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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Warwick, Rhode Island

Substance abuse specialists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Warwick, Rhode Island area. There are currently 450 working substance abuse specialists in Rhode Island; this should grow by 32% to 600 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. Substance abuse specialists generally counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders.

Substance abuse specialists earn approximately $18 per hour or $38,030 per year on average in Rhode Island. Nationally they average about $17 per hour or $37,030 annually. Earnings for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Rhode Island and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. Substance abuse specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: outreach worker, chemical dependency professional, and certified substance abuse counselor.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Warwick where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among fifty-one schools of higher education total in the Warwick 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 Warwick 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.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Substance Abuse Specialist Training

Bridgewater State College - Bridgewater, MA

Bridgewater State College, 131 Summer Street, Bridgewater, MA 02325. Bridgewater State College is a large college located in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,269 students and an admission rate of 62%. Bridgewater State College has a master's degree and a post-master's certificate program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties.

Quinebaug Valley Community College - Danielson, CT

Quinebaug Valley Community College, 742 Upper Maple St, Danielson, CT 06239-1436. Quinebaug Valley Community College is a small college located in Danielson, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,898 students. Quinebaug Valley Community College has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Community College of Rhode Island - Warwick, RI

Community College of Rhode Island, 400 East Ave, Warwick, RI 02886-1807. Community College of Rhode Island is a large college located in Warwick, Rhode Island. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,612 students. Community College of Rhode Island has an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

Roger Williams University - Bristol, RI

Roger Williams University, One Old Ferry Rd, Bristol, RI 02809-2923. Roger Williams University is a small university located in Bristol, Rhode Island. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,609 students and an admission rate of 61%. Roger Williams University has a bachelor's degree program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated nine students in 2008.

Massasoit Community College - Brockton, MA

Massasoit Community College, One Massasoit Boulevard, Brockton, MA 02302-3996. Massasoit Community College is a medium sized college located in Brockton, Massachusetts. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,394 students. Massasoit Community College has a less than one year program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling.

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

Chemical Dependency Professional

Licensing agency: RI Board of Licensure for Chemical Dependency Professionals
Address: RI Department of Mental Health, Retardation, & Hospitals, 14 Harrington Rd. - Barry Hall, Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-6049
Website: RI Board of Licensure for Chemical Dependency Professionals RI Department of Mental Health, Retardation, & Hospitals

LOCATION INFORMATION: Warwick, Rhode Island

Warwick, Rhode Island
Warwick, Rhode Island photo by Marcbela

Warwick is located in Kent County, Rhode Island. It has a population of over 84,483, which has shrunk by 1.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Warwick, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Warwick are priced at $129,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were constructed in Warwick, down from forty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Warwick are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 24.5% of Warwick residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.9%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Warwick is 11.5%, which is less than Rhode Island's average of 12.2%.

The percentage of Warwick residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 67.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Warwick Bible Chapel, Warwick Central Baptist Church and Warwick Christian Fellowship Church are all churches located in Warwick. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Warwick is home to the Kent County Chamber of Commerce and the Community College of Rhode Island Learning Resources Center as well as Apponaug Historic District and Salter Grove State Park. Shopping malls in the area include Buttonwoods Plaza Shopping Center, Buttonwoods Shopping Center and Clocktower Square Shopping Center. Visitors to Warwick can choose from Fairfield Inn Providence/Warwick, Extended Stay America and Courtyard by Marriott for temporary stays in the area.