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All About Substance Abuse Social Workers

Substance Abuse Social Worker Example 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?

  • Collaborate with counselors, physicians, or nurses to plan or coordinate treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs.
  • Counsel clients in individual or group sessions to assist them in dealing with substance abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty, unemployment, or physical abuse.
  • Develop or advise on social policy or assist in community development.
  • Interview clients, review records, conduct assessments, or confer with other professionals to evaluate the mental or physical condition of clients or patients.
  • Plan or conduct programs to prevent substance abuse, combat social problems, or improve health or counseling services in community.
  • Monitor, evaluate, and record client progress with respect to treatment goals.

Substance Abuse Social Worker Required Skills

These are the skills Substance Abuse Social Workers say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Types of Substance Abuse Social Worker Jobs

  • Group Home Counselor
  • Alcoholism Worker
  • Probation Officer
  • Psychotherapist Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse Specialist

Are There Job Opportunities for Substance Abuse Social Workers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 123,900 jobs in the United States for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.3% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 23,900 new jobs for Substance Abuse Social Workers by 2026. There will be an estimated 15,900 positions for Substance Abuse Social Worker per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Substance Abuse Social Workers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers are New York, California, and Pennsylvania.

Watch out if you plan on working in Wyoming, West Virginia, or South Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Substance Abuse Social Workers

The typical yearly salary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers is somewhere between $28,310 and $78,910. A Substance Abuse Social Worker median salary is $44,840.

Salary Ranges for Substance Abuse Social Workers

How much do Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New Jersey

$79,130

District of Columbia

$69,690

Hawaii

$67,930

Connecticut

$63,290

New York

$62,130

California

$61,640

Nevada

$60,540

New Hampshire

$57,110

Maine

$56,000

Minnesota

$55,460

Maryland

$53,780

Washington

$53,780

North Dakota

$53,760

Rhode Island

$52,730

Virginia

$51,660

Delaware

$50,700

North Carolina

$50,270

Michigan

$50,060

Wyoming

$49,660

Oregon

$49,380

Idaho

$47,720

Iowa

$47,580

Colorado

$46,980

Wisconsin

$46,730

Illinois

$46,540

Alaska

$46,420

Utah

$45,830

New Mexico

$45,260

Ohio

$44,840

Florida

$44,100

Massachusetts

$43,270

Indiana

$43,040

Vermont

$42,620

Mississippi

$41,470

Nebraska

$41,320

Louisiana

$40,960

Kansas

$40,900

Arkansas

$40,560

Texas

$40,470

South Dakota

$40,330

Georgia

$39,600

Arizona

$39,390

Missouri

$38,880

Pennsylvania

$38,440

Tennessee

$38,180

Montana

$37,950

Oklahoma

$37,380

Alabama

$36,700

Kentucky

$35,600

South Carolina

$35,330

West Virginia

$33,880

Tools & Technologies Used by Substance Abuse Social Workers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Substance Abuse Social Workers:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Medical condition coding software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Medical procedure coding software

How to Become a Substance Abuse Social Worker

Are there Substance Abuse Social Worker education requirements?

Substance Abuse Social Worker Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Substance Abuse Social Worker Work Experience

Who Employs Substance Abuse Social Workers?

Substance Abuse Social Worker Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming Substance Abuse Social Workers might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Nursing Instructors and Professors
  • Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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