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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Hartford, Connecticut

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for substance abuse specialists in the Hartford, Connecticut area. There are currently 1,210 working substance abuse specialists in Connecticut; this should grow by 36% to about 1,640 working substance abuse specialists in the state 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%. 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 approximately $18 per hour or $39,000 yearly on average in Connecticut. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,030 annually. Earnings for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Connecticut and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: certified alcohol and drug counselor, employee assistance program counselor , and behavior therapist.

There are sixty-two schools of higher education in the Hartford area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Hartford where you can get a degree to start your career as a substance abuse specialist. Substance abuse specialists usually hold a Master's degree, so it will take about six years to learn to be 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 Hartford 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.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • 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

Asnuntuck Community College - Enfield, CT

Asnuntuck Community College, 170 Elm St, Enfield, CT 06082. Asnuntuck Community College is a small college located in Enfield, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,769 students. Asnuntuck Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Naugatuck Valley Community College - Waterbury, CT

Naugatuck Valley Community College, 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708-3089. Naugatuck Valley Community College is a medium sized college located in Waterbury, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,880 students. Naugatuck Valley Community College has 2 areas of study related to Substance Abuse Specialist. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Tunxis Community College - Farmington, CT

Tunxis Community College, Rts 6 and 177, Farmington, CT 06032-3187. Tunxis Community College is a small college located in Farmington, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 4,328 students. Tunxis Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two students in 2008.

Holyoke Community College - Holyoke, MA

Holyoke Community College, 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040. Holyoke Community College is a medium sized college located in Holyoke, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,592 students. Holyoke Community College has a less than one year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two students in 2008.

Northwestern Connecticut Community College - Winsted, CT

Northwestern Connecticut Community College, Park Pl E, Winsted, CT 06098. Northwestern Connecticut Community College is a small college located in Winsted, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,721 students. Northwestern Connecticut Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Middlesex Community College - Middletown, CT

Middlesex Community College, 100 Training Hill Rd, Middletown, CT 06457-4829. Middlesex Community College is a small college located in Middletown, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,624 students. Middlesex Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Manchester Community College - Manchester, CT

Manchester Community College, Great Path, Manchester, CT 06045-1046. Manchester Community College is a medium sized college located in Manchester, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,649 students. Manchester Community College has 2 areas of study related to Substance Abuse Specialist. They are:

  • Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated zero and twenty students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, less than one year and associate's degree.

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

Counselor, Alcohol and Drug, Certified

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

Counselor, Alcohol and Drug, Licensed

Licensing agency: Department of Public Health
Address: Health Care Systems Branch, Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section, 410 Capitol Avenue, P.O.Box 340308, Hartford, CT 06134-0308

Phone: (860) 509-7603
Website: Department of Public Health Health Care Systems Branch Practitioner Licensing & Investigations Section

LOCATION INFORMATION: Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut
Hartford, Connecticut photo by Contimm

Hartford is situated in Hartford County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 124,062, which has grown by 2.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Hartford, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Hartford cost $82,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, eight new homes were constructed in Hartford, down from twelve the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Hartford are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is administrative and support and waste management services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 12.4% of Hartford residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Hartford is 14.4%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Hartford residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.4%, is more than both the national and state average. Our Lady of Sorrows Church, All Saints Orthodox Church and Sacred Heart Church are all churches located in Hartford. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.

Hartford is home to the Albany Avenue Branch Hartford Public Library and the North Meadows Industrial Park as well as Little Hollywood Historic District and West End North Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Park Plaza Shopping Center, Pavillion at State House Shopping Center and Civic Center Mall Shopping Center.