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Substance Abuse Social Worker

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Life As a Substance Abuse Social Worker

Position Description Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

Life As a Substance Abuse Social Worker: What Do They Do?

  • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse, combat social problems, or improve health or counseling services in community.
  • Supervise or direct other workers who provide services to clients or patients.
  • Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.
  • Increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, or attending seminars, training workshops, or classes.
  • Counsel or aid family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, or supporting the client or patient.
  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.

What a Substance Abuse Social Worker Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Substance Abuse Social Workers say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

  • Outpatient Therapist
  • Health Manager
  • Case Managers
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Direct Service Provider

Job Outlook for Substance Abuse Social Workers

In the United States, there were 123,900 jobs for Substance Abuse Social Worker in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 24,000 new jobs for Substance Abuse Social Worker by 2026. There will be an estimated 15,900 positions for Substance Abuse Social Worker per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Substance Abuse Social Worker are Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Rhode Island, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Substance Abuse Social Worker Make?

Substance Abuse Social Workers make between $28,310 and $78,910 a year.

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Substance Abuse Social Workers who work in New Jersey, District of Columbia, or Connecticut, make the highest salaries.

How much do Substance Abuse Social Workers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $36,700
Alaska $46,420
Arizona $39,390
Arkansas $40,560
California $61,640
Colorado $46,980
Connecticut $63,290
Delaware $50,700
District of Columbia $69,690
Florida $44,100
Georgia $39,600
Hawaii $67,930
Idaho $47,720
Illinois $46,540
Indiana $43,040
Iowa $47,580
Kansas $40,900
Kentucky $35,600
Louisiana $40,960
Maine $56,000
Maryland $53,780
Massachusetts $43,270
Michigan $50,060
Minnesota $55,460
Mississippi $41,470
Missouri $38,880
Montana $37,950
Nebraska $41,320
Nevada $60,540
New Hampshire $57,110
New Jersey $79,130
New Mexico $45,260
New York $62,130
North Carolina $50,270
North Dakota $53,760
Ohio $44,840
Oklahoma $37,380
Oregon $49,380
Pennsylvania $38,440
Rhode Island $52,730
South Carolina $35,330
South Dakota $40,330
Tennessee $38,180
Texas $40,470
Utah $45,830
Vermont $42,620
Virginia $51,660
Washington $53,780
West Virginia $33,880
Wisconsin $46,730
Wyoming $49,660

Tools & Technologies Used by Substance Abuse Social Workers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Substance Abuse Social Workers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Database software
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Corel WordPerfect
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software

How to Become a Substance Abuse Social Worker

Are there Substance Abuse Social Workers education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Who Employs Substance Abuse Social Workers?

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Substance Abuse Social Workers work in the following industries:

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Those interested in being a Substance Abuse Social Worker may also be interested in:

References:

Image Credit: Army Medicine via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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