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In Which State Is It Best to Start an Addiction Counseling Career?

When you think of addiction counseling in the United States, your mind probably goes to Florida and California. This is for a good reason, as many of the largest and highest profile treatment centers exist in those two states. But, as an addiction counselor, does that mean that you should be in one of those states to maximize your career opportunities? The answer is complex and requires serious thought about where you are and want to go in your career.

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Getting Your First Job After Treatment

Simply going to treatment is an amazing achievement, and one of which you should be very proud. Addiction, whether drugs or alcohol, is an insidious disease and many do not find the strength to realize they have a problem and do something about it. During the treatment process, you have a support team, in the form of counselors and staff at your treatment facility, that offer guidance and help throughout the process. However, we often don’t truly ponder the challenges we may face after we are sober and back to “normal” life.

Consider the amount of time a client was using, and the months of treatment, they may have been out of the workforce for years. For those without substance-abuse issues, that is difficult enough. But some of us in recovery may be dealing with cravings, potentially a past criminal history and even mental illness.

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Understanding Addiction From A Mother & Son

Jaime and his mother, Karen, share the story of his addiction and her struggle. Both are interviewed by Academy for Addiction Professionals founder Ben Brafman.

Ben Brafman & Jaime Blaustein Discuss His Journey Through Addiction

Ben Brafman & Jaime Blaustein’s mother, Karen Discuss The Family Perspective

The History of Mental Illness & Treatment

Such a broad and global topic and more relevant today then any other time. The focus of the power point is the history of mental illness in USA and what has come of it over a short few hundred years. The history includes to significant extremes and puts the field in the proper context it deserves. If we view at confinement vs community living we can explore what has happened and where we need to go. A road map to improved mental illness in the USA. We explore how people are referred to Aliens and locked away from society. Mental illness viewed as a demonic possession. Fast forward to the break through of medication and the conversion of psychiatry and psychology and how people actually started to improve. We will discuss current treatment modalities including ECT, medication management and talk therapy. We will also explore the benefit of “main streaming” the mentally ill so they are not outsiders or exceptions.

Diabetes and Mental Illness

Diabetes is a secretly deadly disease that if not treated properly can cause a lot of pain and suffering.  If you have a mental illness it will definitely negatively impact the symptoms you are dealing with.  Diabetes impacts areas such as how you feel, what you eat and physically what you can tolerate.  If you have depression and anxiety it will enhance these symptoms and make matters worse for you within the context of being well.  Diabetes of any type hinges on appropriate diagnoses and self management.  The most critical aspect of these co-mordid diagnosis is managing the symptoms and not the diseases.  These are not curable diseases and education and self regulation comes before anything.  Symptom remission, improve quality of life and managing the psychiatric component.


Trauma and Addiction Webinar

Trauma and addiction – these two are linked in trying to understand the disease of addiction and the many layers it has as it takes over a person. Some believe that trauma and addiction are the same thing and addiction is another name for trauma. When someone is an addict they don’t want to feel the way they feel. They numb their feelings through drugs, alcohol and other mind and mood altering substances. Many times it is a type of trauma that occurs in a person’s life that makes them reach out so something to fill the void that was emptied and destroyed. There are many forms of trauma that a person suffers and it makes using drugs reasonable and part of dealing with the pain and suffering a person has been going through. Unfortunately with trauma cases it becomes part of their lifestyle , personality and worse belief system. A person believes that without being treated like an enabler, less than or eradicate they are not living. Trauma at a young age can damage someone will into adulthood and never be able to deal with it. Watch the video above to learn more…

Documentation 101 – An Overview

From the video: Documentation is critical to the success of clinical care. It’s critical to the success of getting paid for what you’re good at and what you do and it’s critical for historical purposes so that you can identify where you started and where you’re going. It’s also helpful in setting some goals and expectations with you and the patient or the group. You have to be able to translate what you actually did in a group or individual session or family session onto a piece of paper. So how do you do that? Well, the first thing is that you have to write what happened objectively – who showed up; what time they showed up; if you’re using names, their names; if you have an intervention, what intervention you used and then certainly a goal that you want to establish moving forward. But anything objective, you want to be able to utilize documentation so that if someone reading that note wasn’t in the group or the individual session or the family session they would actually know what went on objectively…For more, watch the video above!

Live Classes Resuming at The Academy

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Academy has not been able to offer our very popular in-person addiction treatment courses. All our courses have been taken on demand through our learning portal.

However, we are very excited to announce that we will be resuming live classes using Zoom webinar technology. While we cannot expect these courses to be as immersive as having students and colleagues around you, we look forward to being able to provide the benefits of live teacher assistance while maintaining proper distancing and following important COVID safety measures.

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CDC Data Shows a Staggering Increase in Overdose Deaths

A recent health alert from the CDC has shown a significant increase in deaths from overdoses. For the 12 month period ended in May 2020, preliminary statistics are showing drug deaths of over 81,000 in the United States alone.

This is significantly worse than prior years. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl have contributed the most to this increase, however overdoses of meth and cocaine have also been seen. Synthetic opioid deaths alone have increased almost 40% in the one year period. Possibly even more startling is an almost doubling of synthetic opioid deaths in 10 western states.

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Alternative Therapies in Addiction Treatment

Professional substance abuse treatment can make the difference between continued suffering and a healthy, sober life. As a counselor, it can be beneficial and important for your treatment plan to also include alternative therapies that address trauma and other elements of the client’s life with addiction.

Addiction treatment therapy is very broad and no two clients are alike. It is partly customized to the substance of abuse and also takes the client’s unique personality into account.

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