8 Unexpected Benefits of Becoming a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor

Dedicated therapist looking after her patient by holding her hand in a grey office

Are you someone that enjoys helping other people?

What about helping those that are going through difficult times? Do you see yourself as a good listener, supporter, and problem solver? If so, you might make a great certified drug and alcohol counselor.

Being a drug and alcohol counselor isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be fully invested in someone else’s recovery to help them get where they need to be. You also take on their struggle to a certain level and the challenges they face with their family members. 

You might not expect it, but there are some fantastic benefits to this rewarding line of work. Today, we’re going to look at 9 of them so you can decide if drug and alcohol counseling is something you can see yourself doing. 

1. Job Availability

Before we get into the personal benefits that you’ll experience as a drug and alcohol counselor, let’s discuss the employment side of things. One of the great perks of this line of work is that there’s always job availability.

Sadly, because of the increasing addiction numbers across the country, more and more people need drug and alcohol counseling. For you, that means there are likely going to be numerous job opportunities right out of school. 

2. You Get to Help People

The best part of working as an addiction counselor is getting the chance to help countless patients overcome their illness. There’s probably a reason that this type of job appeals to you, and we’re guessing it has something to do with the need to help others. Your work will always make a difference in someone’s life, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that.

Overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things someone can do, so they’re going to need all the support and counseling you can provide. You have to be all-in when you decide to do this job, but that’s what many counselors love about it.

3. Learning Every Day

Spending every day alongside different people at different recovery stages will give you rare insight into how the human mind works. Addiction is an illness that affects many people, and you’re going to get a daily practical education on how it works.

You won’t walk into your first counseling job knowing precisely what to do with each case. Gaining new experiences every day will help you develop throughout your career, so you feel comfortable assisting people in different situations.

4. Leaving the 9-5 Behind

Many drug and alcohol counselors get into this kind of work because they thrive in unpredictable scenarios. You’re likely not going to experience the monotony of a regular 9-5 desk job because you’ll be working with unique people that have unique problems. 

No two days as an addiction counselor will look identical because your patients are always experiencing new challenges that you’ll help them get through. There are still new challenges to overcome, but that can be extremely rewarding, both mentally and spiritually, for everyone involved.

5. Personal Growth

You’re going to be thrown in the fire when you start a counseling job. No amount of education can fully prepare you for the stories you’ll hear, and the hardships people are going through. That being said, this is the kind of job that will lead to profound personal growth the more you do it. 

In many cases, you’ll find yourself becoming very attached to your patients’ recoveries. In some, you might even find lasting relationships with those you’ve counseled. It’s a difficult job, but it’s something that can reward you personally in new ways every single day.

6. Location Flexibility

Another practical benefit of a job in drug and alcohol counseling is that you’ll likely have location flexibility throughout California. You won’t be stuck in one place because there are addiction problems all over the state. If you want to live in a specific area, you’ll be able to do it while retaining your ability to do the job you’re meant to do.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 25% job growth rate for counselors by 2029, much faster than average. While this statistic includes data outside of California, the overall numbers are excellent for your job outlook.  This should also be a stark call to attention for those looking to get into drug and alcohol counseling. Some people need your help out there.

7. Teamwork

Not only are you likely to build deep and long-lasting relationships with the patients that you work with over the years, but you’re going to lean on your fellow workers for advice and to bounce new ideas off of. The teamwork aspect of counseling is often overlooked, but it’s essential to do your job to the best of your abilities.

These are sensitive issues that you’ll be dealing with, and it’s going to be hard to relate your experiences with patients to people outside of this world. Your coworkers will understand what’s on your plate, so you can always confide in them.

8. Don’t Need Extensive Education Background

You might think that you need to go through years and years of schooling to work as a drug and alcohol counselor. If you want to open up your private practice, you may want to get advanced education outside of a certificate program, but that’s only one version of this job.

A certificate in addiction counseling from a respected institution will give you the tools and knowledge that you need to help people. To learn more about a CCAPP and CAADE approved programs from InterCoast Colleges, visit our site today.

Be the Next Great Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor

If these job benefits sound perfect for you, you should consider becoming a certified drug and alcohol counselor. At InterCoast Colleges, we provide our students with the practical and educational skills required to enter this dream career.

The Substance Use Disorder Counseling program will help you communicate with individuals and families, facilitate various kinds of counseling groups, help you equip clients with coping skills, teach you how to manage case records, and provide you with culturally-competent counseling techniques, among other things. Having a CCAPP or CAADE designation will allow you to work as a counselor in California.

Contact us today for more information on this program.

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