Overview of Growing a Career as a Substance Abuse Counselor

An addiction therapist is a mental health practitioner who focuses on a patient’s past to find the root cause of their addiction in order to understand why their addiction has occurred and how to overcome this addiction. The practice has been used to help patients work through their addictions to:

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Shopping
  • Food

There are a number of different forms of addiction therapy, which often depend on the type of addiction and the severity of this addiction. For those patients with drug or alcohol problems, for example, addiction therapy may take place in the form of a rehabilitation center to minimize outside distractions to the recovery of a patient.

A substance abuse counselor is a specific niche within addiction therapy that focuses on patients trying to deal with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, and other chemicals. This requires specific training to deal with the physical safety of patients, as there are serious withdrawal symptoms that can lead to death. Often times, practitioners need to understand what other medication can be used to transition the patient through the treatment to avoid serious threat to life.

How Much Does an Addiction Therapist Earn?

The pay scale for an addiction therapist will vary depending on the qualifications of the professional, the location, hours worked, type of business and state regulations. On average, addiction therapists tend to earn approximately $58,000 per year. Substance abuse counselors can make in the range of $46,000-73,000, according to Salary.com.

Requirements for a Substance Abuse Counselor

For those interested in a new career path, research is the most important step to undertake before you can begin. One of the essential things to consider is the legal requirements for becoming an addiction therapist. This includes conducting thorough research into important aspects such as licensing, certification and education to ensure you are covered and providing the best service to your patients as possible. The licensing process is going to change depending on your own personal circumstances, so make sure you are specific in your research inquiries. This can be an overwhelming process, and it may determine the path that you choose to take, whether it be working within an established business, or starting your own business. It is always best to ensure that you have an adequate support system in place to help you understand the requirements of your newly desired profession moving forward. Online associations and communities are a good place to start.

Growing Your Career as an Addiction Therapist

The requirements for becoming a fully licensed addiction therapist is typically an undergraduate degree in psychology or another related field. Whilst this degree allows addiction therapists to begin practicing, many therapists will continue their education, giving them a higher skill-based, and the ability to stand out as a professional in their field. Networking communities and associations are an important method in which to grow as an addiction therapist. Industry-specific communities such as these offer insight into trade secrets, as well as provide opportunities to grow one’s business opportunities. These types of groups exist to allow industry-specific professionals to build one another up in a competitive world, creating a sense of community that come together to support one another in your day to day work and share in celebrating each other’s successes as industry professionals in the field of therapy.

Search through the resources below to begin your journey into your dream job!