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Addictions Studies

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Addictions Studies—Career Opportunities

Nature of Work
The primary goal of this program is to give you an opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue and become a certified addictions counselor in Illinois through the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association (IAODAPCA)/Illinois Certification Board (ICB).

An addictions counselor's professional training and levels of clinical experience vary. Addictions counselors provide alcohol and drug counseling and education by performing a number of key functions, which may include the following:
a. Individual Counseling
b. Group Counseling
c. Intakes and Assessments
d. Client Education
e. Referrals
f. Case Management
g. Record Keeping

In addition, they will assist other licensed professionals.

Related Job Titles
Alcoholism Counselor, Addictions Counselor, Intake Worker, Substance Abuse Counselor, Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Chemical Dependency Counselor

Employment Outlook

The median annual wage of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was $38,120 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,690 and the top 10 percent earned more than $60,400.

Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as more people seek treatment for their addictions and related problematic behaviors . Alcohol and drug offenders are increasingly sentenced to treatment rather than being sent to prison and/or offered treatment services while in prison, or on probation or parole.

In recent years, the criminal justice system has recognized that people committing crimes related to drugs are less likely to offend again if they get treatment for addiction. As a result, sentences for drug offenders often include treatment programs. This practice is expected to increase the use of substance abuse treatment programs and the demand for addiction counselors.

Also, over the projections period, more people are expected to seek treatment for problems with addiction or other problems. As the population grows, the number of individuals entering therapy is expected to increase as well. This is expected to cause a continued demand for counselors in rehabilitation programs, mental health centers, halfway houses, and detox centers. There also appears to be a need for certified alcohol and drug counselors in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm (visited November 30, 2012).
 
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