Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Colorado - CO
Working as a substance abuse counselor can be challenging, stimulating, and personally satisfying. Substance abuse counselors have the ability to make a strong, positive impact on their clients’ lives. The field of chemical dependency counseling offers the experience of working in an allied health profession while also interacting personally with clients who are seeking assistance in overcoming painful and debilitating addictions. It requires both knowledge of the medical and psychological mechanisms of addiction and an ability to empathize and communicate with those who are suffering. Substance abuse counselors cannot practice in the state of Colorado without first being certified or licensed as addiction counselors by the Office of Licensing of the Colorado Division of Registrations. Colorado offers three levels of certification, Certified Addiction Counselor I, Certified Addiction Counselor II, and Certified Addiction Counselor III. In addition, Colorado grants licenses to those who meet the requirements to become Licensed Addiction Counselors.
To become a substance abuse counselor in Colorado, a candidate must complete a degree program approved by the state’s Division of Behavioral Health. The prospective addiction counselor must also complete a certain number of hours of supervised work, attend a series of mandated training classes, and pass a certification examination. Once the new substance abuse counselor has been certified, he or she will be qualified to practice at hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities all over Colorado, including such fine institutions as Denver Health Medical Center in Denver and Memorial Hospital Central and Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs.