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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Chula Vista, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for substance abuse specialists in the Chula Vista, California area. Currently, 9,600 people work as substance abuse specialists in California. This is expected to grow by 35% to about 13,000 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for substance abuse specialists are expected to grow by about 21.0%. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

A person working as a substance abuse specialist can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,660 per year on average in California and about $17 per hour or $37,030 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Substance abuse specialists earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in California and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Substance abuse specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: certified alcohol and drug counselor, chemical dependency professional, and certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor .

The Chula Vista area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Chula Vista where you can get a degree as a substance abuse specialist. The most common level of education for substance abuse specialists is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years training to become a substance abuse specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Substance Abuse Specialist

Substance Abuse Specialist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, substance abuse specialists counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. They also may counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

Substance abuse specialists attend training sessions to increase knowledge and skills. They also participate in case conferences and staff meetings. Equally important, substance abuse specialists have to furnish clients or family members with data related to addiction issues and about available services and programs, making appropriate referrals when needed. They are often called upon to counsel clients and patients, individually and in group sessions, to help in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, and making changes. They are expected to intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to deal with emergency problems in crisis situations. Finally, substance abuse specialists direct efforts with courts, probation officers, community services and other post-treatment agencies.

Every day, substance abuse specialists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for substance abuse specialists to act as liaisons between clients and medical staff. They are often called upon to conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions. They also formulate and implement follow-up and aftercare programs for clients to be discharged from treatment programs. They are sometimes expected to instruct others in program methods and functions. Somewhat less frequently, substance abuse specialists are also expected to participate in case conferences and staff meetings.

and complete and maintain accurate records and reports regarding the patients' histories and progress and other required data. And finally, they sometimes have to direct efforts with courts, probation officers, community services and other post-treatment agencies.

Like many other jobs, substance abuse specialists must have exceptional integrity and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chula Vista include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Palomar College - San Marcos, CA

Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission, San Marcos, CA 92069-1487. Palomar College is a large college located in San Marcos, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 28,093 students. Palomar College has one to two year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated eleven, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.

San Diego City College - San Diego, CA

San Diego City College, 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101-4787. San Diego City College is a large college located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,372 students. San Diego City College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated forty-seven and nineteen students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Distance Credentialed counselor: A Distance Credentialed Counselor (DCC) will be nationally recognized as a professional with training in best practices in Distance Counseling.

For more information, see the Center for Credentialing & Education, Inc. website.

Certified AODA Counselor: Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Counselor is one of the five reciprocal certifications offered through IC&RC.

For more information, see the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse, Inc. website.

ServSafe Alcohol: The ServSafe Alcohol program outlines effective responsible alcohol service practices for all front-of-the-house staff, including bartenders, waiters, hosts, busers, security and valets.

For more information, see the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chula Vista, California

Chula Vista, California
Chula Vista, California photo by FlickreviewR

Chula Vista is located in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 219,318, which has grown by 26.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chula Vista, 134, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Chula Vista are valued at $226,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eleven new homes were built in Chula Vista, down from three hundred twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chula Vista are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 22.2% of Chula Vista residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chula Vista is 12.3%, which is the same as California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Chula Vista residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Seventh Day Adventist Church, First Christian Church and First Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Chula Vista. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chula Vista is home to the Fenton Ranch and the Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course as well as Los Ninos Park and Library Park. Shopping centers in the area include Florence Shopping Center, Rio Sweetwater Plaza Shopping Center and Genesis Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Chula Vista can choose from Best Western Chula Vista Inn, Bay Cities Motel and Big 7 Motel for temporary stays in the area.