Drug Counselor Job Description

by Publishing Team on March 23, 2011

In the society that one lives, people need guidance to live a good life. But with the fast paced life today, there are people that are left behind. These people tend to take comfort in drugs to give them even a short time to forget their circumstances. So society takes care of them by the hand of a drug counselor.

What is a Drug Counselor?

A Drug Counselor or Substance Abuse Counselor is someone who counsels a person who is addicted to substance drugs. He also counsels the family, friends and relatives of the drug addicts who are greatly affected by such predicament.

Duties of a Drug Counselor

  • Drug Counseling is needed to overcome substance abuse addiction of a person. A drug counselor’s job is not just focused on the addict himself but of the community surrounding him thus making his responsibility a huge one. Though it may seem taxing to be a drug counselor it is a humbling occupation that one can experience especially in making the addict and the community be free of such problem in their shoulders.
  • A drug counselor’s main job is to counsel individuals and groups who are drug addicts. In one-on-one sessions, he enlightens the patient on what are the factors why he became such an addict and what are the triggering points why he abuses drugs. He then makes the patient understand why such triggering points make him get into drugs and assists the patient into what ways to conquer the temptations of drug abuse. While in group therapies, a drug counselor oversees and persuades the group members in sharing their experiences of being a drug addict.
  • Drug Counselors are also tasked to conduct family therapy for the family of the patient involved. The counselors’ tasks include helping the family cope up with having a member of the family as an addict, teaching the family how to understand such addiction and why is happened to their member, instructing the family how to support the patient especially during the recovery stage so that he can lead back to a normal life.
  • When a patient has recovered his drug addiction it is essential that his way of life returns to normal but it is hard to gain the trust of a company when one applies with an experience of drug addiction. With this, the drug counselor is obligated to help the recovered patient in finding his way back to being able to be part of society again by assisting him to get a job. Patients need to have somebody to direct them to their right path so as not to be tempted to go back to being an addict again as being frustrated to find work by themselves.
  • Community service is also part of the duties of a drug counselor. It is vital that the drug counselor is able to inform the community be it in the schools, universities and other same places the problems be it psychological or physical that leads to substance abuse. Letting the community know of these facts and the importance of avoiding drug abuse is a mission of a drug counselor.

Work Conditions of a Drug Counselor

  • Drug counselors usually work under the supervision of a doctor or a psychologist. They can be assigned in halfway houses, outpatient clinics, hospitals, treatment centers, human service agencies and other institutions needing the services of a drug counselor. Most counselors work 40 hours a week.
  • This profession requires the counselor to be a strong person in most aspects of his humanity. Dealing with addicts of erratic behaviors asks that a drug counselor knows how to handle such patients when the situation calls for it. Oftentimes the drug counselors work closely with a lot of people. They should have the heart for serving others as conditions sometimes become frustrating.

Educational Requirements of a Drug Counselor

One can become a drug counselor even with just a high school diploma as training is usually done on the job. The training programs may last from six weeks to two years. Training programs offered by colleges run for two years as other courses are included such as the effects of alcohol and other drugs. A certification of being a drug counselor is also required.

Occupation and Progress of a Drug Counselor

Though basic education and certification can make someone a drug counselor, to advance in this field of work, one must have a bachelor’s degree or better yet master’s degree in Social Work, Arts or Science. It is also imperative that the drug counselor has a solid desire to help others. Being a drug counselor is heavy work and it is essential that the counselor knows how to gain the trust of the patient so he can open up to the counselor. At the same time, the counselor also knows how to detach himself from the patient so as not to be involved emotionally with the patient avoiding difficult situation that may arise.

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