Now, five years later, I am a very changed person. I have kicked the alcohol addiction and now find myself helping others do the same. I feel that if I can help other people overcome their addictions that I will be able to become an addictions nurse. This is what I called my CCRN for nurses certification because I feel that this is the path to take for those who really want to become an addictions nurse. After completing my CCRN, I felt like I was prepared to take on the best jobs that I ever wanted to have.
The first step on how to become an addictions nurse is to identify your problems. If you are not sure what your problem is then you may want to start with a mental health evaluation. You can do this by going to a psychologist or even your local hospital. They should be able to give you a complete mental health history. If they do not have your complete history then it is time to start checking different treatment centers and hospitals to make sure that you do not have an addiction that will require inpatient treatment.
Once you have determined what your addiction is, you then need to look at the different treatment options that are available. For most nurses who are dealing with an addiction there are three options; inpatient treatment, residential treatment, or outpatient treatment. Outpatient is the easiest option, because the patient does not have to stay in the hospital overnight. There are some cases where the patient may have to stay in the hospital for a day or two, but this is minimal in most cases.
Inpatient treatment is where the addiction nurse would work one on one with the patient and work on behavioral therapy along with medication. Sometimes medication is combined with counseling sessions in order to treat the addiction. The addiction counselors at these treatment centers are specially trained to work with the individual and treat the addiction.
An addiction counselor can help the addicted individual by providing them with peer support, individual counseling, group counseling, and other services. They also work directly with the patients and their families and help them set up a support system. Addiction counselors may participate in state-funded programs that will include family therapy and group therapy. The addiction counselor will be able to provide information about available treatment centers and addiction counselors that are licensed.
If you decide that you want to take the direction of becoming an addiction counselor then you should begin your education by attending a certified addiction counseling program. These programs are designed to help people understand addiction and how to treat it. You will learn the terminology and methods that are used in addiction counseling. You will learn how to assess the problem, how to identify people at risk for addiction, and how to create effective action plans to help the individual. Most of all you will learn how to become an addiction counselor by attending these programs and being taught what it takes to become a professional addiction counselor.
When you have completed your education and your basic necessities are taken care of, you can look for a job in a clinic or hospital that will allow you to work with addicted patients. Addiction counselors are required to undergo continuing education every two four years. Some addiction counselors complete a Masters Degree and go on to teach addiction counseling. If you have decided to be an addiction counselor you can either work locally in your community or you can apply for positions in national addiction counseling centers. Once you have completed the required number of credits you can expect to get your certification. You will have to take a specific exam in order to become certified as an addiction counselor.