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

Substance abuse specialist career and educational opportunities abound in Reno, Nevada. Currently, 320 people work as substance abuse specialists in Nevada. This is expected to grow 39% to 450 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%. 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 $18 per hour or $38,240 yearly on average in Nevada and about $17 per hour or $37,030 annually on average nationally. Substance abuse specialists earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in Nevada and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: clinical supervisor, direct care counselor, and domestic violence advocate.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Reno where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among eleven schools of higher education total in the Reno area. Given that the most common education level for substance abuse specialists is a Master's degree, 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 Reno 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

Truckee Meadows Community College - Reno, NV

Truckee Meadows Community College, 7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, NV 89512-3999. Truckee Meadows Community College is a large college located in Reno, Nevada. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 12,277 students. Truckee Meadows Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated three 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: Reno, Nevada

Reno, Nevada
Reno, Nevada photo by Smooth_O

Reno is situated in Washoe County, Nevada. It has a population of over 217,016, which has grown by 20.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Reno, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Reno are priced at $202,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-seven new homes were built in Reno, down from nine hundred ninety-seven the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Reno are arts, entertainment, and recreation, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is arts, entertainment, and recreation, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 25.0% of Reno residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Reno is 11.8%, which is less than Nevada's average of 12.6%.

The percentage of Reno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Reno is home to the Short Ranch and the Keystone Square as well as Wilkinson Park and Paradise Park. Shopping centers in the area include Miraloma Park Shopping Center, Village Shopping Center and University Village East Shopping Center. Visitors to Reno can choose from Oxford Motel, Atlantis Casino Resort and Wayside Motel & Apartments for temporary stays in the area.