5 Reasons to Become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor in 2021

5 Reasons to Become a Drug and Alcohol Counselor in 2021

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Finding a worthwhile career is hard, especially if you genuinely want to make a difference in the world. Unfortunately, most fulfilling jobs don’t pay enough, and the jobs that offer a decent salary are often insignificant and meaningless. 

As a drug and alcohol counselor, you could make a decent living while also making a significant difference in people’s lives. Not only that, addiction specialists are in high demand. This means that with the right skills, educational background, and certification,, you’ll be able to find work almost anywhere you go. 

This article lists five compelling reasons why you should consider working as a drug and alcohol counselor.

1. Personal Experience With Addiction

In most fields, having personal experience with drug and alcohol addiction is a negative thing. This is especially true if you have been arrested on your record for drug possession or public intoxication. 

An addiction counselor career is one of the few careers where you can turn this disadvantage into something positive. Generally, people are more prepared to listen to people who have similar life experiences to them. 

This means that many addicts might be more likely to engage with you if you have a similar background to them. This means that people with a past of drugs and alcohol are not frowned upon within the profession and for the clients, but rather the client may prefer their alcohol and drug counselor to have this type of experience and background. 

If you’re struggling to launch a career because of a drug or alcohol record, you might want to consider looking up how to become an addiction counselor, because you may not have as much difficulty obtaining employment in this field, depending, of course, on the exact offense. 

This kind of career can also help you to be focused on helping others, so that you are not thinking of your own needs but rather of others. Helping other people to address their addictions will give you a sense of responsibility that could be instrumental in stopping you from using again.

2. Work Helping Others

Rewarding careers are hard to come by. Most of the time, you may feel you are working to provide value to the shareholders or management only.  However, when you work as an addiction counselor, you’re working in a field where you can experience a genuine sense of pride and accomplishment. 

Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things for a person to do in life. However, when someone overcomes addiction, their life may turn around completely. Not only will this be good for their physical and mental health, but it will also help them to work toward repairing their broken relationships. 

When you face difficult days at work, it helps to know that your presence makes a genuine difference to people. Addiction counselors often report that they have high levels of job satisfaction as they can make a substantial difference in people’s lives. Addiction counselors have reported that they are committed to being the best alcohol and drug counselor, and often reference their own experiences when in treatment.  They want to give back to others as they have given to them. 

3. It is Reasonably Well Paying

Of course, there’s more to work than job satisfaction. It doesn’t matter how well-paying a job is if it doesn’t enable you to keep a roof over your head and food on the table. 

The good news is that an addiction counseling career can pay reasonably well.  Anyone interested in entering the field should research average salaries, depending on where they live and want to work. Entry level salaries may differ, and education and experience impact starting salaries. For instance, some positions may require you to get an advanced degree in order to take on more responsibilities and achieve higher pay. 

Because of the current demand in this field,  there is room for advancement. For example, you might progress on working at a residential treatment center that will pay much more than the other position because of the work and responsibilities. 

A career as an addiction counselor will do much more than keep a roof over your head. It’s a career that gives back in many ways with opportunities for personal growth and advancements. 

4. The Field Is in Demand

Another reason to consider becoming a drug and alcohol counselor is that the field is in demand right now. The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has had a significant impact on people’s mental health. This means that unfortunately some former drug addicts have relapsed, and many people have become addicted for the first time. 

There is also an ongoing opioid epidemic in many parts of the country. Unfortunately, this means that there are simply too many patients for addiction services in many locations to keep up with the demand. 

While this is a sad state of affairs, it’s considered good from a career perspective. If you work with addicts, you know that you know continued employment prospects are great.  In addition, as a drug addiction counselor, you’ll have the ability to find work quickly if you have the right education and experience the treatment center is seeking. 

Since the field is in demand, you might be able to negotiate a higher salary or better benefits. You’ll also be less concerned about the field’s demand changing in the near future.  

5. It Can Improve Your Life

One of the best things about being a drug and alcohol addiction counselor is that you can seriously improve your own life and the lives of others. When you’re a counselor who gives people advice for a living, it makes you think critically about your own life and decisions. Giving and helping others can help improve your own outlook on life, and you might find you are more grateful for the opportunities you have to help others and share how you have turned your own struggles into successes.

This means that you may have even enhanced emotional intelligence, and you’ll be much more adept at tackling the challenging issues you might face in life. 

For example, you might be able to communicate with others much better because you will have a better understanding of how to work through the stresses of life and fully engage in the communication at hand. This learned skill can be helpful in your own personal relationships too. 

Consider Becoming a Drug and Alcohol Counselor

As you can see, there are many compelling reasons why you might consider becoming a drug and alcohol counselor. Not only is the job gratifying, but it also pays quite well as well. You should have no problem starting up a career if you get into this field. 

If you’re interested in getting an education and starting a career in this field, check out our substance use disorder degree program. With this degree, you could quickly kickstart an addiction counselor career.

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