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!

Substance Abuse Programs

There are various types of substance abuse programs available around the world.  Each state in the U.S. has many possibilities for substance users and substance abuse counselors to look at to consider for treatment and work.  Let us take a look at varying types and what is involved in each kind.  Knowing what is out there is a must for a substance abuse counselor, as you must be able to refer patients to the appropriate treatment type and treatment level.

Substance Abuse Programs – The Types

There are many variations of treatment in substance abuse programs.  They are listed in increasing levels of intensity as follows:

    • Prevention
    • Recovery Groups
    • Outpatient
    • Inpatient/Residential
    • Outdoor/Wilderness

 Let us discuss these in increasing levels of treatment intensity.  The first type is the substance abuse prevention program.  This is especially targeted towards children in terms of young teenagers in the elementary and high school age groups.  The goal of prevention is to educate children, not only on what substances are and their effects, but what social groups to avoid, and how to say no with confidence to someone who offers you an illicit substance.  Knowing why you want to say no and believing it is so important for youngsters.  Educating the children prevents them from becoming substance abusers as older teenagers and adults.  It is like taking a flu shot.  D.A.R.E. is a great example of a substance abuse program based on prevention.

substance abuse programs

The next most intensive level of substance abuse programs are the recovery groups such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous.  These are groups of like-experienced people who gather together regularly to support one another’s recovery.  They discuss how they arrived at the point they find themselves in, they discuss how it has destroyed the life they previously built, and they support each other and guard one another from relapse.  This constant support is key.  Recovery is not something you do.  It is something you live.  It is a culture that you now must be a part of to safeguard from relapse.

Substance abuse programs include many types.  The next most intensive is the outpatient program.  These include attending recovery groups but also feature group therapy and individual therapy.  The patient will attend these group therapy sessions which is a more formal group which is led by a therapist and/or substance abuse counselor and guided professionally towards supporting recovery and gaining insight into personal problems that may have driven the patient towards substance abuse.  They have the same, more confidential discussions with their therapist or substance abuse counselor individually in private sessions.  These dig deeper into the personal history of the person.  The people who join an outpatient program are subject to regularly scheduled drug tests to ensure the person has not continued use.  Detoxification is very important to begin seeing and thinking clearly in order to support recovery.  Outpatient sbustance abuse programs allow the individual to continue living at home and going to work.

Inpatient and residential therapies are substance abuse programs that include all of the aspects of the outpatient, recovery, and prevention programs.  The main difference is the person now lives on site at the treatment center.  They do not leave.  They are now isolated and removed from the negative social situations and environments which supported their substance abuse.  They are monitored every moment and drug tested regularly and if they leave on a therapeutic assignment, such as going to a recovery group or seeing their family, they are searched and tested upon return. 

The absolute most intensive substance abuse program is the outdoor and wilderness programs.  They include all aspects of the residential treatment centers, but they are in the wilderness.  I currently work at one of these facilities as has my partner who helps operate this site.  It is stressful even on us as substance abuse counselors, and much more on the patients.  They will be stressed.  There is no electricity.  There is no air-conditioning.  If it is cold, the patients will cross-saw and chop their own firewood.  There are vocational therapies and projects included.  There are activity therapies such as the ropes course and more.  Complete isolation occurs here and all of the distractions are removed.  This is not to make things harder, but to make life simpler for the patient so they can concentrate on their recovery work.  It is so relieving to return to nature, to our original nature, away from the modern stresses.  It allows us to look into our core and take a personal inventory and rebuild our cognitive frameworks and foundations.  It is important to mention that these inpatient, residential, and wilderness programs that are intended for young people have schools as well so regular education may continue.

Substance Abuse Programs – Amazing Opportunities

Substance abuse programs are amazing opportunities for an individual to find his or her path to recovery.  It is a great chance for a substance abuse counselor to find experience and work in order to give back to the society that has supported them.  Substance abuse programs quite literally save lives every single day.  They change lives.  There is no other way of saying it.  The gift of recovery is the gift of life and the gift of a high quality of life.  Please help friends and loved ones take advantage of these.  Substance abuse counselors work in the field at these centers of operation mainly.  Become familiar with them.  They are their own universes.  Each one is a special place that take in sick people in need of help and return them to society as healthy friends.  If you need to find one, search the internet.  There are lists of all the available ones in your state or any state.

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