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Did you know that over 1 in 4 American adults with mental health problems also have substance use issues? Addiction counselors are crucial in helping people cope with substance use disorders and improving their overall mental health.
Suppose you are passionate about making a difference in other people’s lives. In that case, addiction studies could be the rewarding career you are looking for. If you are considering a career in addiction studies, knowing more about why you should choose this field is helpful.
In this guide, you will learn five reasons addiction studies could be a great career path. You will also learn more about the different degrees and certifications you can earn to start your career.
1. You Could Learn Many Different Skills
One of the best things about earning an addiction studies degree is the skills you could learn along the way. Addiction and drug counseling programs teach you skills such as:
- Substance use disorder laws and regulations
- Creating recovery plans
- Relapse prevention
- How substances can affect the brain
An addiction counselor works with a wide variety of people. When you work as a counselor, you help form a support system for people with addiction problems with drugs and alcohol.
Since many people with addiction also have mental health problems, like depression and anxiety, you may also be responsible for helping people cope.
Once you earn a degree in addiction studies, you should be able to take on various tasks, such as:
- Evaluating clients’ overall health and substance use problem
- Teaching coping skills
- Identifying problems and setting goals
- Setting up aftercare goals and plans
- Providing guidance and support to family members
- Running group therapy sessions
- Helping clients reestablish their life and career
2. You May Have Experience With Addiction
Approximately 21 million people in the US have at least one addiction, and these numbers are only increasing. You may have dealt with your own substance use disorder or have friends and family that have gone through addiction.
Experiencing these issues firsthand gives you a unique perspective on addiction. When you get an addiction studies degree, you may be able to understand addiction differently.
Having both perspectives puts you in an excellent position to help people going through the same experience. You not only have your own experience that you have learned from, but you also have the tools to help others succeed.
In addition, when people realize you have been through a similar experience, they may be able to connect with you differently.
3. You Could Have a Rewarding Career
One of the best things about being an addiction counselor is that you may be able to help people change their lives for the better.
Many people who have substance use disorders lose family, friends, and careers. It’s a very overwhelming position to be in, and most people struggle to find a positive way to look at everything.
Each day, you should be able to encourage your clients to live their life positively. You should be able to work with them one on one using tools you learned while studying for your degree.
The best part is you will feel like you’ve made a difference in someone’s life every day you go to work.
4. You May Have Opportunities to Expand Your Education
The great thing about addiction studies is that you can take flexible education paths to expand your knowledge. Many people start with a certificate program or an associate’s degree.
Many of these programs are flexible and allow you to work and complete the majority of your degree online.
You may be able to work on your assignments at home during the week, or go to campus for hands-on training and instruction, to fine-tune the skills you will need once you graduate.
Once you have your associate’s degree, you could pursue a bachelor’s degree in addiction studies. A bachelor’s degree program takes what you have learned already and dives deeper into various topics of addiction studies. For example, you could learn more about the social and economic impact of addiction.
You may also be able to learn more about harm reduction, prevention, and recovery by critically analyzing different issues people face with recovery.
After you earn your bachelor’s degree, you may be qualified to work as a case manager, crisis worker, health educator, or substance abuse prevention coordinator.
You may even have other education options like a master’s degree if you want to become an educator or go into research.
5. You Can Find Many Different Job Opportunities
Getting a degree in addiction studies also opens up various career paths. You may be qualified to work in different settings, such as:
- Residential treatment centers
- Detox centers
- Group homes
- Public Health Centers
There are also opportunities in schools, colleges, and correctional facilities. Many also find careers at sober residences, where they can teach people skills to find long-term employment.
You can also find opportunities at outpatient mental health centers. With these treatment programs, you may lead group therapy sessions and help family members develop coping skills.
In addition, you may be qualified to counsel people in crisis over the phone while working for addiction hotlines.
Whichever position you choose, you could interact directly with people in individual and group therapy sessions.
Getting a Degree in Addiction Studies
There are many reasons to get a degree in addiction studies. Once you find a job you love, you will see how rewarding it is to help people struggling with addiction.
If any of these five reasons resonate with you, then addiction studies could be the right career path. If you are looking for reputable certificate and degree programs, you may not need to look any further than InterCoast Colleges.
We offer certificate and degree programs in addiction studies with small class sizes and morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend schedules to meet your needs. We also provide real-world experience and career assistance for qualified candidates.
Make sure to contact us today for more information about our programs!