Is A Substance Abuse Counselor Right For Me?
Please note that “substance abuse” and “substance dependence” are now referred to as “substance use disorder” per the DSM-5.
If you find yourself having trouble controlling your use of certain substances, then you may have a substance use disorder. This can be a serious disorder that may affect your life in negative ways. That's why it can be important for you to get the professional help you deserve in a timely manner from a substance abuse counselor. Without help, a substance use disorder can affect your relationships, your work, and your ability to achieve personal goals. Therapy or substance abuse counseling for substance use disorders can be completed in person or online with mental health counselors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a licensed counselor needs a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree or higher, clinical experience, and continuing education to stay certified. These mental health professionals will develop treatment plans designed to fit your needs. Counseling services and mental health centers may have many addiction counselors available for treatment planning. Addiction counselors work in a variety of environments including in private practice, schools, and correctional facilities, and have a special focus on addiction treatment plans and recovery.
What Is Substance Use Disorder?
Substance use disorder is a mental health disorder and can be characterized by a dependence on any addictive substance, such as illegal drugs, prescription drugs, or alcohol. Disordered substance use generally means that you are using a substance in a way that it shouldn't be used.
Do I Have Substance Use Disorder?
It can be difficult to admit that you have substance use disorder. In general, no one wants to think of themselves as having an addiction, mainly because of the bleak picture that mainstream media often depicts of people who live with addictions. In this light, it may seem as if people with substance use disorders are doomed and have nothing ahead of them in life. Of course, this isn’t at all the case. If you have substance use disorder, you can overcome the condition.
Substance use disorder doesn’t only impact adults. For teens it may seem like experimentation is normal, however, teens may also develop a substance use disorder. This can make it challenging to find friends, develop healthy habits, or earn a high school diploma.
Types Of Substance Abuse Counseling
One type of counseling for substance use disorder may be individual counseling with a certified alcohol or drug counselor. With this type of counseling, you and your therapist are usually the only people present. This can allow you to be the focus of attention and interact with the therapist the way you see fit.
Group therapy may be another option when it comes to getting treatment for substance use disorder. Also used with other disorders such as eating disorders or obsessive compulsive disorder, in group therapy you’ll generally be in a setting with other people who are also experiencing problems with substance use that you are. Group sessions may allow you to get and give support because each person in the group typically understands what the others are going through and how the recovery process feels.
The Process Of Quitting
Quitting any kind of addictive substance can be difficult. It can also be a dangerous process if you're not careful. The most important thing that you should do may be to speak with your doctor about your plan to quit before you implement it. A medical professional may prescribe you medications that can help with the detoxification process.
Stopping anything that you may be addicted to without supervision or a gradual weaning process (which is usually impossible to do properly in a home setting) can be dangerous because it may cause a shock to your system. With medical intervention, you will likely get through the detox process much easier and more safely.
Seeking therapy can be an important step to take along the way as well. You generally want to make sure that you have someone to talk to about what you're experiencing and how it's affecting you. Whether you decide to go with individual therapy or group therapy, there can be many benefits of having someone to talk to. Talking with your family and friends can help as well, but often, they may not understand what you're going through and may not be able to provide you with adequate help. Though they may mean well and want to be there for you, they might lack the professional distance and know-how to assist you with the recovery process.
Some medications can help you with the process of quitting as well. These medications usually make the detox process much easier. They can also help you better resist the temptation to relapse and use again. These prescription medications normally can't be used forever, though, and you may eventually need to live without them. Also, it can be important to be careful if you are already addicted to medication because the potential for addiction to the new medication may exist. Your doctor may not want to test your strength by prescribing anything new.
When the process is over, you'll generally have stopped using the substance entirely. The important thing is usually to make sure you stay on that path. If you've gone through the process of detoxification and quitting, it can be vital that you do not return to drinking or consuming any kind of drugs. Recreational use of any of these should generally be avoided. This can be difficult for someone who started out using alcohol or drugs as a social aid, as it may mean finding new ways to interact with friends and peers. Still, making sure you stay away from the things you were once addicted to may be important for your overall health.
Why You Should Quit
When it comes to substance use, quitting can seem like quite a challenge. You may ask yourself why you would even want to quit in the first place. The truth is that there may be plenty of valid reasons to quit using a particular substance. First, there may be many ways that substance use has affected your relationships with friends and family, and it might have changed the way that you perform at your job as well. Substance use generally affects just about every area of life, including your physical health.
Misusing drugs can increase your risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, psychosis, and even death. In some cases, these negative effects can occur after just a single use. As you continue to use, you often increase your risk for conditions like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, mental illness, hepatitis, and more. Using needles may increase your risk for diseases like HIV and AIDS. No matter what type of substances you use, though, you can suffer extreme consequences and could even die as a result. That may be a good reason for you to avoid using substances at all.
Getting Online Treatment
If you're looking for a way to get the substance use disorder counseling that you deserve, one place for you to look may be online. Online therapy can give you a better chance for success in some respects because it may keep you more comfortable than you would be in a typical therapist's office. If you’re like many people, you may not want to sit on an uncomfortable couch and talk about your feelings, for instance. You may also be experiencing feelings of shame and embarrassment regarding your substance use. With online therapy, you can simply log on and conduct the session in a place where you feel more comfortable, both physically and emotionally.
With online therapy, you may not be compromising the quality of your care, either. Researchers have found that digital therapies can be effective in treating substance use disorder, particularly disordered alcohol use. With any therapy, your relationship with your therapist or counselor is critical, online therapy give you a wide range of substance abuse counselors to look through and try before deciding on one.
"Is it time to find a substance abuse counselor near me?" If you find that you’ve become reliant on certain substances or experience difficulty controlling your use of a substance, you may be living with a substance use disorder. It can be crucial to seek professional help in order to take control and overcome addiction before it harms various aspects of your life. It can be possible to obtain the help you deserve in person or online.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does drug abuse counselor do?
A drug abuse counselor is typically a licensed counselor who offers treatment and counseling services related to substance use disorders. Regardless of their approach, they generally work with patients to help them overcome addiction.
What qualifications do you need to be an addiction worker?
To be an addiction worker, you should generally be able to offer mental health counseling services. Addiction counselors often specialize in a particular substance or a particular addiction (e.g., binge eating disorders, alcohol abuse, opioid abuse, behavioral disorders, etc.). Mental health professionals may make good addiction workers depending on their background and training. Depending on the mental health center you wish to work at, you may need various degrees and certifications.
What skills do you need to be an addictions counselor?
Addiction counselors should usually be able to assist clients through active listening, talk therapy, outpatient mental health assessments, and more. They should normally be able to develop treatment plans, facilitate support groups, speak with families affected, offer family services, and more.
How does a substance abuse counselor train?
A substance abuse counselor will often have some form of continuing education in terms of a certification, clinical experience, work in detox centers, support groups, or a private practice. A master’s degree may be recommended or required depending on the state and facility.
What are the pros and cons of being a substance abuse counselor?
There may be many pros and cons of being a substance abuse counselor. One of the most notable advantages of being a substance use disorder counselor may be helping others overcome addiction. However, it may be challenging to separate work and home life, and it can be difficult to work with those who are at a challenging point in life.
What is the best therapy for substance abuse?
There isn’t necessarily one best therapy for substance use disorders. What may be most important is that a clinical counselor works to coordinate patient care in a safe and effective way.
What are behavioral disorder counselors?
Behavioral disorder counselors often work on a specific behavioral disorder, such as ADHD or OCD.
What are mental health counselors?
Mental health counselors are generally people who are educated and trained in improving mental health. They usually listen and give advice to clients.
What are the pros and cons of mental health counselors?
Pros of mental health counselors include working with other mental health counselors and making an impact in an important area. Mental health counselors can change lives by making a positive impact on people’s mental health.
Cons of mental health counselors can include the burden of taking on other people’s problems. Other cons for some mental health counselors can include sacrificing one’s own mental health and wellness.
What can people do after overcoming addiction?
Many people can become successful after overcoming addiction. Please remember that there are no upward limits on your success following your experience with addiction.
How long does it take to get a CADC?
The CADC certification, which stands for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, can take as little as six months. This is usually a self-paced program, which means you can extend the program so that you’re not taking as many classes all at once. In some states, all you need prior to the program is a high school diploma.
What are the 8 practice dimensions of addiction counseling?
There are generally eight practice domains of substance abuse counselors to help people work through their drug addiction. These can include the following:
Client, family, and community education
Professional and ethical responsibilities
How long does it take to become a LCDC?
To become an LCDC, a licensed chemical dependency counselor, you must usually obtain at least a two-year associate degree in behavioral science or nursing. However, a bachelor’s degree in any field will normally qualify you for the program. The number of supervised work experience hours can vary by state.
Can a felon be a drug counselor?
Many people who have had felonies in the past find themselves inspired to help others improve their lives and offer recovery support. Some states may allow felons to become counselors, while others may not.
How do I get a CADC?
A CADC is generally an entry-level certification, which means that you don’t usually need a master’s degree to begin the certification. Before beginning your CADC certification, you must usually start with a nine-hour orientation called the RADT to learn about the topic of ethics. As for the CADC, there can be different levels depending on your education. Some states may allow you to get a CADC I with just a high school diploma, while others may require an associate degree. All levels of the CADC typically require 315 hours of education. Beyond the education hours, you must usually complete a certain number of work experience hours, which can differ by state.
What can a CADC do?
A CADC usually helps with recovery support and case management of those required to seek drug use and alcohol counseling by law. A CADC can hold individual substance abuse counseling sessions or group sessions. Their job is generally to help their clients see the underlying condition and improve their behavioral and mental health.
How do I get CCAPP certified?
To become CCAPP (California Consortium of Addiction Programs Professionals) certified, you must typically complete an internship to obtain work experience before you can apply. Before choosing CCAPP to begin your counseling career, you typically must attend a school that is approved by the CCAPP.
What does CADC III stand for?
CADC III stands for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor III.
How difficult is it for a felon to get a job?
If you have been convicted of a felony, finding a job can be challenging. Certain jobs may be easier for felons to get into than others, or there may be certain programs in place to help felons find a path to a career.
Can felons become social workers?
Felons may become social workers, depending on the state.
What is a CDCA certification?
A CDCA certification stands for Certified Dependency Counseling Assistant. This is generally an entry-level certification that often requires a minimum of 40 hours of chemical dependency training.
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