$36.06 to $50.16 per hour
Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA)
Addictions degree or a related degree with course work in addictions
Addiction counsellors work with clients from diverse backgrounds who have various addiction disorders such as drug, alcohol and gambling addictions. Through information sessions and therapy groups, addictions counsellors work with affected individuals, using suitable intervention strategies and treatment approaches to counsel clients through all stages of recovery. Throughout this process, counsellors continually review, assess and document their clients’ progress and follow up post-treatment.
Before counseling, they evaluate client strengths, possible problems, extent of addictions and the client’s potential to change. Taking the client’s history into consideration they create research and experience-based treatment plans. Counsellors will inform their clients about addiction issues and the programs and services available, as well as refer clients to other experts when necessary.
In addition to working directly with clients, addiction counsellors create public education, prevention and health promotion programs. They work with organizations, institutions and communities to develop, implement and evaluate health and wellness programs.
Addiction counsellors work at a variety of health and community facilities, including hospitals, health centres and treatment centres. They work directly with clients and their family members. Clients range in age and background, and counsellors may face hostility from some of their clients. They collaborate with other counsellors and treatment specialists to exchange and present information to clients and the community.
Addiction counsellors may work full-time or part-time hours. They can apply for positions that are permanent or temporary depending on department and facility needs. Shift schedules may include a combination of day, evening and weekend shifts, as well as on-call duty.
Addiction counsellors sit and stand for long periods of time. They work primarily in clean, air controlled indoor environments, but community, work, home or school visits will have variable conditions. Counsellors may be required to travel, so road and weather conditions will vary.