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Substance Abuse Counselor

As a substance abuse counselor the treatment process for alcohol/drug abuse includes three (3) major concepts from and with the client. They are as follows:

  • The client must be willing to admit he/she has a problem.
  • The client must be willing to embrace or, participate in all aspects of the treatment program, which includes a contractual agreement in writing.
  • The client must be willing to accept responsibility for his/her own actions.
The counselor's role in the treatment program is to provide good, solid information the client can use to help themselves and give feedback or "reinforcement" (either positive or negative) if the client is following the program and if they are not, what they need to do and how they need to do it in order to comply with the treatment plan.

Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) in this humble counselors opinion, is the most powerful 12 step program I have ever encountered in over 20 years counseling experience! Although MRT works its magic usually within the 5th or 6th step, the real reinforcement and follow-up is and the "aftercare" program which consists of 20 weeks of phase 2 and 20 weeks of phase 3. Or more simply put 40 weeks of follow-up after the initial 12 weeks of MRT 12 step. I have written an aftercare program (currently undergoing "pilot trials") which is proving to be extremely successful with helping clients maintain their sobriety. I call this program HORSE sessions aftercare. The acronym used stamps for Healthy Options in Recovering from Substance with Education and has proven a rate of success consistently, between 78 and 79%. (Which is pretty good, considering the national rate of success right now is 24%).

But let me reiterate... the role of a substance abuse counselor in any treatment program, is merely "information provider." What the client does with that information or if they do anything at all with it, is entirely up to them.


  • Chronic irritability unless under the influence of alcohol
  • Preoccupation with looking for times and places to consume alcohol
  • Chronic tardiness for work and other appointments
  • "Unkempt appearance" of attire and grooming
  • Never having money enough to pay their bills (even working good paying jobs)
  • Going through what seems like "sudden bouts of depression," usually following drinking binge
  • Refusing to accept one's own responsibility for their actions, (It’s always someone else's fault)
  • Hiding alcohol from others/unable to stop with one drink
  • Drinking to the point of passing out every time one drinks
  • Unable to do without alcohol for more than a few hours or at the maximum a couple of days
  • Unable to experience a "good time" unless consuming alcohol is included
  • Constant bouts of nausea that usually include vomiting in the morning, after a nights drinking binge