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Chemical Dependency Counselor Tech

posted May 26, 2015, 8:50 AM by Ezra Lockhart
For over a year I have been supporting youth with behavioral and substance abuse issues. I first started off at the Charlie Elder Home, a group home for homeless male teens. As I worked there for 7 months as a shift monitor wanting truly to do more. I then came to be part of a treatment team at The Pathway Home, a residential treatment center for Alaska youth who primarily experience behavioral issues. However, this population frequently have underlying substance abuse and chemical dependency issues. I am approaching the one year mark there.

I submitted my application to the Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification at the start of the year. I am excited to say I am now board certified in Alaska as a Chemical Dependency Counselor Technician. In May, I heard back from the board regarding their decision. I met all of the requirements for Chemical Dependency Counselor level 1 certification, except for the 2000 client hours. I came close, but still needed approximately 225 more hours to upgrade to the next level. Each shift 40% of milieu contact involves chemical dependency support. I routinely facilitate group and individual therapy, including documentation. I conduct urine analysis and participate in treatment plan meetings. I suspect I can complete the required hours before the end of this year.

I truly feel I am making a difference in the lives of the youth I support daily. I have seen them flourish and I have seen them fail. However, in those failures there are always opportunities to learn and grow. Most of what I teach is to be open to feedback and corrections as this is how we improve ourselves. I more than most understand how criticism can be difficult to hear; nonetheless, if we ignore the areas we have trouble in we will continue to make the same mistakes time and time again. Helping these youth grow enriches my life and for that I am grateful.