How to become a drug and alcohol counselor

The need for drug and alcohol counselors or substance abuse counselors is on the rise. Substance abuse counselors can find jobs in hospitals, private practices, government programs and even some work places. Drug and alcohol counselors work with people with substance abuse problems and many work in schools to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. If you like helping people, a job as a substance abuse counselor may be for you.

Do some research so you can learn what your state's requirements are to become a drug and alcohol counselor. Each state has different requirements and many require certification.

Consider becoming certified. Many states require certification and those that don't will require certification within a few years. There are many certification programs and some are the equivalent of getting an Associate's Degree.

Go to college. While a certification in drug and alcohol counseling may be the equivalent of an Associate's Degree, many states require at least a Bachelor's Degree in psychology or counseling and a few require a Master's Degree in counseling or psychology.

Be prepared for the process to take some time. Many states require, in addition to classroom time, supervised clinical setting time (often for years), and passing a written and/or oral test.

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