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addictions counselor

Addictions Counselor Code of Ethics

Addictions Counselor Code of Ethics

Assistance for Multiple Addicts

Do I need an Addictions counselor?

An addictions counselor can assist you with your major addiction as well as try to figure out your secondary issues.

We have had a lot of years of experience with recovery from various forms of addictions and compulsions and want this website to be a resource for folks with multiple addictions to find a direction in which to resolve their own issues.

Some A-List Addictions

  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Gambling
  • Sex
  • Work
  • Emotions
  • Click here for a more complete list of addictions

A few Common Secondary Issues

  • compulsive liar
  • compulsive disorder
  • compulsive eating disorder
  • compulsive mutilation
  • compulsive shopping
  • compulsive gambling
  • compulsive hoarding
  • compulsive gaming

What type of Addiction Recovery is Best

We find the best recovery is where all the concerned are on the same page with method and time frame..

    • Addict
    • Doctor
    • Addictions Counselor
    • Family Members
    • Friends
    • Employer
    • 12 step Sponsor

Organise a list of the above participants to get a great recovery underway!

Choosing an Addictions Counselor in Canada

In order to choose a counselor, it is advisable to see if that counselor has a certification of some kind. It is quite hard to obtain this information as government regulations vary as to counselors.

However, there are associations who are trying to establish benchmarks for levels of service offered by addictions counselors.

Click here to locate an addictions counselor in your area of Canada so that you may obtain specific information about the counselor and the status of his/her certification.

Sample Code of Ethics for an Addictions Counselor

  • Believe the dignity of all human beings, and pledge my service to the well-being and betterment of all members of society;
  • Recognize the right of humane treatment of anyone suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse, whether directly or indirectly;
  • Promote and assist in the recovery and return to society of every person served, assisting them to help themselves, and referring them promptly to other programs or individuals, when in their best interest;
  • Maintain a proper professional relationship with all persons served, assisting them to help themselves, and referring them promptly to other programs when in their best interest;
  • Adhere to established precepts of confidentiality in all knowledge, records and materials concerning persons served, and in accordance with any current government regulations;
  • Ensure that all interpersonal transactions between myself and persons served are non-exploitive and essential to their good recovery;
  • Give due respect to the rights, views and positions of any other alcoholism and/or drug counsellors and related professionals;
  • Respect institutional policies and procedures, and cooperate with any agency management with which I may be associated, as long as this remains consistent with recognized standards, procedures and ethics;
  • Contribute my ideas and findings regarding alcoholism and other drug addictions and their treatment and recovery, to any body of knowledge, through appropriate channels;
  • Refrain from any activities, including the abuse of alcohol, drugs or other mood altering chemicals where my personal conduct might diminish my personal capacity, denigrate my professional status, or constitute a violation of the law;
  • Avoid claiming or implying any personal capabilities or professional qualifications beyond those I have actually attained, recognizing that competency gained in one field of activity must not be used improperly to imply competency in another;
  • Regularly evaluate my own strengths, limitations, and biases, or levels of effectiveness, always striving for self-improvement and seeking professional development by means of further education and training.

This code of ethics is published here as a sample only and is a few years old – please contact your counselor, treatment facility or the certification issuing body in your area to see the exact wording for your jurisdiction.

Grievances against an Addictions Counselor

Any accredited counselor is required to have a grievance procedure in place. Ask the counselor for a grievance procedure outline. If no outline is available then use these suggestions.

  1. Using the Code of Ethics as a reference source, detail where you feel that you have been misunderstood or your case mishandled. Avoid angry suggestions and stick to your points based on the code of ethics.
  2. Make several copies of this grievance and deliver one to the counselor or the counselors supervisor. Larger counseling companies and government agencies will have more detailed options available.
  3. If an occasion occurs where a counselor fails to acknowledge your grievance properly, it is fair to file a grievance with the counselor’s accrediting association. The association will usually have a grievance format available provided the member is in good standing with the association.

I once ran into a case where the addictions counselor had lapsed certification and the accrediting agency became very tight-lipped about anything to do with the counselor as they faced a liability as well. So make sure ahead of time the credentials of your addictions counselor or substance abuse counselor has up to date credentials

It is important that you have some knowledge about your situation. When an abusive situation occurs document it in a notebook and write about how you feel about it, also write all facts down that are pertinent to the situation.

Addictions Counselor Patients Experience

Positive Aspects

  • You have an opportunity to obtain help from a qualified individual
  • You can benefit from the counselor’s experience, objectivity and education
  • You can have a recovery plan with positive goals.
  • You can usually participate in therapy groups

Negative Aspects

  • You have to tell the counselor the truth if you want help which may be uncomfortable or risky.
  • You have to participate with your own recovery which you may not be ready to do.
  • Before making a grievance be very sure you are not doing so to keep your addiction going.

An Addictions Counselor is an extremely useful profession, however as the field is quite new, they are not as closely regulated as other professionals and therefore have freedoms and creative license that are not always clearly defined.

Also, on a rare occasion, an unscrupulous or "unprofessional counselor" wishing to have an income, may be tempted to keep you "sick" as it is in their financial interests to do so. It is better to have all things clear in your mind, up front, so you can avoid such situations.

The solution is to stick up for your client rights from the beginning or if you have genuinely been taken advantage of, to request a time out and get your grievance resolved rather than butting heads with no resolve.


The Dean of Addictionz

Working the Solution with Multiple and Addicts of all types

  • 36 Years Personal Recovery Experience in several Self Help Programs
  • Addiction Recovery Outreach Trustee, NW Region Webmaster, Newsletter Editor and contributor for various Recovery Associations Publications
  • Published in several major recovery publications:  AA Grapevine, Al-Anon Forum, Overeaters Anonymous “Voices of Recovery” and “Lifeline”, Gamblers Anonymous “Bulletin” &”Toastmaster” Magazine 
  • This AddictionZ.com website is featured in Melody Beattie’s current “Codependent no More Workbook”
  • Over 45 years successful contracting business experience working with over 2000 employees and Penitentiary halfway house temporary staff.
  • Sponsoring many recovering multiple addicts with long-term good results
  • Recovery weekend workshop leader in Western Canada & US Pacific NW
  • Author “You Can’t Unscrew Somebody Workbook” for relationship makeovers
  • Author “Sex Inventory Workbook” for sex issues
  • Author “Drunk Driving Workbook”  for safety
  • Author “Breaking The Cycle of Gambling Addiction” arrest the money drain!
  • Author “Breaking the Cycle of Compulsive Overeating” get healthy!

Here is a thought!
Why don’t you book your sober recovery style vacation with us in beautiful downtown Victoria BC Canada at our Gingerbread Cottage Bed and Breakfast. Over the years we have had lots of therapists, recovering addicts and health professionals stay at our idyllic B&B steps from the Salish Sea. Oh and we have gourmet breakfasts too! Vanessa makes a fantastic Austrian Apple Strudel! see more on our B&B website…

Please leave your comments below, and I will be sure to answer them. If you want one of the publications but truly cannot afford it leave a comment with your email address and I’ll send you a free one…

This website is about recovery – not making money – but it wouldn’t hurt to pay a few web hosting charges if you  decided to visit one of the sponsors ads… I have kept outside ads to a minimum so it’s not so frustrating to read. Hate those pages with an ad between every paragraph.

Have a great One Day at a Time! Dean 🙂

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