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Substance Abuse Counselor Career, Job, Degrees and Training Information

Substance abuse counselors working with adults on parole or probation assist these individuals enrolling in education programs, instruct their family members so they can help their relatives on parole or probation, and provide other services to assist them. Substance abuse counselors coordinate and conduct group treatment therapy sessions. Likewise, they review substance abusers by conducting physical and psychological tests to determine treatment strategies and how regularly they should test them to see if they have been abusing. After a test has been conducted, the results are sent to individual probation and parole officers. Counselors are also responsible to determine if recovering addicts should continue to receive treatment related to their addictions. Those working with recovering addicts sometimes work in situations where they can be harmed, as well as being around people with communicable diseases.

Each state has separate requirements to work as a substance abuse counselor. Most states require applicants to possess a bachelor's degree in either social work, psychology, sociology, or a related major. Before being hired in most states, applicants seeking to work with juvenile offenders need to have at least one year of experience in addition to earning a college degree. Applicants will need to become certified in the state where they work as well as pass a thorough background review.