Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors held about 94,900 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors were as follows:
Outpatient care centers
Residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities
Individual and family services
Hospitals; state, local, and private
State and local government, excluding education and hospitals
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in a wide variety of settings, including mental health centers, prisons, probation or parole agencies, and juvenile detention facilities. They also work in halfway houses, detox centers, or in employee assistance programs (EAPs). EAPs are mental health programs provided by some employers to help employees deal with personal problems.
Some addiction counselors work in residential treatment centers, where clients live in the facility for a fixed period of time. Others work with clients in outpatient treatment centers. Some counselors work in private practice, where they may work alone or with a group of counselors or other professionals.
Although rewarding, the work of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is often stressful. Many counselors have to deal with large workloads. They do not always have enough resources to meet the demand for their services. Also, they may have to intervene in crisis situations or work with agitated clients, which can be difficult.
Most substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work full time. In some settings, such as inpatient facilities, they may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends.