Just like in any profession, addiction counselors have codes of ethics to follow and this one is called the Counselors' Code of Ethics. This is administered by the American Counseling Association whose purpose is to define the behavior that every addiction counselor must practice. This also serves as a set of guidelines that will basically describe professional courses of action. Furthermore, it is also the basis by which professionals should handle complaints raised by their clients.
Most important parts of the Code of Ethics for addiction counselors
The Code of Ethics, as we all know, can serve as guide for the behavior of a professional. In the addiction counseling profession, the most important ones include:
Are revisions to the Code of Ethics necessary?
Well, yes, this will be necessary. The changes will definitely benefit not only the professionals but their clients. These will also increase public trust in the profession's integrity. As with any other law, updating will be needed since this can help improve the services professionals extend to their clients.
In NAADAC's revision of its own code of ethics, some areas of concern include: (1) confidentiality/privileged communication and privacy; (2) counseling relationship; (3) professional responsibility; (4) working in a culturally divine world; (5) evaluation, interpretation and assessment of patient/client data (such as when using drug test kits); (6) supervision and consultation; (7) workplace standards; and (8) resolving ethical issues.
The revisions to the codes of ethics should not be taken as a negative move by the organization or the councils that govern addiction professionals. It should be understood as a way of improving the details found within the policies and procedures implemented by the organization.