An addiction counselor is required to work with people dependent on substances or even behaviors. who have alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction, and other behavioral addictions such as gambling and eating disorders. They must be aware of the different counseling approaches and have extensive knowledge about the different established models of addiction and the solution-focused techniques to support clients in making positive and sustainable change.
Thus, the functions of an addiction counselor are very wide, and to gain expertise in them, professional training is required.
Here’s our explanation of the core functions of addiction counseling to provide you with a useful insight into why addiction counselors need professional training!
Core Functions of Addiction Counseling
Given that addictions are one of the main problems facing society today, people specializing in the subject must know how to identify and support people fighting against their addiction. For this reason, they are required to pursue certified addiction counselor courses.
As an addiction counselor, you must participate in the detection, intervention and awareness of addicted patients. You must have the necessary skills to identify the main risk factors for relapse and the protective factors to implement to achieve the goal. Below are some of the functions of addiction counseling and the necessary skills required for it:
A Mental Health Professional
An addiction counselor is a mental health professional specializing in helping patients with addictions. These counselors can work in private practice, addiction clinics, group practices, and hospital settings, assisting patients with various issues. To become an addiction counselor, a person must complete a training program that includes familiarizing chemical addiction, psychology, legal problems, and the multiple treatments available to people struggling with substance and behavioral addictions.
A Behavioral Addiction Counselor
Many people think of addiction to substances like heroin when they hear the word addiction, but addiction counselors also work with people addicted to gambling, shopping, and other activities. They also deal with patients addicted to a wide variety of substances, not necessarily just illegal drugs. For example, they may help an individual quit smoking or drinking or someone addicted to medicines, including legally acquired prescription pharmaceuticals.
Some addiction counselors choose to specialize in a particular area of interest, while others cover a range of addictions. In all cases, addiction counselors meet with patients in private and group settings to provide therapy, discuss ongoing issues, and develop treatment plans.
Work with Families
Addiction counselors may also work with family members and facilitate family communication and run addiction programs that can range from residential treatment facilities to community meetings held to help people cope with addiction.
Provide Counseling Tailored to Patient’s Needs
Each addiction counselor has a unique approach to treatment, which is usually tailored to their patient’s needs. Many counselors believe that addictions cannot be cured, only managed, and treatment focuses on accepting this and providing patients with tools to deal with addiction.
Provide Referrals if Needed
Addiction counseling can also provide referrals to other health care providers who can help someone with addictions deal with health issues, and become a part of the patient’s care team.
Must Have Empathy and High Level of Commitment
This kind of work requires empathy, patience and a high commitment to confidentiality. Addiction counselors must build trusting relationships with their clients and adhere to very high ethical standards. Many belong to professional organizations that offer certification for addiction counselors and continuing education opportunities that keep people informed of developments in the field and topics of interest.
The addiction counselor training focuses on developing competencies, skills and attitudes. It is designed to contribute from the first moments of care to residential or outpatient treatments. The courses are considered within the theoretical and methodological principles on which comprehensive care for addictions is based.
The training of therapeutic counselors in addictions through a technical certification system contributes to the implementation of Addiction care models under a bio-psycho-social approach.
Addiction Counselor Training, Colorado!
If you’re looking for the best training for addiction counseling in Colorado, contact Colorado Counselor training. They offer Certified Addiction Counselor courses to help individuals acquire skills essential in carrying out the core functions of addiction counseling. The courses offered at Colorado Counselor Training meet the educational requirements as per the State of Colorado regulations and are given by professionals and experts in addiction. Call 970.410.2931 or visit their website for more information!