Addictions Counselor

An Addictions Counselor is a mental health professional who specializes in treating people who are addicted to substances such as drugs alcohol and prescription medications as well as behavioral addictions such as gambling shopping and eating disorders. An addictions counselor also known as a substance abuse counselor helps patients identify addictive behaviors in order to overcome chemical and behavioral dependencies.

An addictions counselors job duties include evaluating and assessing patients mental health status counseling addicts during one-on-one family and group settings and collaborating with a variety of mental health professionals while implementing treatment plans. The most successful candidates for this type of career have a passion for helping people and posses excellent communication skills such as listening self-expression and asking guiding questions. Successful addictions counselors often form a connection to their patients by understanding their decision-making processes triggers and daily struggles.

Successful counselors also teach their patients how to solve problems that are associated with their addictions. Addictions counselors may work one-on-one with patients in private a practice or in a group setting like a rehabilitation center hospital or government agency. To become an addictions counselor a relevant Bachelors or Masters Degree in a Human Services Field must be completed plus specific advanced certification and professional state licensing must be obtained.  Search for a degree here.

Employment opportunities for addictions Counselors are booming according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) which estimates that job opportunities will increase 34 percent over the next six years making substance abuse the fastest-growing sector of counseling. The median annual wages of an addictions counselor are about $37000 and top counseling professionals can earn close to $60000 a year.

Education Required: Master's Degree
Avg Salary: $41850
High Salary: $59460
Low Salary: $24240
Tasks: Counsels people with chemical and behavioral addictions.
Creates and implements treatment plans.
Listens, asks questions, determines the best treatment plans for patients.
Makes recommendations treatments for patients.
Also Called: Counselor
Therapist
Substance Abuse Counselor
Mental Health Specialist
Additional Resources: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-an-addiction-counselor-do.htm
http://www.ehow.com/how_2071909_become-addiction-counselor.html
http://www.allpsychologyschools.com/psychology-careers/counseling/substance-abuse-counseling