Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Addictions Counselor


Gambling can be very exciting. The thrill of expectation, the risk, the odds, the overwhelming sense of control and satisfaction when you win. Even penny raffles at picnics are exciting for these reasons. And if a penny raffle is thrilling, imagine the rush of winning thousands of dollars from a casino slot machine

Often, people develop cravings for those things that make them feel good. People become addicted to gambling, shopping, as well as alcohol and other drugs, both physically and psychologically. The blissful feeling that comes when you win at the slots and the emotion-dulling effects of alcohol can take over, becoming necessary to daily life. People can become dependent on the addictions and it becomes impossible for them to lead lives free of gambling or drugs. Some people will shop or gamble their way into serious debt, or kill themselves from an excess of drug use.

Addictions counselors are trained to help people who have gone beyond recreation when it comes to substances and habits. They understand that there can be both psychological and physical reasons for addiction. Instead of making their clients feel ashamed or weak, addictions counselors address their clients" addictive personalities, and try and help them identify and deal with the addictions, in an effort to get their habits under control.

Addictions counselors work with government agencies, private companies and non-profit organizations who work to promote health, prevent addictions and initiate interventions and treatment. They can be found counseling in addiction programs, women"s and men"s shelters, correctional facilities, health services, schools and community centers. They meet regularly with clients. After identifying the issue at hand, counselors focus on the clients" strengths and weaknesses to advise, support and encourage the recovery process. Often this includes getting their clients into a twelve-step program, like Alcoholics Anonymous.

Along with regular sessions with their clients, addictions counselors prepare reports on each client"s progress, consult with other social and health care workers about clients, and keep up to date with developments in treatment techniques. Addictions counseling can be a stressful and frustrating job, but luckily one with lots of opportunities to positively influence others.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Bereavement Counselor
arrow Career Counselor
arrow Child Care Worker
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Kaplan University


Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • And more...


  Interests and Skills  
Addictions counselors should have a genuine interest in helping people understand the root of their problems. They must be mature, organized and have a professional attitude. They are creative problem solvers who are good at communicating orally and in writing, and analyzing information and behaviors, to know whether or not clients are telling them the whole story. Addictions counselors should be sensitive to everyone, incuding those people with backgrounds, cultures and beliefs that differ from theirs. They should be honest, trustworthy individuals, who are willing to work with other social workers and counselors in an effort to help their client.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Assess client strengths, problem areas, and degree of dependence
  • Plan treatment based on research and client history
  • Make referrals to other social work agencies if necessary
  • Host community information sessions
  • Document client progress
  • Work with organizations, institutions and communities to develop and implement programs
  • A typical day for an addictions counselor will involve a lot of listening. Each day will be spent in an office, listening to and analyzing client history, developing strategies to deal with the addiction, as well as identifying and addressing underlying issues. They may meet with family members of the clients, as well as other social workers, correctional facility workers and counselors, to determine the best course of action in the treatment of the addiction. The job is spent indoors, at a desk, with the chance to meet many types of people.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Addictions counselors are found anywhere there may be people battling dependencies. They can be found in residential and out-patient detox treatment centers, group homes, overnight shelters, out-patient centers, schools or community-based agencies.They may have a private practice, or work within a government agency. Addictions counselors work in offices, because of the nature of their work--counselors require private places to discuss difficult issues with their clients. Their work day may include evening, weekend, and holiday shifts, depending on their employment situation.

  Long Term Career Potential  
If they no longer want to work as addictions counselors, these skilled individuals may choose to get into family, rehabilitation or bereavement counseling. They may choose to head up their own private practices, or apply for supervisory or senior positions with clinics or departments. There is always teaching, writing self-help books, or presenting talks to schools, community groups and correctional facilities.

  Educational Paths  
In order to work as an addictions counselor it is a good idea to become a member of a professional organization. This will indicate your dedication to your work, and create a sense of trust between you and your clients. In order to become a member in one of these organizations, you need to have a bachelor"s degree in any subject, a master"s degree in psychology, social work or addiction studies, and then complete two years of supervised, post-degree work in addictions therapy and counseling. You can practice as an addiction counselor without joining a professional organization, but in that case, you may choose to work in the public sector, as it will be harder for you to find clients in the private sphere.



Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Kaplan University


Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • BS in Psychology - Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology
  • And more...

Purdue University Global

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • MS in Education - Educational Psychology
  • MS in Psychology
  • And more...

CDI College
Find an education partner totally committed to your success at CDI College.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions Recovery Support for Youth and Families

Reeves College
Launch your career in the areas of Healthcare, Business, and Hospitality at Reeves College.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions and Community Services Worker

Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Northcentral University
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
Programs Offered:
  • Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
  • General Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • Health Psychology - PhD of Psychology
  • And more...

Vancouver Career College
Get the skills you need to land the job you want at Vancouver Career College. We offer diploma programs in Business, Health Care, Technology and more.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions and Community Services Worker

Keiser University Campus

Since 1977, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career-focused education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.  Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience. 

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

LeTourneau University - Online
Founded in 1946 by Mr. R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University is private, nondenominational Christian university offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the College of Engineering, Business and Technology; the College of Aviation & Aeronautical Science; the College of College of Education, Arts and Sciences; and the College of Health Sciences & Professional Studies.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Professional Counselor Specialization
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
  • Master of Arts in Psychology

Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Counseling Psychology (EdD)
  • Counseling Psychology (MA)
  • Psychology (BA)

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.