What is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

What is a Substance Abuse Counselor?

Addiction affects millions of people and impacts every aspect of their lives. Over time, abusing substances can have devastating consequences for a person’s physical, emotional, and social health. Many people need medical detox and substance abuse treatment to overcome their addiction and manage it for life.

A substance abuse counselor is someone who is trained to help people learn how to manage sobriety and handle their emotions without using substances to dull them. They can offer understanding and concrete education about how to manage addiction on a daily basis and help you build a network of people who can support you on your recovery journey.

Working with a counselor requires you to be open and vulnerable. It means talking about things that may bring up feelings of shame or guilt. You must find an addiction counselor who understands substance abuse, makes you feel comfortable, and who conveys confidence and competence. Finding a caring substance abuse counselor in Illinois is an important part of recovery and can help you achieve lifelong sobriety.

What is Substance Abuse Counseling?

Substance abuse counseling is a kind of talk therapy that is specifically focused on the goal of managing addiction and staying sober. Many people who struggle with addiction have many factors that contributed to their substance abuse. An addiction counselor works with the person to untangle these issues and address each one. They may also help the person repair their relationships with loved ones or learn skills to increase their support network.

Your drug and alcohol counselor will help you understand patterns of behavior or beliefs that get in the way of sobriety and give you the skills to face challenges and setbacks without using substances. For many people, counseling also includes family members or other loved ones who may be affected by their addiction.

Finding the Right Substance Abuse Counselor in Illinois

Each person has a unique personality and different circumstances surrounding their substance abuse or addiction.

Here are some things you might want to look for when searching for your new counselor:

  • Non-judgmental atmosphere–your counselor should allow you to be free to be vulnerable and honest, especially with difficult or sensitive topics
  • Respects your time–your counselor should be on time for appointments and alert you to changes in their schedule ahead of time
  • Maintains privacy–everything you share should be confidential
  • Personable–you feel comfortable with their personality and develop a rapport easily
  • Uses evidence-based therapy practices–they only use practices that are safe and effective
  • A long history of sobriety–if your counselor is in recovery, they should have at least five years of sobriety under their belt

Look for an addiction counselor who makes you feel safe, understood, and heard. Make sure they are licensed and qualified to work with people in recovery.

Drug and Alcohol Counselor Qualifications in Illinois

Therapists must have the correct qualifications, training, and licensure in order to provide substance abuse counseling to people in recovery. To be licensed to practice, addiction counselors need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of clinical practice that includes supervision. They must also take part in ongoing education as long as they are practicing.

When searching for your substance abuse counselor in Illinois, you may want to meet with several to find the right fit. Look for current licensure, and if they are in recovery, ask for verification that they have ongoing support.

Goals of Substance Abuse Counseling

Everyone will come to counseling with different goals, but the most important one is staying sober. In addition to the goal of recovery and sobriety, you may have different things that you want to address. These might include:

  • Building relationships
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Learning parenting skills
  • Independent living
  • Returning to work

When working on your goals, your addiction counselor will help you identify any obstacles that may cause setbacks. These might include a current lack of support, environmental triggers, other mental health issues, and disabilities or chronic medical conditions. Together, you and your counselor will explore ways to work with these challenges to achieve your goals.

Recovery from addiction is not limited to the period immediately after detox and residential treatment. It is a lifelong process, and your counselor can be an essential part of your journey. Take the time to find the right drug and alcohol counselor for your unique needs and goals.

Find a Substance Abuse Counselor in Illinois

If you or someone you love require the support of a competent, supportive substance abuse counselor in Illinois, please reach out to the staff at Navis Health Addiction Treatment. We offer a range of programs designed to help people overcome addiction and stay sober for life. Our team of professionals will work with you to help you learn to live the full, healthy life you deserve. Breaking free from addiction is possible. We can help. Call today to speak with one of our admissions counselors.

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