What is Substance Abuse Counseling?

This term describes therapeutic coaching offered to an alcohol or substance addict as a way of encouraging, supporting and even guiding them on better ways to shun from their addictive life. Similar to how sports persons need the training to achieve a definite goal, so is this initiative. 

The procedure in cooperates the presence of a highly trained professional with proper experience in human philosophy. Mental disorders manifest differently among different people and also varies in their types by age and gender. Hence, some will suffer despair while another apprehension, food or even behavioral disorders – conditions that may not be handled easily by a layperson especially when they are of extreme levels. 

What is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Counselors, in this case, are trained to listen keenly to clients’ sentiments explaining why they engage in substance abuse which could be either street or prescription drugs, alcohol or any other peculiar behavior. It is out of this that they come up with the best healing procedure suitable for an individual. They can recommend or incorporate special treatment techniques such as 12-step programs. 

Most counselors in this category are sourced among those besides their degrees of qualification; they had a background experience on situations of mental illnesses. They could be persons who were abusers before and later formed a great passion for coaching others not imitate their past giving essential reasons. Also, they could be people who had a family member or relative suffering from such mental complication and built interest in addressing the issues to the rest of society. 

Substance Abuse Counseling

Along with this line, the duties of a counselor vary according to their specific areas of specialization. Their core mission and goal, however, is to educate substance abusers on how best to live a sober life and remain strong to succumb to relapse temptations.

The rest of their duties comprise; 

  • Arranging special meetings with their client to evaluate their conditions and discuss more issues of their concern.
  • Pointing out issues and creating goals as well as issuing treatment plans
  • Educating the client on practical coping techniques 
  • Offering a helping hand towards client acquiring jobs of their career interest 
  • Presiding over therapy sessions group
  • Availing up-to-date reports on health states of a client to the courts 
  • Offering references to specific groups that could also be of help if a client joins
  • Structuring an aftercare strategy for a client
  • Holding a counseling session for the client’s family members – letting them comprehend the condition of one of their own. 

Note that as a counselor, one will always face almost similar conditions for any mental disorder. Majorly, will be behavioral problems. Most of the patients under this category suffer a lot of engagement in inappropriate behavior.

If you work individually as a drug counselor, you’ll have the same types of tasks, but you’ll work strictly with clients suffering from drug abuse issues rather than eating disorders or gambling addictions.

Organizations for Substance Abuse Counseling

As many learners would imagine, education to professional counseling does not end with a degree certificate. There is more that comes with it. First, one will have to grow aggressive in learning more, consulting, making publications, participating in discoveries and also earning more experience working on different condition probably with different patients. 

Organizations for Substance Abuse Counseling

In this regard, being part of a professional organization have always offered a golden opportunity for one to acquire all these. Under their umbrella, one can easily access essential facilities and even financial support in case of a research one wishes to undertake towards finding more solutions. The uniqueness of every organization also offers a better opportunity for one to learn more on various subjects essential for this career. 

Below is a list of highly reputable organizations.

  • The International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC): This organization belong among the many of the American Counseling Association divisions. 

It mainly focuses on the publication of the research works of both the masters-prepared practitioners, as well as graduate students on relevant topics on this course. 

  • The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP): The design of this organization is suitable for only students at their doctoral level of studies. Through their annual membership conference, the team gets to publish journals on Addiction topics. 
  • The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) organization: This is purely meant for physicians. Their membership consists of approximately 3000 persons. They mainly lots of clinical guidelines on addiction medicine exercise.
  • Division 50: As part of the American Psychological Association Society the Addiction Psychology offers highly reputable services. It as well provides resources and education for psychology students alongside psychologists like the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Group Counseling

The term defines a psychotherapy training offered for persons experiencing a similar situation of concern. Many would imagine of it to be intimidating, however getting to meet and share similar experiences with other provides a better chance for one to express themselves over their concern fully. 

The program comes along with excellent benefits some of which includes the following;

  • One feels a sense of belonging when with a group sharing a similar concern
  • Groups offer a suitable platform where one can express themselves to be heard
  • Groups avail an opportunity for people to meet and learn from those who have fully recovered from the condition
  • At first many may feel shy talking about their problems openly to a group, but with more sessions, they will begin conforming to the norms of it and begin exploring the freedom to share out their problems.
  • They open up means of one getting council from different people and therefore are never limited. 
  • They help bring out the hidden abilities and wisdom in somebody. It offers a better avenue for self-discovery. 


The most effective treatment against some mental illnesses merely is counseling. So far the world has suffered and is still suffering from the great syndrome of substance abuse. Even as the law restricts the uses of some illicit substances and private organizations raising campaigns on the same, still high recruit rates continue to reflect. 

Whether street or pharmaceutical, drug abuse bears potential ill-health harm that can lead to more complicated situations which may at times lead to death. The most endangered group in this is the youths. Through their peer relationships, they find themselves incorporated into their lifestyle.

Research has it that sometimes it is the psychological aspect of one that led them into abuse of these substances. Hence, therefore, by imposing professional counseling to the infected persons, they may consider turning things around and shun from their acts. 

Through the very many organizations out there, society is encouraged to stay away from the abuse of substances as the only thing it brings is more ill-health impacts.

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