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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for substance abuse specialists. About 1,160 people are currently employed as substance abuse specialists in North Carolina. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 48% to about 1,720 people employed. 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. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Income for substance abuse specialists is about $18 per hour or $39,210 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $17 hourly or $37,030 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy, people working as substance abuse specialists in North Carolina earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: group counselor, drug abuse technician, and licensed professional counselor .

There is one school within twenty-five miles of High Point where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among twenty-nine schools of higher education total in the High Point area. Given that the most common education level for substance abuse specialists is a Master's degree, 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 High Point 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.
  • Rehabilitation Counselor. Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Guilford Technical Community College - Jamestown, NC

Guilford Technical Community College, 601 High Point Rd, Jamestown, NC 27282. Guilford Technical Community College is a large college located in Jamestown, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,289 students. Guilford Technical Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated two and eight students respectively in 2008.


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: High Point, North Carolina

High Point, North Carolina
High Point, North Carolina photo by Yassie

High Point is located in Guilford County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 101,835, which has grown by 18.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in High Point, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in High Point cost $189,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety new homes were constructed in High Point, down from four hundred eighty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in High Point are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is furniture and related product manufacturing, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 25.5% of High Point residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in High Point is 11.0%, which is greater than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of High Point residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 46.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Hickory Chapel, Mount Carmel Church and Conrad Memorial Church are among the churches located in High Point. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

High Point is home to the Emerywood Country Club and the Uwharrie Council Camp as well as Washington Terrace Park and Armstrong Park. Visitors to High Point can choose from Brookline Furniture CO, Hampton Inn High Point and Fairfield Inn and Stes High Point/Archdl for temporary stays in the area.