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Medically Reviewed

How to Find a Substance Abuse Counselor in South Carolina

- 5 sections

Medically Verified: April 26, 2021

Medical Reviewer:

Sahil Talwar, PA-C, MBA


All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.

Addiction affects millions of people and impacts every aspect of their lives. Over time, abusing substances can have devastating consequences for a person’s physical, emotional, and social health. Most people need detox and ongoing treatment to overcome severe addiction and maintain sobriety for life.

Part of substance abuse treatment is learning how to manage all aspects of your life without using substances. Substance abuse counselors are people who are trained to support people in recovery as they learn to navigate their feelings, cravings, and challenges without returning to substance abuse.

Many aspects of substance abuse treatment require you to be open, honest, and vulnerable. Sessions with your drug and alcohol counselor are no different. To be as honest and vulnerable as you need to be, you must trust your counselor and be open to what they are asking of you. Because of this, finding the right substance abuse counselor in South Carolina is an important step in your journey through recovery.

Understanding Substance Abuse Counseling

Substance abuse counseling is similar to other forms of talk therapy in that it involves support, non-judgmental listening, and motivation to change harmful behaviors. Counseling sessions will be primarily focused on substance abuse and maintaining sobriety. Your drug and alcohol counselor will help you understand behaviors, beliefs, and emotions that contribute to your substance abuse. You will learn skills to manage challenges and difficult emotions without using substances. Your counselor may help you to build a new support system or repair relationships with your existing one.

In substance abuse counseling, you will learn how to live a life without using substances. Everyone has their own unique experiences with addiction and requires different things from counseling. In general, you will be listened to, encouraged, and given the skills to achieve whatever goals you have for your life, with a heavy focus on lifelong sobriety.

Traits of a Good Substance Abuse Counselor

Counselors must create a safe place for their clients to share, learn, and be vulnerable. Every person is unique, and you may need to meet with several counselors before finding the one who feels like the right fit. In general, you can look for specific traits, including:

  • Accepting and non-judgmental–you should feel safe being honest and open
  • Organized and on-time–your counselor should respect your time and schedule
  • Protects confidentiality–you should know that your counselor respects your privacy
  • Develops a rapport quickly–your counselor should be interested in forming a relationship with you
  • Uses constructive therapy practices–they use evidence-based methods that are proven to be successful and safe
  • In active recovery for five years or longer–if your counselor is in recovery, they should have a long period of successful sobriety

A drug and alcohol counselor should offer empathy, experience, compassion, and safety to the people in their care. When you are with your counselor, you should feel cared for and heard.

Substance Abuse Counselor Qualifications in South Carolina

In addition to the right personality, substance abuse counselors must also have the necessary education and training, as well as being licensed to practice. In most cases, counselors need to have a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience to be licensed to practice. All substance abuse counselors must take part in ongoing education and supervision while practicing, too.

When searching for your substance abuse counselor in South Carolina, it is crucial to ask about qualifications and education. If your counselor is in recovery, they should also be active in their own care and have a strong support network.

Goals of Substance Abuse Counseling

The first and most important goal of substance abuse counseling is to support long-term recovery and sobriety. Within that larger goal, you will set other goals that are unique to you.

These goals may include things like returning to work, increasing confidence as a parent, living independently, or having healthy relationships.

Your goals will vary based on life factors like:

  • Your existing support network
  • Environmental triggers
  • Mental health diagnoses
  • Situational factors like learning disability or chronic conditions

Your counselor will help you adapt your goals based on your unique life circumstances. You will learn the skills you need to manage your life, including challenges and setbacks, without returning to substance abuse. Recovery is a lifelong process, and your counselor will be an important part of the journey.

Find The Right Substance Abuse Counselor in South Carolina Today

If you or someone you love require the support of a compassionate substance abuse counselor in South Carolina, please reach out to the staff at South Carolina Addiction Treatment. We offer a range of programs designed to help people achieve long-term sobriety. Our team of caring, competent professionals will work with you to help you learn to live the healthy, self-directed life you deserve and to break free from addiction. Call today to speak with our admissions counselors.