According to the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), harm associated with prescription drugs has emerged as a leading public health and safety concern across North America. Here in Canada, some First Nations organizations have even declared states of crisis owing to the prevalence of prescription drug addiction in their communities.
Addressing our nation’s problems with prescription drug abuse requires collaboration across multiple industries, from healthcare to mental health and wellness education to social services. “Stigma, gaps in services and practice inconsistencies mean that many Canadians do not receive the full spectrum of treatment or supports they need,” reports CCSA.
If you want to play your part in confronting this problem, consider becoming a professional addictions counsellor. The right training can help you develop the skills you need to make a real difference in the lives of those facing prescription drug addiction.
Developing an Understanding of Physical Drug Dependence in Addictions Counsellor Courses
To begin this important work, counsellors must develop an intimate knowledge of basic addiction concepts including physical and physiological dependence, tolerance and withdrawal. How does a person become addicted to prescription drugs? Why is it physically difficult for a body to overcome this kind of addiction?
At Rhodes Wellness College, you can take addictions counsellor courses dedicated to explaining how basic pharmacology impacts the human body and mind. You’ll become familiar with a range of drug classifications, sources of psychoactive drugs, methods of administration, and drug interactions. You’ll also learn how drugs can affect the central nervous system, often creating chemical dependencies.
According to the International Narcotics Control Board, Canada is the second-largest per capita consumer of prescription opioids (pain-relieving narcotics) in the world. With an understanding of how these drugs affect the body, you’ll be well-positioned to help those who have come to misuse or abuse them.
Recognizing Underlying Emotional Issues with Your Addictions Counsellor Training
Addiction is more than just a physical issue. Counsellors can make the greatest difference by promoting the emotional and personal wellbeing of clients facing addiction.
In addictions counsellor training, you can learn firsthand how emotionally and psychologically challenging it is to end an addiction. Students at Rhodes College are asked to identify their own habits and addictions and asked to take a critical look at them throughout their addictions training. They learn through experience, by examining what effect their own destructive habits may have by keeping a journal of their personal withdrawal process.
This helps people like you become better counselling professionals by giving you an understanding of the underlying emotional, psychological, and developmental issues which may create and maintain addictive behaviour. From self-soothing habits to self-destructiveness, recognizing the emotional issues and patterns at work in a client’s life will enable you to better support their journey toward freedom from addiction.
Helping Clients Implement the Prochaska & DiClemente Model of Change
At Rhodes College, our students prepare to counsel those in every stage of the recovery process. If you pursue this path toward a counselling career, you’ll learn to navigate the complexities of recovery and rehabilitation through evidence-informed intervention strategies and theory.
Theorists Prochaska and DiClemente’s ‘Cycle of Change’ model involves 6 clear phases of addiction recovery. From pre-contemplation, contemplation, and preparation to action, maintenance, and even relapse, this model helps professional counsellors to guide clients through their own positive transformations.
The cycle of change model is an “upward spiral” instead of a straight line, wherein each relapse is a learning experience, helping those suffering from addictions become stronger and back in control sooner and more effectively. It’s a gradual process involving self-regulation, reduction of enabling behaviour, and the responsible use of appropriate intervention strategies by skilled, caring people like you.
Are you ready to pursue addictions counselling training?
Visit Rhodes Wellness College to learn more about getting started.