Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) are individuals who evaluate employees who have violated the regulations of the Department of Transportation's (DOT) drug and alcohol program and make recommendations on education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare. Substance abuse counselors provide a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems, eating disorders, and other behavioral issues. They help individuals modify their behavior in order to achieve full recovery. As relapse is a common occurrence, many substance abuse counselors work with clients on an ongoing basis. An addiction counselor works with their patients to assess their situation and set goals to create a personalized treatment plan.
It is important for the counselor to be a good listener and have a compassionate attitude. The initial counseling sessions are designed to build trust between the counselor and patient, which is essential for a successful outcome. Additionally, 26% of Drug Abuse Counselors teach how to best prevent relapse. They do this by creating a strategy to help the person manage their problems in the most effective way. Teaching them about the signs and symptoms of their addictive behavior can often stop an addict from experiencing a full relapse.
Ultimately, the goal is to find a course of treatment that will allow an individual to break away from their destructive pattern and move forward with their life. If you specialize as a drug counselor, you will have similar tasks but will only work with clients who suffer from drug abuse problems.