What Does Drug Counseling Involve?

Drug counseling is a specialized form of therapy that helps individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. As a drug counselor, your job is to identify the patient's substance use and co-occurring mental health issues, and develop a tailored treatment plan. You will collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other therapists, to ensure that the patient's needs are met. Drug counselors typically meet with their clients one-on-one or in groups to provide education and develop treatment plans to help them better cope with their addictive personalities. Periodically, counselors will assess the patient's progress to determine how much progress has been made towards recovery.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common technique used to help patients recognize the moods, thoughts, and situations that can trigger drug cravings. A therapist will teach the patient how to avoid these triggers and replace negative thoughts and feelings with healthy ones that will help them stay clean. In addition to providing support and rehabilitation through counseling, drug counselors also seek to help an addict find the source of their addiction. Drug addiction counseling teaches people beneficial coping strategies by helping them understand the triggers that cause them to use drugs. They will learn to resist these triggers when they occur, which will vary from patient to patient. Drug counselors working in the government industry earn 18.7% more than those in the professional industry.

Group therapy is generally preferred over individual therapy for the treatment of drug abuse as it can help repair any broken relationships caused by addiction. Counseling helps you escape cravings and learn to manage what life has in store for you without drugs or alcohol. The following are five benefits of undergoing drug addiction counseling:

  • It helps you identify the source of your addiction
  • It teaches you beneficial coping strategies
  • It helps you resist triggers
  • It helps repair broken relationships
  • It helps you manage life without drugs or alcohol
If you work specifically as a drug counselor, you will have the same types of tasks, but you will work strictly with clients who suffer from drug abuse problems rather than eating disorders or gambling addictions. The International Certification Reciprocity Consortium & (IC&RC) exam for alcohol and drug counselors is a 150-question computer-based multiple-choice exam derived from the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) tasks identified in the ADC IR&RC Candidate Guide. Alcohol and drug counselors who went to college for a deeper education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of alcohol and drug counselors studied criminal justice and human services.

Wade Pfalmer
Wade Pfalmer

Hardcore organizer. Freelance zombie buff. Passionate social media junkie. Hardcore web specialist. Typical coffee fanatic. Lifelong tv fanatic.

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