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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Arvada, Colorado

Substance abuse specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Arvada, Colorado. There are currently 890 working substance abuse specialists in Colorado; this should grow by 39% to 1,240 working substance abuse specialists in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for substance abuse specialists, which sees this job pool growing by about 21.0% over the next eight years. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

The income of a substance abuse specialist is about $15 per hour or $32,750 per year on average in Colorado. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,030 annually on average. Earnings for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Colorado and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. Substance abuse specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: prevention specialist, certified alcohol counselor, and youth counselor.

The Arvada area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Arvada where you can get a degree as a substance abuse specialist. Substance abuse specialists usually hold a Master's degree, so you can expect to spend about six years studying to be a substance abuse specialist if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years if you have 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 Arvada include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • 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.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

University of Phoenix-Denver Campus - Lone Tree, CO

University of Phoenix-Denver Campus, 10004 Park Meadows Drive, Lone Tree, CO 80124-5453. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus is a small university located in Lone Tree, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,957 students. University of Phoenix-Denver Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-seven students 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.

LICENSES

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

Licensing agency: Mental Health Board
Address: 1560 Broadway, Suite 1370, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-7748
Website: Mental Health Board

Certified Addiction Counselor 1

Licensing agency: Mental Health Licensing Section
Address: 1560 Broadway Suite 880, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-7766
Website: Mental Health Licensing Section

Certified Addiction Counselor 2

Licensing agency: Mental Health Licensing Section
Address: 1560 Broadway Suite 880, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-7766
Website: Mental Health Licensing Section

Certified Addiction Counselor 3

Licensing agency: Mental Health Licensing Section
Address: 1560 Broadway Suite 880, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-7766
Website: Mental Health Licensing Section

Licensed Professional Counselor

Licensing agency: Colorado State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors
Address: 1560 Broadway Ste 1370, Denver, CO 80202

Phone: (303) 894-7766
Website: Colorado State Board of Licensed Professional Counselors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Arvada, Colorado

Arvada, Colorado
Arvada, Colorado photo by Lordkinbote

Arvada is situated in Jefferson County, Colorado. It has a population of over 107,361, which has grown by 5.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Arvada, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Arvada are priced at $252,600 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred nineteen new homes were constructed in Arvada, down from one hundred thirty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Arvada are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 29.0% of Arvada residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Arvada is 7.3%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Arvada residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 35.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Charismatic Churches Independent and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Arvada is home to the Arvada Filtration Plant and the Arvada Plaza as well as McLlvoy Park and Ralston Valley Park. Shopping centers in the area include Arvada Square Shopping Center and North Park Shopping Center.