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Is Becoming an Addiction Counselor Your Calling?

by Tim Brunicardi on November 8, 2017

Addiction counselors work with people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders and many other behavior-related problems.

As an addiction counselor, your primary role will be to provide treatment and support to individuals struggling to overcome their addictions.

Becoming an addiction counselor is an extremely rewarding career and offers a variety of job options.

These professionals can work in many settings, like a mental health facility or community center, to operating a private practice.

What are an addiction counselor’s responsibilities?

become an addiction counselorSome of the many responsibilities an addiction counselor should be prepared to undertake include the following:
  • Developing personalized recovery plans for clients
  • Conducting individual, family and group counseling sessions
  • Administering periodic drug tests on clients
  • Tracking/charting patient’s progress
  • Occasionally needing to be available to their clients on a 24/7 basis

What personality traits should an addiction counselor have?

Because addiction counselors work with people who are often in both physical and emotional distress, it takes a very unique kind of person to be able to step into this very demanding and multifaceted role.
Anyone planning to become an addiction counselor should possess the following personality traits:
  • Addiction counselors need to be compassionate, open minded, and patient
  • Addiction counselors need to be able to completely separate their professional life from their private life
  • Be approachable in order to establish a sense of trust with their clients.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Able to effectively communicate with different kinds of people from sometimes varying backgrounds and cultures
  • Addiction counselors need to be able to remain calm at all times, especially in emotional situations like when they're working with clients who are severely depressed or angry
  • Stay focused and give their clients their full attention in order for them to properly assess their needs
  • Practice acceptance, especially when they’re dealing with someone in denial and who is unwilling to admit they have an addiction problem

What sort of academic requirements do I need to meet to become an addiction counselor?

There are several different levels of certification/license that anyone planning to become an addiction counselor in Ohio needs to be aware of.
  • Level One: Employment as a Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA) requires a high school diploma or GED. This level does not require a license, but does demand that candidates take specific classes in addiction counseling.
  • Level Two: Employment as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) II requires a license. This level also requires applicants have an associate degree in a qualifying field like nursing or behavioral science, or a bachelor’s degree in any relevant field.
  • Level Three: Employment as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) III requires a license. This level requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or behavioral science.
  • Level Four: Employment as a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) requires a license and a master’s degree in the fields of nursing or behavioral science.

Why Should You Choose Hocking College's Addiction Counseling Program?

Students who choose to pursue their Associate of Technical Study in Addiction Counseling degree at Hocking College will have the following advantages:
  • Hocking College’s two-year addiction counseling program will prepare students for licensure as a chemical dependency counselor.
  • Hocking College’s program is the only one of its kind in the U.S. that prepares students for the Alcohol and Drug Counselor Licensure Exam.
  • The program is designed to give students the practical experience they need to potentially work at a residential treatment center or outpatient program.
  • Graduates who may decide to further their education in the future will have the foundation they need to excel at a four-year school.
  • Students who successfully obtain their Associate of Technical Study in Addiction Counseling degree will be capable of securing employment immediately after graduation.
Fortunately for anyone planning to take this career path, Hocking College has the only addiction counseling program in the U.S. that offers an associate degree that prepares students to take the steps needed for them to find their ideal career.
become an addiction counselor in ohio