What Is Addiction Counseling?

Meeting with an Addiction Counselor -  Pathways Real Life RecoveryAddiction counseling is a challenging but rewarding career. The majority of addiction counselors retain an innate desire to help addicted persons get to the cause of their addiction and overcome it. The best addiction counselors possess a talent for creative problem solving, understand how to ask the right revealing questions, and are able to communicate on a very personal and meaningful level with their clients.

Addiction Counselors are Emotionally Strong

Addiction counselors hear and deal with the addiction issues of others, so it is important that they are emotionally sound and maintain emotional stability. When an addiction counselor maintains their emotional professionalism, they are better able to effectively work with their patients. With all the emotional turmoil experienced by addicts, it is the addiction counselor’s emotional stability that can become the calm in the storm for many addicts. An addiction counselor must be prepared emotionally to cope with patients with all different types of experiences, backgrounds, and issues.

What Does an Addiction Counselor Do?

When an addict enters into a recovery treatment therapy program, they can expect the following services from their addiction counselor.

  • An initial patient screening and evaluation to determine the patient’s needs.
  • An appropriate medical professional intake services to establish patient contact.
  • An orientation session with the addiction counselor to define the counseling regulations and rules.
  • An evaluation to help personalize and focus the type of therapy treatment.
  • A comprehensive treatment plan and schedule to define the patient’s needed outcomes and measurable goals.

Expected Daily Activities of an Addiction Counselor

  • Gather and review a client’s history and background.
  • Create addiction coping strategies.
  • Recognize and deal with a patient’s deeper root issues.
  • Consult with others involved in the patient’s treatment, including social workers, correctional facility employees and counselors, and family members to decide on the necessary course of treatment.

Addiction counselors understand that the reasons and causes of addiction are typically both physical as well as psychological. It is an addiction counselor’s responsibility to identify and cope with their patients’ addictions. Addiction counselors do not seek to belittle, put down, or otherwise make their patients feel small or ashamed. Once the root cause of a patient’s addiction is identified, a counselor will then use a patient’s strengths and weaknesses to educate, assist, and support the patient through the recovery process.

Responsibilities of an Addiction Counselor

  • Evaluating a client’s degree of addiction, problem areas, and character strengths.
  • Developing a treatment program, according to a client’s history and needs.
  • Referring patients to other doctors and agencies, as necessary.
  • Tracking and recording client progress.
  • Refining their skillset to keep up-to-date with the latest addiction counseling procedures and techniques.

Where You Can Find Addiction Counselors

Need a sign of hope?  - Pathways Real Life RecoveryAddiction counselors typically work with non-profit organizations, social therapy agencies, private companies, and government agencies to initiate interventions and treatments, prevent addictions, and promote healing and health. It is common that addiction counselors also offer assistance with women’s and family shelters, community centers, correctional facilities, and more.

Addiction counseling is the treatment of patients, who are addicted to substances. The goal of an addiction counselor is to implement a proper and personalized treatment program to help their patients overcome the shackles of addiction.

Michelle Amerman
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