What Are the Steps to Becoming a Psychologist in Drug Rehabilitation?

Question by chelsie j: What are the steps to becoming a psychologist in drug rehabilitation?
im a junior in high school and was thinking about looking into psychology in college. and i realize that i would be more interested in working in a rehab center and i was wondering where i would start? like what to take in college besides psychology and so on

Best answer:

Answer by raysny
Most of the people who work at rehabs have had substance abuse issues of the own. You won’t see many psychologists working at rehabs, you will find psychiatrists because they can write prescriptions, psychologists can’t.

In the last few weeks, I’ve seen several people ask about working at rehabs, I’ll tell you the same thing:

Over 90% of rehab centers in the US are 12step based, AA/NA. Most of the rest are Narconon, a Scientology based program, or heavily religious. Courts, government agencies, and employee assistance programs mandate 12step rehabs.

Almost everyone who works at a 12step rehab have had their own problems with alcohol and/or drugs and are AA/NA members. I’m sure you don’t want to go out and become an alcoholic or addict to qualify. The pay isn’t very good, and there is a huge turnover due to relapses, but many of the people who work in rehabs have a spotty employment record and some sort of arrest record so it’s the best they can do.

What you can do is take some courses in Human Services and first of all, see if that’s what you really want to do.

In the past twenty years or so, the courts governing 16 states have ruled that AA is “religious in nature” and mandated 12step treatment to be a violation of the Establishment Clause. Hopefully, more to soon follow. What this means for you, is that there are more treatment opportunities that are not 12step based over the coming years.

I’m a mental health care worker, I work for an ACT program (Assertive Community Treatment), primarily with those who have coexisting substance abuse problems. We use Motivational Interviewing with our clients. About half of all people with mental health disorders have substance abuse problems and about half the people with substance abuse issues have a mental illness. Integrated Treatment, treating both problems, is a growing field. It has been found to be counterproductive to use two different treatment methods, especially when they are often at odds with each other.

Feel free to email me.

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