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

Colorado Springs, Colorado provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for substance abuse specialists. There are currently 890 jobs for substance abuse specialists in Colorado and this is projected to grow by 39% to about 1,240 jobs 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. In general, substance abuse specialists counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Substance abuse specialists earn about $15 per hour or $32,750 per year on average in Colorado and about $17 hourly or $37,030 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as substance abuse specialists in Colorado earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: licensed professional counselor , prevention specialist, and primary substance abuse counselor.

The Colorado Springs area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Colorado Springs 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 Colorado Springs 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.
  • 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-Southern Colorado Campus - Colorado Springs, CO

University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus, 5725 Mark Dabling Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80919-2221. University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus is a small university located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 474 students. University of Phoenix-Southern Colorado Campus has a master's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated seventeen 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: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Colorado Springs, Colorado photo by FlickreviewR

Colorado Springs is located in El Paso County, Colorado. It has a population of over 380,307, which has grown by 5.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Colorado Springs, 86, is well below the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Colorado Springs are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 33.6% of Colorado Springs residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Colorado Springs is 7.0%, which is greater than Colorado's average of 6.6%.

The percentage of Colorado Springs residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.1%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Colorado Springs is home to the Wilsons Ranch and the Flying W Ranch as well as Garden of the Gods and Acacia Park. Shopping malls in the area include Academy Center Shopping Center, Academy Place Shopping Center and Academy Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Colorado Springs can choose from Days Inn, Antlers Hilton Colorado Springs and Apache Court for temporary stays in the area.