More Americans are battling increasing stress, anxiety, and depression due to the pandemic. As a result,13.3% of Americans choose to self-medicate or “escape” with illicit substances (CF CDC).
When addicts finally hit rock bottom, they often begin to seek help for their addictions. Many people who counsel addicts have overcome their addiction and are working in a solid recovery program, being recovering addicts themselves.
However, being a recovering addict is not a prerequisite. Getting an addiction studies degree is an excellent way to begin what can be a very fulfilling career. If you’re open-minded, willing to learn, and passionate about helping people, keep reading to understand why you may want to pursue this noble career choice.
1. The Alarming Rate of Addiction in the United States
Addiction treatment is a growing field, with the compound annual growth rate expected to reach $1,749.68 million by 2027. When people hear the word addiction, their mind immediately connects with drug use such as cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamines. However, it extends much further than just illicit substances.
Addiction is an urge to keep repeating the same action, expecting a different outcome each time. This may display as cravings and impulsive behavior.
This is usually the first sign of addiction when addicts start neglecting other areas of their lives, such as hygiene, work, school, or social obligations. Addictions may take various forms, for example:
● Drug Abuse
● Alcohol Abuse
● Video Games
● Porn or Sex
By aiming for an addiction studies degree related to substance use disorder, you can counsel addicts in many settings.
2. The Types of Jobs You Can Get With an Addiction Studies Degree
As we’ve discussed briefly, addiction can take many forms. This allows for several positions within the medical field available to people with an addiction studies degree, most involving direct client treatment interaction or support services.
There are several options regarding the types of jobs one may obtain in this field. Places that employ addiction counselors may include, but are not limited to:
● Treatment or rehabilitation centers
● Community health centers
The position you choose may have an impact on your working environment. For example, some jobs will call for counselors to work directly with patients in group therapy or individual sessions.
3. The Skills You Will Learn in an Addiction Studies Program
People who get into addiction counseling typically share several traits. These traits generally include a willingness to learn, compassion and empathy, and a passion for recovery and helping people.
Pursuing a career in addiction treatment can give you a wide range of new skills and traits you already possess. For example, you may learn specific counseling techniques like Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), better communication skills, better time management skills, and more.
If you join a team of counselors, you may gain excellent teamwork skills, which could create stronger professional relationships among colleagues. Having a solid support structure could also be beneficial because you have supervisors and coworkers dealing with the same issues each day and can offer assistance and guidance if needed.
The counseling field requires ongoing study as new methods and treatments are studied. So, if you have an aptitude for learning, maybe a career with an addiction studies degree is ideal.
4. The Personal Fulfillment You May Get From Helping Others Overcome Addiction
Another reason you might consider getting an addiction studies degree is that you simply enjoy helping people. Addictions have been known to take over someone’s life quickly, so if you find fulfillment in assisting others in overcoming adversity and succeeding, then choosing a career in the addiction field might be your perfect fit.
Many addicts who have succeeded in recovery often choose to become counselors themselves. After all, who is best to understand another addict, but a recovered addict? This has an extra added benefit: your patients may feel a stronger connection to you as their counselor, knowing you understand what they’re going through.
Furthermore, seeing fellow addicts recover and take on counselor roles may give addicts still dealing with their powerlessness hope in their future.
With an alcohol and drug counseling studies certificate, you may also be able to work with the youth, who are often vulnerable to substance use disorders.
5. The Potential Financial Benefits of Having an Addiction Studies Degree
The salary one can expect from an addiction studies degree can vary on several factors; many of these are unique to your situation. Your compensation may be affected by the education you received, any additional skills you bring, any certifications, and how many years of experience you have in the field.
According to Salary.com, you may look at a salary bracket of around $55,850 per annum. This is calculated in 2021 and is based on a national average, so that it may vary according to your location. Added benefits may also include the following; however, these depend on your employment agreement with your employer:
● Social Security
Get an Addiction Studies Degree Today
There are so many benefits to becoming an addiction counselor. It feels good to make a difference in someone’s life, and if you’re in recovery yourself, you know how much difference the right approach can make. It’s a field where every day is different, so if regular office desk jobs aren’t your thing, you might be better suited to a career in counseling others.
At InterCoast College, we offer Certificate and Degree programs. Our Associate in Applied Sciences degree may help you move closer to your career goals if you’re interested in an addiction studies degree. Apply now to get started in your addiction counseling career.