The use of alcohol and other drugs continues to be a social problem touching all elements of society: loss of work proficiency, functional relationships, appropriate parenting and ultimately, human life. Moraine Valley Community College's Addictions Studies Program recognizes that the treatment of addictions must be comprehensive-treating the whole person, not just the symptoms.
Courses are taught by professionals with years of experience in alcoholism and other addictions counseling. The program includes an internship that will allow students to gain valuable on-the-job experience and apply concepts learned in courses.
Students may be eligible to earn college credits for prior learning or work experience. Contact Moraine Valley's Alternative Learning office at (708) 974-5710 for details.
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 (CADC) 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. With more training and education, CADCs will have a wider range of duties and responsibilities.
Addictions counselors do provide alcohol and drug counseling and education by performing a number of key functions, which may include the following:
a. Individual Counseling
In addition, they often assist other licensed professionals as a part of a treatment team.
Related Job Titles—Alcoholism counselor, addictions counselor, assistant intake worker, human services worker, caseworker, counseling assistant, substance abuse counselor
Employment Outlook—Overall employment of counselors is expected to grow by 27% between 2008 and 2020 faster than the average for all occupations. In addition, numerous job openings will occur as many counselors retire or leave the profession. While job prospects will vary with location and specialization, opportunities generally should be very good because the number of job openings that arise should exceed the number of graduates of counseling programs. Rehabilitation counselors and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, in particular, should experience excellent prospects.
Demand is expected to be strong for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors because drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs rather than to prison. Counselors will be needed to staff statewide networks that are being established to improve services for children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbances and for their family members. Under managed care systems, insurance companies are increasingly providing for reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists.
Mean annual earnings of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in May 2012 were $38,120. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $24,690, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $60,400. For substance abuse, mental health, and rehabilitation counselors, government employers generally pay the highest wages, followed by hospitals and social service agencies. Residential care facilities often pay the lowest wages.
The median salary in Chicago for chemical
dependency counselor is $50,213. Salaries range between $38,927 to $61,655.
For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center in the Student Services Center, S202, (708) 974-5737, www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.