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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Nashua, New Hampshire

Substance abuse specialists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Nashua, New Hampshire area. There are currently 260 jobs for substance abuse specialists in New Hampshire and this is projected to grow by 47% to 390 jobs 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.

A person working as a substance abuse specialist can expect to earn about $17 per hour or $37,060 annually on average in New Hampshire and about $17 per hour or $37,030 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in New Hampshire 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: clinical supervisor, group home counselor, and group counselor.

There are fifty-seven schools of higher education in the Nashua area, including three within twenty-five miles of Nashua 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 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 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 Nashua 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Northern Essex Community College - Haverhill, MA

Northern Essex Community College, 100 Elliott Street, Haverhill, MA 01830-2399. Northern Essex Community College is a medium sized college located in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,020 students. Northern Essex Community College has a one to two year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated twelve students in 2008.

Southern New Hampshire University - Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire University, 2500 N River Rd, Manchester, NH 03106. Southern New Hampshire University is a medium sized university located in Manchester, New Hampshire. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,000 students and an admission rate of 74%. Southern New Hampshire University has a post-master's certificate program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

NHTI-Concord's Community College - Concord, NH

NHTI-Concord's Community College, 31 College Drive, Concord, NH 03301-7412. NHTI-Concord's Community College is a small college located in Concord, New Hampshire. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 3,646 students and an admission rate of 73%. NHTI-Concord's Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated one and nine students respectively 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 Counselors

Licensing agency: NH Board of Licensed Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals
Address: 105 Pleasant Street, Room 131 North, Concord, NH 03301-3852

Phone: (603) 271-6761
Website: NH Board of Licensed Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nashua, New Hampshire

Nashua, New Hampshire
Nashua, New Hampshire photo by FSosio

Nashua is situated in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It has a population of over 86,576. The cost of living index in Nashua, 119, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Nashua are valued at $175,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were constructed in Nashua, down from seventy-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashua are health care, educational services, and computer and electronic products. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 31.5% of Nashua residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.2%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Nashua is 7.5%, which is greater than New Hampshire's average of 6.5%.

The percentage of Nashua residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Bethel Church, Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashua and Trinity Baptist Church are among the churches located in Nashua. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Church of Christ and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Nashua is home to the Hillsborough County Courthouse and the Goodhue Memorial Library as well as Deschenes Oval and Nashua Manufacturing Company Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Amherst Street Mall Shopping Center, Royal Ridge Mall Shopping Center and Nashua Mall Shopping Center. Visitors to Nashua can choose from Chalet Susse Motor Lodge, Crowne Plaza Nashua and Speaker's Corner Restaurant for temporary stays in the area.