What is life like as a drug advisor

Addiction and drug counselor

As an addiction counselor, Katharina Steger (26) helps people in prison to find their way back to a life without addiction.

A completely different world. This was how Katharina Steger saw everyday life in the correctional facility when she was “behind bars” for the first time. "You have to get used to the processes and the structures first," says the 26-year-old. She has been working in the addiction center in Nuremberg for two years. Your main task is the external addiction counseling in the prison. It helps people to leave their addiction behind. For many, it is the basis of returning to a regular life after imprisonment. To a life without crime.

Every addiction is different "

Katharina Steger studied social work at the Technical University in Nuremberg. During her studies, she chose the specialization areas of rehabilitation and assistance to the endangered as well as assistance to health and addicts. “That was the area that interested me the most.” Much more than child and youth welfare, for example. In it, she only confirmed her current work. “The job is extremely exciting. You deal with so many different people, everyone has a different story. That's why every addiction is different. "

The advice is voluntary. Sometimes people go to counseling at the insistence of relatives, or to meet legal requirements - "but that can also be a motivation," explains Katharina Steger. "I work with what is there and then try to further strengthen motivation in the course of the sessions." The first appointment is to get to know each other. "First I present my work and make it clear that I am subject to confidentiality." Then she begins with the anamnesis. "I try to get as precise a picture as possible: What social environment does the client come from, what crime has he committed and what is behind it?"

Over time, Katharina Steger feels her way forward, trying to find out how the addiction started, what the trigger was and what function the addiction fulfills. “Then I look with the client to see how the addiction can now be dealt with. And we set goals for the time after imprisonment. ”The main goal, of course, is abstinence. "But you have to be clear from the start that it is a long road, with many ups and downs," says the 26-year-old. “You should never take setbacks personally. Of course, that's difficult at the beginning. "

Exchanging ideas with colleagues is therefore particularly important in your job. “We have regular team meetings at which we also discuss cases that are of particular concern to us. I am mostly alone with clients. ”But it is precisely this personal responsibility that Katharina Steger appreciates in her job.

Approach people impartially

The addiction counselor believes that addiction counselors should be impartial, tolerant and understanding. “You have to be able to understand the world of people. And you need a lot of patience. ”Many of her colleagues studied social work, but there are also psychologists and psychotherapists among them. Additional therapeutic training would also be an option for Katharina Steger. “With that I could go deeper into the therapy.” <<