Substance abuse counselors work tirelessly to help individuals who struggle with addiction to lead healthier and happier lives. However, with millions of people struggling with addiction every year, the work of a substance abuse counselor is much more complex than it may appear. On one hand, it is undoubtedly rewarding helping people discover new meaning in life when they are independent of drugs and/or alcohol. On the other, there are financial commitments, time constraints, and other responsibilities that come along with pursuing a career in this field. Below are some of the key skills and responsibilities of being a substance abuse counselor.