Models of Treatment
The substance abuse counselor must be familiar with the most accepted and scientifically supported models of substance abuse prevention, treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care. Knowledge in this area also includes:
- Philosophies, practices, policies, and outcomes of the most accepted therapeutic models.
- Support groups and self-help groups
- Behavioral self-control training
- Mental health
A competent substance abuse counselor must be open to new, evidence-based treatment approaches, including pharmacological interventions.
Family, Friends, and Community
Substance abuse counselors must also recognize the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the client’s environment, since they could be either sources of strength or obstacles during treatment and recovery processes.
It is important to learn ways to incorporate family and social networks in treatment and recovery, and appreciate the many ways in which they could enhance these processes.
Research, Outcomes, and Applications
Knowledge in the following areas is necessary:
- Research methods in the behavioral and social sciences.
- Research literature related to the prevention and treatment of addiction.
- Research on epidemiology, etiology, and treatment efficacy.
- Benefits and limitations of research.
Knowledge in this area includes:
- How multiple disciplines contribute to treatment efficacy.
- Familiarity with terminology and concepts in order to communicate effectively across disciplines.
The substance abuse counselor must show a desire to collaborate with others, respect for the contributions of multiple disciplines, and commitment to professionalism.