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How to Get Started with a Career in Drug Counseling

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

According to a recent jobs study, there will be a big demand for those specializing in alcohol and drug counseling over the next decade. The need for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to increase by more than 20%. It will likely lead to almost 80,000 drug and alcohol counseling jobs opening up. (CF

Would you like to put yourself in a position to work as a drug counselor? You’ll want to take the right approach when starting a career in alcohol and drug counseling.

If you’d like to get a career in this field underway, you must take the following steps. They should guide you in the right direction as you seek a drug counseling certificate. It’ll help you work your way toward becoming a drug counselor.

Learn About Working as a Drug Counselor

Do you know what you’ll be doing when you work as a drug counselor? If not, learning about your life as a drug counselor would be a great place to start. It’ll ensure you’re excited about going into this line of work.

When you work in drug counseling, you’ll help those struggling with addiction from all angles. You’ll do things like this daily:

  • Talking about drug and alcohol abuse with patients suffering from addiction
  • Helping patients find the root cause of their addiction issues
  • Providing people with healthy coping skills that’ll help them battle addiction
  • Running counseling sessions for both individuals and groups seeking treatment for addiction
  • Coming up with and carrying out treatment plans for people battling addiction

Does all of this sound intriguing to you? If so, you should have what it’ll take to work in drug counseling. But you must determine if you’re cut out for this work before taking further steps.

Find Out About Local Drug and Alcohol Counseling Requirements

Each state throughout the U.S. will have different requirements for those interested in pursuing a career in drug and alcohol counseling. You should familiarize yourself with these requirements to know what you must do to become a drug counselor.

If you live in California, you can go here to find out which requirements you’ll face when becoming a drug counselor. Each state will have requirements like this that you’ll need to meet.

Secure a Drug Counseling Certificate

There is an excellent way to get a well-rounded introduction to alcohol and drug counseling. Do it by securing a drug counseling certificate from InterCoast Colleges.

We can put you through an alcohol and drug counseling program. It’ll teach you different tactics for helping those with addiction.

We’re approved by CAADE (California Association For Alcohol and Drug Counselors) and The California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals, better known as CCAPP.

You can sign up for our alcohol and drug counseling program and get a drug counseling certificate. It’ll help you inch your way closer to becoming a full-fledged drug counselor so that you can help others dealing with addiction.

Seek Further Alcohol and Drug Counseling Education

Once you can secure an alcohol and drug counseling certificate, you can explore the idea of seeking further education. Depending on where you’d like to work as a drug counselor, you may need to pursue a bachelor’s or Master’s degree.

You’re also going to have to get used to the idea of continuing your education within this particular field. New studies are being conducted on addiction all the time, so there is always more to learn about it. You’ll need to work to always stay on top of what’s happening within the industry.

Obtain Drug Counseling Clinical Experience

Working within the drug counseling industry will require you to obtain a license. But most states will require clinical experience first.

The total number of hours that you’ll need to work in clinical settings will vary based on your state. But most states require people to earn anywhere from 4,000 to 10,000 hours of clinical experience to be licensed as a drug counselor.

Pass a Drug Counseling Licensing Exam

After you get the necessary clinical experience, you must take and pass a drug counseling licensing exam. It’ll enable you to put everything you’ve learned thus far about alcohol and drug counseling to the test.

Once again, each state takes a slightly different approach to licensing exams for drug counselors. But most will require you to pass a written exam before becoming certified to work in the field.

Get Certified to Serve as a Drug Counselor

Getting certified is one of the final steps you’ll have to take to work as a drug counselor. We discussed how InterCoast Colleges could help you get a drug counseling certificate. But you’ll also need to obtain drug counseling certification.

As long as you’ve worked your way through all the other steps listed here, you should be able to get certified. You can do this through an organization like The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals. It’ll make it possible for you to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor.

Let Us Help Kickstart Your Career in Drug Counseling

Working as a drug counselor can be a very rewarding career. You’ll be able to help those battling with addiction to put the pieces of their lives back together.

But before you can begin working in this field, you’ll need to launch your career in drug counseling in the right way. InterCoast Colleges can help you make advancements in your drug counseling studies.

Are you interested in learning more about our drug counseling program? Contact us today to get additional information on it.

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Tena Givens
Tena Givens
2 months ago

I have 18 years and 6days clean and sober from meth and heroin and I would love to be able to help others with this epidemic in our country.

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