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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Ramapo, New York

If you want to be a substance abuse specialist, the Ramapo, New York area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 8,960 working substance abuse specialists in New York; this should grow by 22% to 10,960 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%. 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 $19 hourly or $41,100 per year on average in New York and about $17 hourly or $37,030 annually on average nationally. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are better than in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in New York, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: social worker, certified abuse and drug addiction counselor, and counselor.

The Ramapo area is home to 136 schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Ramapo 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. 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 Ramapo 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

SUNY Westchester Community College - Valhalla, NY

SUNY Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, NY 10595. SUNY Westchester Community College is a large college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,090 students. SUNY Westchester Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated five and one students respectively in 2008.

New York Medical College - Valhalla, NY

New York Medical College, Administration Building, Valhalla, NY 10595. New York Medical College is a small college located in Valhalla, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,416 students. New York Medical College has a master's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work.

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

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor

Phone: (800) 482-9564
Website: Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Credentialing Unit

Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Prevention Professional/Specialist

Phone: (800) 482-9564
Website: Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Credentialing Unit

LOCATION INFORMATION: Ramapo, New York

Ramapo, New York
Ramapo, New York photo by Mwanner

Ramapo is situated in Rockland County, New York. It has a population of over 115,096, which has grown by 5.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Ramapo, 150, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Ramapo are valued at $187,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred seventy-four new homes were built in Ramapo, down from two hundred fourteen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Ramapo are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 33 minutes. More than 34.5% of Ramapo residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Ramapo is 6.6%, which is less than New York's average of 8.7%. About 16.3% of Ramapo's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Ramapo residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 82.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Wesley Chapel and Saint Vincent De Paul Church are all churches located in Ramapo. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

Ramapo is home to the Kanes Open Camp and the Cedar Hollow Country Club.