A drug alcohol counselor treats addicts in either one-on-one or group settings. They help by educating and developing possible treatment plans for patients to support them in coping with their addictive personalities. A drug and alcohol counselor will evaluate to determine the progress has been successfully made towards recovery. They help patients better understand and overcome their addictions. Counselors help through offering support, rehabilitation, and guidance by using various techniques. Drug alcohol counselors seek to help an addict find the source of their addiction.

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real alcohol and drug counselor resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage caseload providing one on one counseling support, community reentry information and referrals.
  • Provide substance abuse and addictions counseling to clients receiving methadone treatment therapy.
  • Observe strict compliance with all HIPPA guidelines
  • Administer UA test onsite and send out.
  • Improve IOP successful completion rate while facilitating seven groups per week.
  • Collect and organize statistical data as required by DASA, and NEWTA.
  • Provide group and individual counseling on addiction as primary counselor in an IOP.
  • Conduct educational sessions as required by WAC and ensure the client gains knowledge to substance use disorder.
  • Monitor the therapeutic environment and assures client/patient compliance with all program and Washington WAC rules and regulations.
  • Conduct ASAM assessments, intakes, upload require documents to participant's file, and verify financial coverage.

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Job Description

Alcohol and drug counselors average about $19.91 an hour, which makes the alcohol and drug counselor annual salary $41,413. Additionally, alcohol and drug counselors are known to earn anywhere from $31,000 to $54,000 a year. This means that the top-earning alcohol and drug counselors make $23,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become an alcohol and drug counselor. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a primary therapist, mental health professional, mental health specialist, and behavioral health specialist.

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Jobs You Might Like

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Resume Examples

Alcohol And Drug Counselor Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 26% of Alcohol And Drug Counselors are proficient in Substance Abuse, Treatment Plans, and Crisis Intervention.

We break down the percentage of Alcohol And Drug Counselors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Substance Abuse, 26%

    Provided readjustment counseling services to patients and their significant others with substance abuse disorders and highly complex and diversified psychological/social problems.

  • Treatment Plans, 19%

    Participated in an interdisciplinary team completing quality assurance by reviewing client charts, preparing treatment plans and discharge paperwork.

  • Crisis Intervention, 7%

    Provided diagnostic assessment and Intensive Outpatient drug and alcohol group and individual counseling and crisis intervention in adolescent treatment program.

  • Chemical Dependency, 5%

    Identify and facilitate access to needed social services that would augment/reinforce the prevention/intervention and treatment for chemical dependency and school safety.

  • Group Therapy, 5%

    Provide substance abuse individual and group therapy incorporating Cognitive-Behavioral therapies/strategies.

  • Psychosocial Assessments, 4%

    Complete Bio-Psychosocial Assessments; treatment plans on the Dual Diagnosis Unit addressing MH/Drug & Alcohol issues.

Most alcohol and drug counselors list "substance abuse," "treatment plans," and "crisis intervention" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important alcohol and drug counselor responsibilities here:

See the full list of alcohol and drug counselor skills.

Before becoming an alcohol and drug counselor, 53.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 22.1% alcohol and drug counselors went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most alcohol and drug counselors have a college degree. But about one out of every eight alcohol and drug counselors didn't attend college at all.

The alcohol and drug counselors who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of alcohol and drug counselors studied criminal justice and human services.

Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become an alcohol and drug counselor. We've found that most alcohol and drug counselor resumes include experience from Mayo Clinic, Meridian Health, and Fairview Health Services. Of recent, Mayo Clinic had 7 positions open for alcohol and drug counselors. Meanwhile, there are 6 job openings at Meridian Health and 5 at Fairview Health Services.

But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, alcohol and drug counselors tend to earn the biggest salaries at MAAC Project, Cattaraugus County, and Maryland. Take MAAC Project for example. The median alcohol and drug counselor salary is $58,732. At Cattaraugus County, alcohol and drug counselors earn an average of $56,177, while the average at Maryland is $54,458. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

View more details on alcohol and drug counselor salaries across the United States.

For the most part, alcohol and drug counselors make their living in the health care and non profits industries. Alcohol and drug counselors tend to make the most in the government industry with an average salary of $49,848. The alcohol and drug counselor annual salary in the non profits and retail industries generally make $46,707 and $44,504 respectively. Additionally, alcohol and drug counselors who work in the government industry make 18.2% more than alcohol and drug counselors in the health care Industry.

The three companies that hire the most prestigious alcohol and drug counselors are:

    What Primary Therapists Do

    Primary therapists are the main point of contact for patients concerning wellness and overall mental health. Those who choose this career path will be expected to supervise and manage efficient treatment according to plan, and to manage between six and eight patients at a time, keeping in constant communication with these patients and various specialists.

    We looked at the average alcohol and drug counselor annual salary and compared it with the average of a primary therapist. Generally speaking, primary therapists receive $4,712 higher pay than alcohol and drug counselors per year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both alcohol and drug counselors and primary therapists positions are skilled in substance abuse, treatment plans, and crisis intervention.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. An alcohol and drug counselor responsibility is more likely to require skills like "measurable goals," "client files," "client records," and "outpatient clinic." Whereas a primary therapist requires skills like "trauma," "clinical staff," "clinical supervision," and "php." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Primary therapists tend to make the most money in the automotive industry by averaging a salary of $48,224. In contrast, alcohol and drug counselors make the biggest average salary of $49,848 in the government industry.

    The education levels that primary therapists earn is a bit different than that of alcohol and drug counselors. In particular, primary therapists are 37.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than an alcohol and drug counselor. Additionally, they're 4.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Mental Health Professional?

    The duties of a mental health professional will revolve around observing the behavior of patients. They are responsible for knowing their medical history, conducting consultations and assessments, diagnosing conditions, devising particular treatments and prescribing medication, and providing emotional support to patients. Furthermore, a mental health professional must coordinate with families and other mental health experts to monitor patients' behavior and develop care plans to help them in their road to recovery.

    The next role we're going to look at is the mental health professional profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $5,382 higher salary than alcohol and drug counselors per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both alcohol and drug counselors and mental health professionals are known to have skills such as "substance abuse," "treatment plans," and "crisis intervention. "

    But both careers also use different skills, according to real alcohol and drug counselor resumes. While alcohol and drug counselor responsibilities can utilize skills like "chemical dependency," "asam," "measurable goals," and "relapse prevention," some mental health professionals use skills like "cpr," "clinical staff," "clinical supervision," and "direct care."

    On average, mental health professionals earn a higher salary than alcohol and drug counselors. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, mental health professionals earn the most pay in the hospitality industry with an average salary of $50,266. Whereas, alcohol and drug counselors have higher paychecks in the government industry where they earn an average of $49,848.

    In general, mental health professionals study at higher levels of education than alcohol and drug counselors. They're 20.8% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 4.5% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Mental Health Specialist Compares

    A mental health specialist is responsible for evaluating a patient's mental health condition and develop appropriate treatment plans to help the patients cope up with their mental difficulties. Mental health specialists provide counseling to the patients, listening to their situation, and responding with the utmost consideration. They also create regular progress reports and medical charts to monitor ongoing medication, updating treatment plans as needed. A mental health specialist must have excellent communication and organization skills, helping the patients deal with their mental stress and return to a healthy lifestyle.

    The mental health specialist profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of alcohol and drug counselors. The difference in salaries is mental health specialists making $4,153 higher than alcohol and drug counselors.

    By looking over several alcohol and drug counselors and mental health specialists resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "substance abuse," "treatment plans," and "crisis intervention." But beyond that the careers look very different.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from alcohol and drug counselor resumes include skills like "chemical dependency," "asam," "staff meetings," and "measurable goals," whereas a mental health specialist might be skilled in "cpr," "rn," "vital signs," and "behavioral issues. "

    Additionally, mental health specialists earn a higher salary in the government industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $49,657. Additionally, alcohol and drug counselors earn an average salary of $49,848 in the government industry.

    When it comes to education, mental health specialists tend to earn similar education levels than alcohol and drug counselors. In fact, they're 1.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.3% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Behavioral Health Specialist

    Typically working for clinics and learning institutions, a behavioral health specialist is in charge of counseling and treating patients with behavioral issues. Their responsibilities revolve around conducting initial assessment through interview and observation, maintaining records and data, developing treatment plans, and referring patients to other support services when necessary. Moreover, a behavioral health specialist must communicate with the patient's families or guardians, discuss conditions, and provide advice on taking care of them. Aside from treating patients, it is also essential to continuously monitor their behavior while building positive relationships with them.

    Now, we'll look at behavioral health specialists, who generally average a higher pay when compared to alcohol and drug counselors annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $6,750 per year.

    While both alcohol and drug counselors and behavioral health specialists complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like substance abuse, treatment plans, and crisis intervention, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, an alcohol and drug counselor might have more use for skills like "chemical dependency," "asam," "measurable goals," and "relapse prevention." Meanwhile, some behavioral health specialists might include skills like "emergency," "independent living," "vital signs," and "cpr" on their resume.

    Behavioral health specialists earn a higher salary in the government industry with an average of $52,804. Whereas, alcohol and drug counselors earn the highest salary in the government industry.

    The average resume of behavioral health specialists showed that they earn similar levels of education to alcohol and drug counselors. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 4.7% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 1.0%.