Working Your Recovery While Helping Others
Jennifer Hamilton Says...
Excellent question! It certainly is helpful as long as you already have a stable recovery. Ethically, it would be wrong to go into the field simply for yourself, but it seems as if you are saying you are interested in helping others. Also you need to be in a good place mentally with an accountability system so that you can go to someone if you are struggling personally or use again while working in the field.
You would need to research the field in your state. Where I am, you can work on your certification without a Masters Degree. You get a job in the field and simultaneously work on the Bachelor's Degree from where you are now in my state. You would be in an entry level position and getting field experience while getting a formal education. I recommend going ahead and getting your Masters degree and training in both Mental Health and Substance Abuse because there are many complicated cases that require training in both areas. Some states offer Licensure in Substance Abuse Counseling. If not, you could get supervision as a Licensed Professional Counselor or a Licensed Clinical Social Worker like I am.
Most treatment centers will hire those in recovery. The one close to where I am does require one year of sobriety and drug free status first. Good luck!
Page last updated Oct 10, 2013