The Substance Abuse Counselor Training and Career Center


Welcome! You have arrived at the Substance Abuse Counselor Headquarters! Here you will find all the information you need for a career as a substance abuse counselor, including training, education requirements, qualifications needed for licensure and certification, and more! The Substance Abuse Counselor Headquarters will help you obtain the knowledge and skills needed to get where you want to be… fast!

How To Become a Substance Abuse Counselor

If you think you have what it takes to become a substance abuse counselor, read on to find out if you meet the qualifications.  Remember, being a substance abuse counselor is a demanding, albeit rewarding, career path that takes a large personal investment.  If you think it is something you’re interested in, you’ll want to find out what you need to do to achieve your goal.

So, you want to know how to become a substance abuse counselor? First, have you checked your personal goals?  Assess why it is you want to become a substance abuse counselor.  Do you want to help people? Make money?  Finding out why you want to become a substance abuse counselor will help to guide you in the direction you need to go.

How To Become a Substance Abuse Counselor: Build These Traits

In Jacquelyn Small’s book Becoming Naturally Therapeutic  you can find details on what traits a naturally therapeutic person should have.  If you have made the decision to become a substance abuse counselor, it may be helpful to take a personal inventory and see if you exhibit these traits:

  • Empathy
  • Genuineness
  • Respect
  • Self-disclosure
  • Warmth
  • Immediacy
  • Concreteness
  • Confrontation
  • Potency
  • Self-actualization

When you make the decision to become a substance abuse counselor, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • What are my motivations?
  • Just what is my role in all of this?

Assessing your reasons for wanting to become a substance abuse counselor will help you get a clearer idea of where you want to be.  While one person may choose to become a substance abuse counselor because he or she wants to help addicts overcome a dependency problem, another person may want to become a substance abuse counselor to have a sense of camaraderie or a feeling of obligation to help others with the same problems they’ve had.

How To Become a Substance Abuse Counselor: Education and Experience

how to become a substance abuse counselorAfter you’ve assessed your personal goals, you’ll need to look into your educational goals.  Do you want to further your degree? Just get a job with the minimal amount of education?  This will help you determine whether you will want to become a certified substance abuse counselor or a licensed substance abuse counselor.  It takes less education to become a substance abuse counselor than it does to become a licensed professional counselor or a licensed clinical social worker.

When you’re trying to become substance abuse counselor you will need both education and experience.  If you don’t already have experience working in the field of mental health, it would be advisable to begin searching for an entry-level position before you attempt to become a substance abuse counselor.  Often, employers will not hire someone as a substance abuse counselor unless they have a minimum of one year of experience working in mental health.

The steps you will need to take to become a substance abuse counselor will vary slightly by state, but most states have the same general requirements to become a substance abuse counselor.

If you think you have what it takes to become a substance abuse counselor, you now need to decide if you want to become a certified substance abuse counselor or a licensed substance abuse counselor.

Click on the links below to find out more about how to become a substance abuse counselor.

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