The Certified Behavioral Health Technician or CBHT designation is more than a certification to make a few extra dollars in the treatment industry. Rather, it is a tangible manifestation of a person’s willingness and desire to improve themselves and to offer better care.
The IC&RC or International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium is the definitive international and interstate credentialing and examination body for professionals in the treatment and recovery business. Ultimately, oversight bodies such as the IC&RC protect the public by adding a layer of protection by setting minimum standards for professional certification. However, the IC&RC also provides a very important service for treatment and recovery professionals.
You’ve taken your Certified Addiction Professional or Certified Addiction Counselor course and you have passed your Florida Certification Board exam with flying colors! it may have felt like a long time in the making, but now the real work begins.
Substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues do not differentiate between genders, cultures, sexual orientations or any of the traits that make us, as humans, unique. As a result, when you begin your career as an addiction counselor, you will meet clients of all backgrounds. Some will have substance abuse disorders, and others will have mental health issues and some will have both. As you are reading this, you may feel concerned that you won’t be able to be the best counselor to each and every one of these clients. However, as your training will have told you, you have less to worry about than you might think.
With all of the trauma – both physical and emotional, as well as the self-destructive behavior that counselors see on a daily basis, it is, at times, easy to overlook dental issues. After all, while our teeth may be important, do good teeth really enhance the therapeutic process?
The surprising and short answer is YES!
What to do if you don’t yet qualify for certification you want?
Many prospective students ask us about certifications that they do not yet fully qualify for. All certifications required training and work experience to a varying degree. And while our students may not yet qualify for the certification of their choice, they may be pursuing education or work experience that will allow them to qualify in the future.
Substance abuse counseling has never been in greater demand than it is today. From medical and doctorate level professionals to certificate level counselors, we need licensed clinicians to make a dent in the addiction epidemic that has only gotten worse over the past decade. While addiction counseling represents an amazing opportunity to help hundreds, if not thousands, of people over the course of your career, it also comes with some very particular challenges. In today’s blog post, we discuss an addiction counselor’s typical day – what to expect when treating others for behavioral health disorders including mental health and substance abuse.
When the typical patient or their family thinks about drug treatment, they don’t often understand how varied and diverse substance abuse counseling can be. Many levels of care within treatment, and even medical conditions that have to be managed through either detox or medication, make treatment complex and multi-factorial. Further complicating the matter is that mental health (a common co-occurring disorder) often factors into the addiction treatment protocol.
The setting in which substance abuse treatment is performed can also vary widely. Almost everyone knows about the large inpatient facilities, typically in the news when the celebrity goes to rehab, but there are also outpatient facilities and even in-office treatment protocols for higher functioning substance abusers.
Here at The Academy for Addiction Professionals, one of the most common questions we receive is from addicted individuals, now well into their recovery, asking how they can give back to the community that helped them so much. It stands to reason that those who made it through quite possibly the hardest part of their lives, would want to pass on that hope to others. Further, many recovering addicts worked with success stories throughout their stay in treatment. In other words, many of the employees in treatment centers around the country are in recovery themselves.
So why consider becoming a substance abuse counselor in recovery?
As mental health professionals, we are acutely aware of the gap between the number of people with diagnosable, verifiable and treatable psychological and mental health issues versus the number that actually receive appropriate care. Sadly, while the former is on the rise the latter is just not catching up. We are woefully behind, both in access to care and in the number of people that are receiving appropriate care.
One of the true challenges in comprehensive mental health treatment revolves around the concept of stigma. It is something that we see every day when treating patients of all races, colors and creeds. To be sure, cultural influences play a role in the societal stigma associated with mental health treatment, but across virtually every demographic, we are seeing that mental health issues are being discussed and recognized by more people than ever before.
The debate over the efficacy and safety of marijuana has raged for decades. On one side is the quintessential, lovable “pothead” that could never hurt a fly. He is totally chill and acts like a kid while eating strange snacks late at night. On the other hand, we have those with serious concerns about marijuana use and legitimate hesitations about negative effects on our bodies and questions about whether it is a gateway drug to harder substances of abuse.
The truth is probably somewhere in between…or it used to be anyway.
Today, marijuana is more widely available than ever before. More importantly it is legal to use recreationally in some states and legal for medicinal use in many others. This has prompted a major scale-up of marijuana production and associated paraphernalia.
One of the challenges we have, as clinicians treating those with substance abuse disorders, is convincing both our clients and their loved ones and family members that marijuana, especially the “weed” we find today can by far more harmful then the stuff our parents smoked back in the day. Let’s dive in: