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Career and Education Opportunities for Substance Abuse Specialists in Irving, Texas

If you want to be a substance abuse specialist, the Irving, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 3,010 people work as substance abuse specialists in Texas. This is expected to grow by 35% to 4,060 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.

A person working as a substance abuse specialist can expect to earn about $16 per hour or $33,350 annually on average in Texas and about $17 per hour or $37,030 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for substance abuse specialists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. People working as substance abuse specialists can fill a number of jobs, such as: chemical dependency counselor , certified alcohol and drug counselor, and domestic violence advocate.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Irving where you can study to be a substance abuse specialist, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Irving area. Substance abuse specialists usually hold a Master's degree, so 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 Irving 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

Eastfield College - Mesquite, TX

Eastfield College, 3737 Motley Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150-2099. Eastfield College is a large college located in Mesquite, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,501 students. Eastfield College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling which graduated ten and five students respectively in 2008.

PCI Health Training Center - Dallas, TX

PCI Health Training Center, 8101 John Carpenter Fwy, Dallas, TX 75247-4720. PCI Health Training Center is a small school located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 675 students. PCI Health Training Center has a one to two year program in Mental & Social Health Services & Allied Professions, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-nine 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

COUNSELOR, CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY

Licensing agency: Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Address: 9001 IH 35 North, Suite 105, Austin, TX 78753

Phone: (800) 832-9623
Website: Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

LOCATION INFORMATION: Irving, Texas

Irving, Texas
Irving, Texas photo by Ansem27

Irving is located in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 201,358, which has grown by 5.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Irving, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Irving cost $273,600 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, four hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in Irving, down from seven hundred ninety-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irving are finance and insurance, educational services, and health care. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 30.0% of Irving residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irving is 7.8%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Irving residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. African Baptist Church of Irving, Plymouth Park Church and Chapel of the Bells Church are all churches located in Irving. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Irving is home to the Dallas Gun Club and the Trinity Valley Marketplace as well as Senter Park and Revere Park. Shopping centers in the area include Irving Shopping Center, Plymouth Park Shopping Center and MacArthur Park Shopping Center. Visitors to Irving can choose from American Hospitality Services Corporation, Best Western DFW Airport and Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas for temporary stays in the area.