and how these apply to professional counseling settings.
Take courses in social and multicultural foundations. These courses should have a broad focus in societal changes and trends, societal subgroups, human roles, multicultural and pluralistic trends, social mores and interaction patterns, major societal concerns (stress, substance abuse, person abuse, discrimination and various methods for alleviating these issues.
Human growth and development. Here, you need courses that give you a broader understanding of people at their different developmental levels. You need a background in abnormal behavior and personality theory, learning theory and life-span theory and finally, the learning theory as it stands within cultural context.
The practicum and internship will be a vitally important part of your education. Here, youll put into practice everything youve learned.
National And Statewide Statistics
The BLS projects this fields growth at 25 percent between 2019 and 2029. This is significantly faster than related fields.
Data from the BLS also shows that there areapproximately 16,100 Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors in the state of Massachusetts. Massachusetts ranks third in overall numbersbelow California and Pennsylvania. But, it also has far from the highest employment rate per thousand jobs at 4.45 and the highest location quotient at 2.31. The pay for these jobs rounds out to a mean wage of about $47,530 annually.
Also Check: How Long Does Nicotine Addiction Last
What Is Naadac Membership
NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals is an organization for people who work in substance abuse treatment.
There are professional memberships for credentialed addiction counselors and associate memberships for those in related positions.
While youre in school, you can sign up for a student membership.
These mental health professionals subscribe to a code of ethics, and they have access to a variety of resources. These include networking opportunities, industry advocacy, job postings, continuing-education webinars, and a magazine subscription.
NAADAC is the parent organization for NCC AP, but holding NCC AP certification doesnt automatically make you a NAADAC member. Enrollment is separate, and dues are paid annually.
Why Do We Need Substance Abuse Counselors
No one can deny that substance abuse, in all of its forms, is a growing problem. Individuals that suffer from substance abuse often suffer from a number of physical problems as well. Most addictive substances contribute to illnesses and the general breakdown of the human body.
Substance abuse doesnt just affect the people it inflicts, however. Everyone around the abuser is also usually affected as well. For instance, a person under the influence of alcohol or drugs will often exhibit behavioral changes. They may not be themselves. They may become irritable or violent, for example, or just spaced out. many times, substance abuse contributes to such problems as joblessness, homelessness, financial problems, family discord, and criminal activity.
Substance abuse counselors can help prevent these problems, by leading people away from substance abuse. Professionals in this field can help people overcome their addictions and start living a healthier life, complete with better choices.
Also Check: How To Overcome An Alcohol Addiction
Understanding The Role Of An Addiction Counselor
An addiction counselor works with people from varied backgrounds who struggle with substance use disorders, including addictions to different kinds of drugs and alcohol. Many of these patients additionally suffer from mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders.
Since these counselors are responsible for helping individuals overcome their challenges, they must be well versed in teaching coping mechanisms and helping patients through whatever hardships they may be experiencing.
On a typical day, an addiction counselor may be found doing any combination of the following tasks:
- Evaluating the mental health, medical history and behavioral issues of new clients
- Developing treatment goals and plans and discussing them with clients
- Helping clients identify obstacles to their recovery and brainstorming solutions for overcoming them
- Providing referrals to other community resources as clients work to get their lives back on track
- Working with family members to help them understand the nature of addiction and its treatment options
Indiana Licensing & Certifications For Associates & Independent Counselors
- Licensed Addiction Counselor
- Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor
The state of Indiana sets a high standard for a license in both of these careers. A Licensed Addiction Counselor must have a minimum of a bachelors degree in order to practice while a Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor must have a minimum of a masters level degree or higher.
In rare cases, a LAC or LCAC is exempt from obtaining state of Indiana licensure, but must show other professional qualifications from a recognized organization or agency in the field of addiction counseling in order to be approved to practice in the state of Indiana.
Read Also: How To Stop Mastur Addiction In One Day
What Is A Substance Abuse Addiction Counselor
The decision to become a substance abuse addiction counselor is not one to take lightly. This is a career that asks a lot of a person. It’s more of a calling than a career, a passion than a job. You will be in a position to help many, many people through a very difficult time in their lives.
Not only will you be able to help the addict themself, but your impact will be quite far-reaching. That’s because the addict is often a whirling mass of chaos who runs rampant through the lives of his family, friends, and community. In fact, it’s difficult to find a single person who has not been impacted by the disease of alcohol and drug addiction. The ever-expanding opioid crisis is spreading the problem in ways no one could have predicted.
If you wish to work in mental health substance abuse on the front lines of a national crisis, you will need to take the proper steps towards that goal. This page is here to help. Continue reading to learn the steps you need to take to become a substance abuse addictions counselor.
Earning Your Advanced Addiction Counseling Degree
Often, the next step to becoming an addiction counselor is to earn an advanced degree, such as a Master of Science in Addiction Counseling. While many substance abuse treatment centers employ those who have just a bachelors degree, earning a masters degree can help you advance your career quickly or meet qualifications of higher-level positions.
A masters in addiction counseling can usually be earned in as little as one to three years, and some universities make all or most classes available online, so you can earn your degree at your own pace. Additionally, these programs are designed to help aspiring addiction counselors gain real-world experience and put theories and foundational learning into practice. By the end of your masters program, you will be prepared to pursue licensure and any additional certifications you may need to help you make the most of your career as an addiction counselor.
Read Also: How Much School To Be An Addiction Counselor
Bachelors Degree In Addiction Counseling
The value of a bachelors degree in addiction studies varies from state to state. In some states, you can begin counseling with only this undergraduate degree. You wont be licensed for independent practice but may be able to work under the guidance of a supervisor.
Other states are stricter about granting official counselor titles. If you live in one of those places, youll need to earn a masters degree first. Fortunately, an undergrad degree in this field can help you move smoothly into a graduate program.
Editorial Listing ShortCode:
In the meantime, your undergraduate degree will likely qualify you to hold some sort of position in the addiction field. For example, you might be able to work as a counseling assistant, a caseworker, or a caregiver in a group home.
Bachelors programs for students interested in entering this field include:
- Applied Behavioral Science
- Social Work
Whether you want to go right into the workforce or plan to enroll in grad school, its a good idea to choose an undergraduate program that directly relates to this field.
Among these degrees, a BA or BS in Psychology with a concentration in Addiction may be the most common.
Refer Patients To Outside Support Groups
There are a variety of outside resources available to those recovering from addiction that are beneficial when combined with counseling treatment. As a counselor, referring patients to programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous can add another level of outside support.
These community based programs provide an additional layer of accountability to those seeking rehabilitation, and by attending meetings, patients will be surrounded by individuals with similar backgrounds, and can further share their stories, wisdom, and struggles in a non-judgmental environment.
The role of the counselor in addiction treatment involves far more than just talking an addict through treatment. Counselors have to be highly empathetic people, who have a passion for building relationships with their patients. From providing a safe space for patients to openly talk about their struggles with addiction, to guiding family members through the recovery process, to addressing plans to avoid relapse, counselors play an important role in addiction recovery.
The demand for substance abuse counselors is on the steady incline, with a projected ten year growth of 31 percent. Students who earn their Masters Degree in Counseling from Wake Forest University leave with skills necessary to help people in their community heal and recover from addiction.
Also Check: How To Get Over Marijuana Addiction
What Does An Addiction Counselor In Illinois Do What Is Their Job Role
Substance abuse is a critical national problem in Illinois and across the U.S. The current phase, commonly called the opioid epidemic, is an indication of the difficulty of treating and preventing drug and alcohol abuse. Despite a national effort and efforts from communities across the nation, opioid abuse continues to take a heavy toll in addiction, illness, and deaths. Drug and alcohol abuse is the highest in Chicago IL. The state of Illinois trains and certifies substance abuse counselors. Treatment and prevention development are the primary tools against certified advanced alcohol dependence and substance abuse. Counselors form an integral part of the national approach to solving and preventing alcohol and drug abuse.
Become An Addiction Counselor
Substance abuse and addiction counselors treat individuals with drug and alcohol addictions, gambling and eating disorders. This career field is one of the most challenging mental health fields and requires a person with compassion, understanding and empathy.
They also have to be strong, self-confident and honest individuals able to deal with confrontation, stress, setbacks and incremental success. With the courts more willing to make drug or alcohol rehabilitation as part of sentencing for crimes involving substance abuse and addiction, the field is growing with opportunities in many areas.
Don’t Miss: How To Get Off An Addiction
Certified Alcohol And Other Drug Abuse Counselor Cadc
The Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor CRADC is the threshold level of entry into clinical mental health counseling. The credential requires 225 hours of education and hours of supervised on the job training. The Illinois certification does not apply to any other state. At the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor CSADC level, the Certification Board requires 15 hours concentrations in the categories adolescents and their families, and women and their families. The Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor CRADC is often a support role. The entry-level counselors may work with other professionals and particularly in group settings provide support.
What Is Addiction Counseling
Addiction is not just a physical dependence on drugs. It is a mental dependence, too. Social and psychological factors can trigger a relapse. These include things such as stress or environmental cues.
So, what is addiction counseling? Addiction counseling is a type of behavioral therapy that seeks to address the underlying causes of addiction in an individual and arm them with strategies and mechanisms for avoiding relapse. It is a way for patients to gain support, avoid relapse and learn to repair relationships. Addiction counseling helps people find a way to manage whatever life has in store without resorting to harmful substances.
Patients who combine counseling with other treatments are statistically less likely to relapse. They were also more likely to stay in a treatment program.
Also Check: What Do Drug Addicts Use Rubbing Alcohol For
What Addiction Counselors Do
Some drug abuse and addiction counselors work in private practice with clients one-on-one or in group settings. They help clients confront their behavior and work through underlying causes. Addiction and substance abuse often stem from traumatic situations and an inability to deal with the pressures of life or family relationships.
They also work with family members separately or as a group with the client, or conduct interventions which bring together family members and others close to the client as a means of confronting them with reality and to agree to undergo treatment. Counselors also conduct preventive drug and alcohol addiction awareness seminars.
Counselors frequently deal with crisis intervention situations. Addiction and substance abuse often lead to homelessness, mental illness, AIDS and even death. Crisis intervention requires a supportive, non-judgmental attitude and the ability to control emotions of anger and frustration when clients revert to their old behaviors. This type of counseling can be very frustrating and the burnout rate is high.
Why Not Work Step 12 And Get Paid For It
Confucius once said, Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
If you are passionate about helping other addicted people find recovery and stay clean, why not consider a career as a substance abuse counselor? When you earn a living helping addicts and alcoholics get sober, its like you never have to work a day in your life! You get to do what you love and bring home a nice paycheck that takes care of the bills.
So few get bestowed with such a rewarding existence.
The Twelfth Step promises a spiritual awakening if you work the entire recovery process. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Why not carry the message and get paid for it!?
Intensive Counseling For Short
Intensive counseling is relatively brief in nature. However, if you find yourself unable to find the time to commit to a traditional rehab model, this could work for you. Intensive counseling focuses on reducing the risk factors in terms of relapsing and on reconnecting with your inner strength. You learn to gain control of your own feelings, thoughts and actions.
The principal benefit of intensive counseling as part of short-term rehab is the minimal disruption to your everyday life.
Academics: The First Step
Once you have decided that work as a substance abuse addictions counselor is for you, you will need to begin a course of formal study. While your state will have specific requirements, most states follow a predictable pattern in their education requirements. Please consult with your academic advisers and with your state’s professional regulatory boards to ensure that your work will help support your goals.
Don’t Miss: What Are Signs Of Addiction To Pain Pills
The Associate Addictions Professional
This person works at the lowest level of certified addiction counselor. This professional should have one year of experience, or 2,000 hours of practice experience. If you are at this level, you are only required to hold a high school diploma or GED you should also have 150 hours of clinical supervision in 12 core functions 150 hours of education and training 65 hours in counseling education and another 85 hours in addiction education.
Your supervisor and three colleagues should provide evaluations of your work experience. Youre required to have six hours of ethics education and four hours of HIV/AIDS education.
To work as an associate addictions professional, you should pass the written exam administered in Alabama. You also need to present signed Code of Ethics and appropriate releases.
Becoming A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
Some people who pursue a career in addiction treatment decide to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor . This usually requires a two-year commitment in education. Completion of the typical program comes with a license to practice in substance abuse counseling.
Many people choose this route. Aside from the peer support specialist , it is the fastest, most common, and least expensive way to become work in the chemical dependency counseling field. Being an LCDC opens many doors and jumpstarts a rewarding career in addiction treatment. Some people get an LCDC and then go back to college later to obtain a higher degree.
Don’t Miss: How Many People Are Addicted To Their Phones