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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Nampa, Idaho

Substance abuse specialists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Nampa, Idaho area. There are currently 350 working substance abuse specialists in Idaho; this should grow 40% to 490 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%. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Substance abuse specialists earn approximately $16 per hour or $35,140 annually on average in Idaho. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,030 per year. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Idaho, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: addictions counselor, behavioral specialist, and drug aftercare counselor.

The Nampa area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Nampa where you can get a degree 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 Nampa 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Boise State University - Boise, ID

Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725. Boise State University is a large university located in Boise, Idaho. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,667 students and an admission rate of 81%. Boise State University has a postbaccalaureate certificate program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nampa, Idaho

Nampa, Idaho
Nampa, Idaho photo by J.B.

Nampa is located in Canyon County, Idaho. It has a population of over 80,362, which has grown by 54.9% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Nampa, 87, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nampa cost $122,200 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred ninety-one new homes were built in Nampa, down from two hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Nampa are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and food. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 16.0% of Nampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nampa is 11.2%, which is greater than Idaho's average of 8.3%.

The percentage of Nampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.5%, is less than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the LDS (Mormon) Church, the Catholic Church and the Church of the Nazarene.

Shopping malls in the area include Karcher Mall, Nampa Shopping Center and Holly Shopping Center. Visitors to Nampa can choose from Sleep Inn Nampa, Days Inn Nampa ID and Starlite Motel for temporary stays in the area.