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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Henderson, Nevada

For those living in the Henderson, Nevada area, there are many career and education opportunities for substance abuse specialists. There are currently 320 working substance abuse specialists in Nevada; this should grow by 39% to 450 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. 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 hourly or $38,240 annually on average in Nevada. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,030 per year. Earnings for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Nevada 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: drug abuse technician, behavioral analyst, and domestic violence counselor.

The Henderson area is home to nineteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Henderson where you can get a degree as a substance abuse specialist. Given that the most common education level 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 Henderson 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

University of Nevada-Las Vegas - Las Vegas, NV

University of Nevada-Las Vegas, 4505 S Maryland Pky, Las Vegas, NV 89154. University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a large university located in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 28,618 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Nevada-Las Vegas has a post-master's 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.

LICENSES

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor

Phone: (775) 884-8922
Website: Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counselors

Problem Gambling Counselor

Phone: (775) 884-8922
Website: Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counselors

LOCATION INFORMATION: Henderson, Nevada

Henderson, Nevada
Henderson, Nevada photo by Katie Claypoole

Henderson is located in Clark County, Nevada. It has a population of over 252,064, which has grown by 43.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Henderson, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Henderson are valued at $135,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, 1,063 new homes were constructed in Henderson, down from 2,224 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Henderson are accommodation and food services, arts, entertainment, and recreation, and health care. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and arts, entertainment, and recreation. The average commute to work is about 24 minutes. More than 23.7% of Henderson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Henderson is 10.7%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Henderson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 36.2%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Henderson is home to the Amargosa Substation and the Las Vegas Downs as well as Henderson City Park and O'Callaghan Park. Shopping malls in the area include Boulder - Lake Mead Shopping Center and Lake Mead Shopping Center. Visitors to Henderson can choose from The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Railroad Pass Hotel & Casino and Fuego for temporary stays in the area.