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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Dover, Delaware

Substance abuse specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Dover, Delaware. Currently, 290 people work as substance abuse specialists in Delaware. This is expected to grow 31% to about 390 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.

Income for substance abuse specialists is about $15 hourly or $32,620 annually on average in Delaware. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,030 yearly. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Delaware, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: addictions counselor, treatment coordinator, and mental health therapist.

The Dover area is home to seven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Dover 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 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 Dover include:

  • 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

Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry - Dover, DE

Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry, 100 Campus Drive, Dover, DE 19901. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry is a small college located in Dover, Delaware. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,319 students. Delaware Technical and Community College-Terry 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 two and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree.


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.


Counselor (Associate) of Mental Health, Licensed

Licensing agency: Board of Professional Counselors of Mental Heal
Address: Division of Professional Regulation, Cannon Building, 861 Silver Lake Blvd., STE. 203, Dover, DE 19904-2467

Phone: (302) 744-4530
Website: Board of Professional Counselors of Mental Heal Division of Professional Regulation


Dover, Delaware
Dover, Delaware photo by Malepheasant

Dover is situated in Kent County, Delaware. It has a population of over 36,107, which has grown by 12.4% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dover, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Dover are priced at $116,700 on average, which is above the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-nine new homes were built in Dover, down from one hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Dover are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is public administration, educational services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 19 minutes. More than 28.8% of Dover residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Dover is 9.4%, which is greater than Delaware's average of 8.5%. About 13.8% of Dover's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Dover residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.1%, is less than both the national and state average. Saint Andrews Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Congregation and Bethuel Seventh Day Adventist Church are among the churches located in Dover. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Dover is home to the Kent Swim Club and the Transportation Administration Center as well as Eden Hill and Richardson Park. Shopping malls in the area include Blue Hen Mall and Dover Mall. Visitors to Dover can choose from Inn at Meeting House Square, Little Creek Inn and Ramada Inn for temporary stays in the area.