To become certified to work in the field of addictions in the United States, a person has to have a lot of experience in this area and a passion for it. Nothing less would get a candidate through the rigorous requirements to become even a certified specialist, not to mention a counselor or a certified addiction professional.

Differences Between Specialists, Counselors, and Professionals

Many of the same duties, studies, and experience are a part of all three professional disciplines. State regulations might differ throughout the country, but here is a framework which indicates, in general, what is expected of service providers.

The first category is a less intense version of the second. Counselors do the same things as specialists, but they have to spend more hours in training to gain their counseling certification. They become more clinically involved with clients. Also, to become a specialist, one does not need prior academic training. A counselor, however, must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify for programs.

As for professionals, they are at the top of their profession. They do all of the above and more. They gain even more hours of experience in certain areas than either specialists or counselors. To become a certified addiction professional, one must also have a BA in a related area or a Masters Degree if it is not related to counseling and addiction treatment. These, at least, suggest that a person is highly organized, can conduct research, and is able to assimilate new information easily.
Specifics of Training
Training is broken up into various categories including:

• Planning treatment options
• Evaluating the success of certain approaches
• Documenting
• The ethics of addiction treatment
• Counseling addicted individuals

This is just the start and does not […]