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What is Certified Addiction Counselor Training?

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Addiction Counselor

What are Addiction Counselors?

Certified addiction counselors try to help people who are addicted to substances such as alcohol or drugs, who gamble compulsively, and those struggling with eating disorders. Addiction counseling or substance abuse counseling helps clients identify the behavior problems and patterns associated with their addiction. As a certified addiction counselor you may work with individuals, families or groups of people who are somehow connected to the same problem.

Study and Learning

Almost every state requires that a person who is giving addiction counseling outside of the school system be certified or licensed. If you want to work in a school as a substance abuse counselor then you are required to be licensed. Since many states require that you have a master's degree in order to be certified, formal education is essential for keeping your employment options open.

While certification for addiction counseling is mandatory in most situations, the specific requirement for licensing varies between states, cities and even employers. Most have set a bachelor's degree as the minimum expectation but many expect those giving addiction and substance abuse counseling to have achieved a master's degree. If you are thinking about becoming a certified addiction counselor in a school you may be asked to obtain a teaching certificate in addition to your counseling license.

Employment Potential

The trend has been for there to be more job openings than certified addiction counselors to fill them. This pattern should continue as additional openings are created through retirement and career changes. Where government funding is available more schools are choosing to hire certified addictions counselors as the benefits of early substance abuse counseling are recognized. If you are considering a career in addictions counseling then you should plan on achieving a master's degree from an accredited university.

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