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  1. #1
    happy camper's Avatar
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    Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    its a research essay, meaning we had to do extensive research on a topic and write an essay on it. i chose chemical dependency counselor because thats the job i am studying for. constructive criticism is highly encouraged. especially towards the end of the essay where i feel like i fizzled out. thanks. i gotta hand this in on thursday, its about 90% done.

    Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor
    Think of licensed alcohol and drug counselors (LADC) as the last line of defense against drug addiction. A counselor is needed only when all other defenses have failed, whether that is parenting, scare tactics, educational programs, or law enforcement.
    Sometimes a person will choose this career because of past chemical dependency with their friends, family, or themselves. Personally, I’ve never had chemical dependency cross paths with my life. I’m choosing this career based on the availability of jobs, interest in the field, and a general desire to make a difference.
    Richard Fields has developed many educational programs relating to alcohol drug counseling and also has over thirty years experience. He defines addiction with three parts; the user’s life seems to revolve around the object of their addiction, the user cannot avoid using the object of their addiction for a significant amount of time, the user will suffer many negative consequences, but will be unwilling to give up the object of their addiction (Fields 129). Imagine doing your favorite activity. What if that activity was harmful to you? How hard would it be to stop doing that harmful activity? This is only scratching the surface of what people with an addiction struggle with everyday.

    Drugs and alcohol have a dramatic effect on the user. Craig Nakken, a counselor with over twenty years of experience, explains, “It [addiction] is a lifestyle in which the person is commanded to give up all other relationships” (Nakken). Severe depression, suicidal thoughts, risk of AIDS through sexual behavior, loss of friends, isolation, loss of job, legal problems, and death can be results of substance abuse (Fields 144). Addicts experience a mood change within themselves. A fear of breaking away from the addiction can occur (Nakken). This fear is derived from the fact that the addiction has become the dominant relationship in their lives. Friends and family have been pushed away through lies, deceit, and the uncontrollable nature of the addict’s personality.
    The addict and the addict’s family are not the only people hurt by substance abuse.
    Society as a whole is effected by drug abuse whether or not each person is an abuser themselves. The addict should take responsibility for their own actions. However, the person killed by a drunk driver, the store clerk robbed because of an addict who
    needed money for their addiction and a baby born to an alcoholic mother- these people had no say in the matter. According to Dan P. Alsobrooks, president of the National District Attorneys Association in Virginia:
    The crimes related to substance abuse range far beyond drug possession. They run the gamut from environmental pollution to murder. Crimes include gang wars to control drug markets; methamphetamine manufacturing sites that are biohazard; deaths caused by drug-impaired drivers. The list goes on.
    (53)
    Indeed, the list goes on. Antonia Abbey states, as told by Richard Fields, “At least half of the sexual assaults on college campuses involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator,
    victim, or both” (Fields 7). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome occurs when a pregnant women drinks alcohol. Only two birth defect related diseases- Down syndrome and spinal bifida occurs more often than Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Fields 86). Children growing up with parents preoccupied with substance abuse are four times more likely to end up abusers themselves (Fields 42).
    Estimations indicate that there are over twelve million alcoholics in the United States (Fields 5). Each one is harming more people than just themselves. “In 1998, thirty-six percent of convicted jail inmates were under the influence of drugs at the time of their offense” (Alsobrooks 58). No guarantees can be made that these crimes would never have happened had it not been for drugs, but the presence is undeniable.
    If you want to pursue a career as a LADC, you must know that on July 1, 2008, new rules take effect concerning licensing for addiction counselors. According to The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, there are four basic requirements; getting a bachelor’s degree, complete a internship, passing an oral test, and a written test (1).
    Students that complete their education and internship before July 1, 2008 will be eligible for licensure with an associate’s degree or its equivalent. According to Val Swanson, teacher for Chemical Dependency classes at Ridgewater College, equivalent means a student must complete at least sixty-four credits; the only required classes are six human services chemical dependency and counseling classes (Swanson). Under the rule changes July 1, 2008, counselors are required to receive a bachelor’s degree, not its equivalent. However, to be considered under the current rules, the associate’s degree or equivalent and internship must be completed and the letter must be postmarked before or on July 1, 2008 (Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy 1-2).
    Schools usually will help their students find a facility to intern for. The student is free to choose their own internship facility, but is not recommended to intern at a facility they were previously a patient (Swanson). An intern will follow a counselor around, participate in group therapy, and do some paperwork.
    Once the student gets their licensure, opportunities are not very limited. Students who do not get a job at the facility they interned for, even though that is the goal, have no reason to worry. Val Swanson explains, “Right now is probably the best time of all ever to try to get in […] in Minnesota there is only about fifteen hundred LADCs” (Swanson). Also encouraging for a prospective counselor is the sheer number of counseling centers available. In the area where I live, there are centers in almost every surrounding town. It won’t be hard to find places to apply to.
    In addition, there is a strong demand for LADCs. This demand is expected to increase through 2014 due to some states that have started requiring treatment instead of jail time for nonviolent related drug possession. (Minnesota Career Information System). Also, many insurance companies would rather send their client to a treatment program rather than a psychiatrist; this is because it is cheaper to send clients to a psychiatrist (Minnesota Career Information System, Swanson).
    There are two types of treatment facilities; inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient is where a patient lives in the facility during treatment. Outpatient allows the patient to go to work or school while receiving treatment at night. Insurance companies often times want their client to try outpatient first, because it is cheaper for the insurance company. Conversely, treatment facilities make most of their money through inpatient patients (Swanson). A counselor who works at an inpatient facility typically works a usual nine to five work day. A counselor working in an outpatient facility will usually work at night.
    Minnesotans in this career, on average, make more than the national average. The Minnesota average is thirty eight thousand six hundred, while the national average is thirty two thousand five hundred (Minnesota Career Information System).
    An addiction counselor’s main objective is to help an addict overcome hardships that have occurred with relation to chemical dependency, identify weaknesses, and establish a life beyond their addiction. Counselors will work in group therapy as well as one on one with a patient. Counselors also will help family members, by reconciling their grief and also teaching the family how to support the addict during recovery (Minnesota Career Information System).
    When it comes to chemical dependency counseling, much of it involves planning (Swanson). The counselor will put together a profile and steps for the patient to follow. The patient will need to check in for the counselor to verify the appropriate steps and assignments are being completed.
    Surprisingly, much of a counselors work is not counseling itself. Paper work must be kept for every client. Phone calls need to be made to reach patient’s next facility of care, probation officer, or insurance company (Swanson). If the counselor is working with adolescents, phone calls need to be made to parents and schools.
    Another facet of a counselors work is working on themselves for their own personal health. You must be sober for at least one year before applying for licensure. You also have to work on being trustworthy for your patients. If a patient can’t trust the counselor, treatment will not work. This can go against males trying to get into this field. Often times, even though it is not always the case, men cannot council women. This is due in large part because many women in recovery for chemical dependency have also been abused (Swanson).
    Hopefully I have illustrated why substance abuse is not a victimless crime. Substance use and abuse harms the addict, the addict’s family and every living person through indirect, if not direct, contact. LADCs are not a magical solution, in fact, most patients do not succeed in their treatment and recovery is a lifelong process. Swanson explains, “Treatment is like planting seeds, they don’t all grow” (Swanson). LADCs are only a piece of a very complex and confusing puzzle in America’s defense against substance abuse.


    Works Cited

    Alsobrooks, Dan P. “Drug Abuse Causes Crime.” Crime and Criminals. Ed. Torr, James

    D. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven Press, 2004.

    Fields, Richard. Drugs In Perspective. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2007.

    Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy.
    LADC Licensure Changes

    Beginning July 1, 2008. 2 Feb. 2007. 4 Feb. 2007 <http://www.bbht.state.mn.us/

    Portals/4/July%201.%202008%20licensure%20changes.pdf>.

    Minnesota Career Information System. Ed. Editor of site. 2006. U at Oregon. 10 Feb.

    2007 <http://mncis.intocareers.org/info2.aspx?File=Occ&FileNum=

    100505&TopicNum=0>.

    Swanson, Val. Personal Interview. 12 Feb. 2007.
    "There is good and there is evil. And evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I will not compromise."

  2. #2
    nickbo's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    You have cited many facts and figures. I do not know if you have had the unfortunate experience of personal involvement with this issue, I have.
    You might want ot gain a little more perspective from the addicts point of view.
    Check out this link

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_tableofcnt.cfm

    It is the A.A. "Big Book". It has many stories and thoughts from an addicts view.

    One of the beliefs that I hold, is that unless the addict has a true desire to get better, and to put that above all else, the chances of success are small.
    All you need to be a successful coach is a patient wife, a loyal dog and a good quarterback, not necessarily in that order. - Bud Grant

  3. #3
    singersp's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    "nickbo" wrote:
    You have cited many facts and figures. I do not know if you have had the unfortunate experience of personal involvement with this issue, I have.
    You might want ot gain a little more perspective from the addicts point of view.
    Check out this link

    http://www.aa.org/bigbookonline/en_tableofcnt.cfm

    It is the A.A. "Big Book". It has many stories and thoughts from an addicts view.

    One of the beliefs that I hold, is that unless the addict has a true desire to get better, and to put that above all else, the chances of success are small.
    That's a given! Successfully recovering addicts will tell you that themseves. It is a key element in recovery, as is admitting & accepting that you are powerless over your addiction.

    Another fact I will attest to & can share with you, is that most people successful in their recoveries who have dealt with chemical dpendency counselors is that the best counselors are ones who are recovering alcoholics & addicts. Simply because they have experienced it & been through it.

    You can read all the books you want about it, but you'll never really comprehend what the disease of addiction actually does to a person.

    Personally, I've dealt with 4 different ones. 2 of them were not addicts in recovery & didn't help me one iota. I could feed those two bullshit & they would eat it up & believe me.

    The other two helped me immensly. The first one wasn't successfull with me, simply because I was trying to quit for someone else besides myself & didn't attend meetings. When I was finally ready & willing, the second one helped me to see the light & I have been sober ever since. It's been 7 years now. Both of the two counselors who were recovering from their disease could see thru the bullshit & really knew their stuff.

    The A.A. Grapevine is also full of stories from recovering alcoholics & you might find something usefull there.

    http://www.aagrapevine.org/

    Recovery is not simply about quitting the addiction. It is a major change in lifestyle, spirituality & the way one lives their life. Thus the terms "wet drunk" & "dry drunk".

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #4
    happy camper's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    my teacher has told me that the fact that im not recovering will come up many many many times in my life if im going to be a counselor.

    shes said being a recovering addict yourself can also have a disadvantage because some counselors will then think "this certain way worked for me, its the best" or "this area didnt work for me, it doesnt work". she also said there is a disadvantage since recovery is a lifelong process, and many counselors will relapse while being a counselor. it would be awkward to relapse one night and go into work and try to treat someone.


    "There is good and there is evil. And evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I will not compromise."

  5. #5
    nickbo's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    "singersp" wrote:

    That's a given! Successfully recovering addicts will tell you that themseves. It is a key element in recovery, as is admitting & accepting that you are powerless over your addiction.

    Another fact I will attest to & can share with you, is that most people successful in their recoveries who have dealt with chemical dpendency counselors is that the best counselors are ones who are recovering alcoholics & addicts. Simply because they have experienced it & been through it.

    You can read all the books you want about it, but you'll never really comprehend what the disease of addiction actually does to a person.

    Personally, I've dealt with 4 different ones. 2 of them were not addicts in recovery & didn't help me one iota. I could feed those two kaka del rio & they would eat it up & believe me.

    The other two helped me immensly. The first one wasn't successfull with me, simply because I was trying to quit for someone else besides myself & didn't attend meetings. When I was finally ready & willing, the second one helped me to see the light & I have been sober ever since. It's been 7 years now. Both of the two counselors who were recovering from their disease could see thru the kaka del rio & really knew their stuff.
    That is not a "given". There are many addicts thrust into programs or talked into trying to go sober and straight.
    Most people that have not experienced the devistation, have no comprehension of what is invloved.

    I recommmended the book to happycamper as a resource. I am not sure what his background is

    You have made some very good points, but as an alcoholic/addicit, you know that there is no "magic cure-all".
    One of the worst things that an alcoholic/addict can do, is to profess that they know all of the answers. I know that I don't.

    Congratulations Singer on your 7 years of sobriety !! That is outstanding.

    16 years for me.

    One of the things that I have a problem with is the term "Alcoholics Anonymous". I don't believe in being anonymous. It is hard for people to find help if they don't know someone to turn to.
    All you need to be a successful coach is a patient wife, a loyal dog and a good quarterback, not necessarily in that order. - Bud Grant

  6. #6
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    I need a beer.

  7. #7
    nickbo's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    I need a beer.
    All you need to be a successful coach is a patient wife, a loyal dog and a good quarterback, not necessarily in that order. - Bud Grant

  8. #8
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    I need a beer.

  9. #9
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    "ultravikingfan" wrote:
    I need a beer.
    here you go. watch out its about to spill

    woo out
    just two corn cobs shy of a bushel

  10. #10
    digital420's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody feel like proofreading an essay on chemical dependency counselors?

    i need a counceler/lawyer like hunter s thompson had..



    DiGiTaL

    "We tried to stick with it, but there was a point where we were beating our head against a wall," Seattle Coach Mora talking about running at the Williams Wall

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