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Are you interested in a career where you can help people overcome challenges? Then becoming a drug and alcohol counselor could be the career for you.
It is estimated that over 23 million Americans have a drug or alcohol abuse disorder. Those that enter treatment learn a lot about themselves. The individual can understand the root cause of their addiction, identify triggers, and find healthy ways of coping with challenging emotions.
If you have thought of a career as an alcohol and drug counselor, you can help many individuals recover from substance abuse disorders. Your job will include guiding individuals and providing strategies, support, treatment, and encouragement for those struggling with addiction.
Becoming a drug and alcohol counselor offers many benefits for you too. Read on to learn six of the top benefits of this career choice.
1. Rewarding Career Path
There are many ways to help others, no matter your career path. But what is essential is to find your work meaningful, enjoy it, and find value in what you are doing. Studies have found that meaning in one’s work increases motivation, personal fulfillment, engagement, and a range of other benefits.
One of the main benefits of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor is that there is a lot of meaning in this career. You are helping people every day, providing the support they need to recover. This makes a huge difference in people’s lives, and you might be the only source of support when they start treatment.
If you want to help others and make a difference, working in drug and alcohol counseling is a great career choice. You will get to guide individuals throughout their recovery journeys and see their progress.
2. Job Availability
There is an estimate of over 327,000 substance abuse and other counselor roles in the US. Many people need support for drug and alcohol addictions.
Substance abuse disorders are sadly an epidemic in the US and many other countries worldwide, so the more available help, the better. You can help meet the demand for more alcohol and drug counseling, so individuals can quickly recover and take charge of their lives once more.
When you search ‘drug and alcohol counseling near me,’ you will see how many locations counselors work in. They work in schools, prisons, mental health facilities, rehab centers, and other spaces. So there are many different career avenues to pursue.
3. Job Flexibility
Drug and alcohol counseling is not always a standard 9-5 job. You may have the flexibility of various working hours, particularly at residential facilities or those open on weekends. Plus, there are often flexible working options for those who desire part-time work instead of full-time hours.
You are also not usually tied to a desk all day, as you will often find yourself attending different meetings, perhaps even locations. You certainly will work with various patients. Becoming a drug and alcohol counselor may offer location flexibility. Suppose you’re going to relocate to a different area in California. In that case, you will likely find a job, as there is a need for drug and alcohol counseling in various parts of the state, especially if you are certified.
4. Personal Growth
Working with people who are struggling can have an impact on you. It can be unbelievable to learn the hardships people face in this lifetime. And it is incredibly humbling to witness their courage and strength to recover.
Naturally, you will also grow. You will learn about different upbringings, backgrounds, and experiences, which will widen your perception of life. And more than likely, our alcohol and drug counseling program graduates often share that they gain more gratitude and kindness in general.
The challenges you experience in the job will likely sharpen your skills, such as your communication skills and problem-solving. You will find these skills invaluable in all areas of your professional and personal life. Even if you decide to change careers, you will find the training transferable in terms of the counseling experience and listening skills.
5. Teamwork Opportunities
Another bonus of working in drug and alcohol counseling is picking a job that fits your needs. Some people like to work independently, whereas others thrive in a team environment.
There are many teamwork opportunities when you are a drug and alcohol counselor. You can work alongside a support team that provides optimum support for the clients they serve.
Clinical supervision in alcohol and drug abuse counseling is essential regardless of your job role. You can be exposed to many traumatic stories and situations, so it is helpful that there is a team environment to provide support.
6. Job Growth
Becoming a drug and alcohol counselor does require education and training, but it is accessible to the many talented individuals who will thrive in this role. There are also many job growth opportunities so that the career path may take you to different challenging settings.
You can specialize in a specific area, such as alcohol counseling or working with a particular age group or population.
You may decide to facilitate group or 1:1 work. You can look at working in the private, public or non-profit sectors.
Some substance use disorder counselors later take further training to specialize in an area such as mental health or to aid career promotions such as consultant roles. You can go on to further your education to obtain an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree in addiction studies, or beyond, depending on your long-term career goal.
Become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor
There are many benefits of becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. The career path offers various opportunities for you to consider.
Undoubtedly, the role will always present challenges and demand your attention, which means there will always be room for learning and improvement. Most graduates report there is no boredom in this field.
So, if you are interested in becoming a drug and alcohol counselor, what is the next step? You need to research drug and alcohol counseling programs to find one that suits your needs. InterCoast offers many quality educational programs, including a drug and alcohol counseling certificate program, an associate in applied sciences degree in substance use disorder counseling, and a bachelor’s degree in addiction studies.
Contact us today to start pursuing your dream career.