Many substance abusers report that a social worker “helped them get their life back.” A substance abuse social worker can provide services that allow people to reclaim control of their lives, and that intervention can benefit a person for the rest of their days. Read on for a full substance abuse social worker job description.
Substance Abuse Social Worker Job Description
A substance abuse social worker job description would be best put as being involved in many aspects of the client’s care, and provides services that help a client kick his or her addition, possibly refer them to an Orange County Treatment Center, maintain his or her sobriety, enable them to enter or re-enter the workforce, and repair relationships that have been damaged by the client’s drug use.
Substance abuse social workers also help with other aspects of a person’s sobriety, including:
Substance Abuse Counseling
Substance abuse social workers often work in teams that include an Orange County psychologist or psychiatrist, a nurse, a wellness coach, and a recreational therapist. Together they provide an assessment of the client’s environment and background, and help the client discover what issues may have led to the person’s substance abuse. There are many factors that can contribute to drug usage, including family history and dynamics, childhood environment, criminal involvement, and unemployment. The team provides insight to the client on the factors that led to their addiction, and then formulates a plan to help the client stop abusing substances, or maintain the sobriety that has been achieved.
Substance Abuse Treatment Plans
Substance abuse social workers help clients maintain treatment plans, and assist in the difficulties of transitioning to a life without substance abuse. Very often, group therapy is often a major component of the treatment plan, and a substance abuse social worker will either moderate the group, or arrange for the client to partake in one. Clients often find that their substance abuse has severely damaged their personal relationships with family, friends, and work colleagues, and a social worker may use an intervention (which is another word for “plan of action”) that provides family counseling, so that the client and his family can work on repairing their relationships.
Very often, there are legal issues that accompany substance abuse, and while a social is not allowed to give legal advice or represent the client legally, s/he may provide the client with counseling as the client navigates the legal system, and point the client to agencies that handle legal work.
Places of Employment and Degrees Required
Workers in the field of substance abuse are employed by government agencies, state and private hospitals, and rehabilitation centers. They may also work with schools to educate students from grammar school to college about the effects of drug abuse, and the importance of getting help if a substance abuse issue occurs.
Case management positions are usually available for applicants with a bachelor’s in social work (BSW), and clinical and advanced positions are available for applicants with a master’s in social work (MSW).
Substance abuse social workers have the opportunity to help someone regain their life, and rebuild the relationships that may have been damaged or destroyed. That is an incredible opportunity, and a noble career!