What is an addiction social worker?
Addiction is an ugly demon that millions of Americans suffer from. In fact, addiction is even considered to be one of the most common health problems in this country.
When most people think of addiction, they often think of drug addicts. However, there are numerous types of addictions. Some addictions involve substances, for instance, while other addictions are more about impulse control issues. Below is a short list of some of the things that people can become addicted to.
Every true addiction has negative effects. Individuals addicted to substances, like drugs or alcohol, will often suffer physical ramifications of their addictions. Those who are addicted to certain acts, like shopping or gambling, may not have to deal with physical ramifications, but they will often have other problems, such as financial problems. Most addicts will also eventually have problems in many areas of their lives, including their careers and relationships.Addiction does not only affect just the addict, however. It also affects the addict’s loved ones. An addicts family and friends might feel frustrated and hopeless when their loved one is suffering from an addiction. Many family members and friends will often try to help an addict with his problem, but since they lack the knowledge and proper training, they will ultimately fail.Addiction social workers, on the other hand, are trained to deal with all sorts of addictions. These professionals can help individuals overcome their addictions and go back to living normal healthy lives.To succeed in an addiction social work career, you must possess a few important traits and characteristics. For instance, you must have excellent communication skills, and you should be compassionate and non-judgmental. The road to recovering from an addiction is often long and bumpy, riddled with relapses and other misfortunes. Because of this, if you choose to become and addiction counselor, you should be patient, understanding, and determined.
Why do we need addiction social workers?
Like many other mental health problems, addiction does not discriminate. Although images of low-income gang riddled neighborhoods come to mind when many people think of addiction, in truth this problem can affect anyone.
As mentioned above, addiction affects not only the addict, but those around him as well. Problems of all different sorts also seem to surround addicts. In order to fix these problems and prevent future problems, addicts must usually enlist the help of addiction social workers and other similar professionals. Only after getting proper treatment can most addicts start traveling down the road to recovery and away from the devastating effects of their vices.
What do addiction social workers do?
An addiction social worker often has a number of different duties and responsibilities.
Case management is one very important duty of an addiction social worker. This involves keeping all of the details of an addicts treatment well documented and organized. It might also involve recommending or collaborating with other professionals. As an addiction social worker, for instance, you will often work closely with a team of other addiction, mental health, and medical professionals. Your team might include counselors, therapists, doctors, and nurses.
Assessing a patient or client is usually one of the first duties of an addiction social worker, however. Addiction assessment involves figuring out what type of addiction a person suffers from, the severity of the addiction, and what it might be caused or exacerbated by.
After the initial assessment, an addiction social worker can then outline a treatment plan. When creating this plan, an addiction social worker will often take into account such things as what types of treatments will work for the patient based on such things as the type of addiction he suffers from and his lifestyle. Treatments may include stays in rehabilitation facilities, counseling, and therapy.
An addiction social worker will also help addicts set goals during their treatment and recovery. Examples of goals for an addict during recovery may include checking himself into an addiction facility or staying away from his vice for a certain amount of time. Goals are an extremely important part of the addiction recovery process, because they give addicts something to work toward as well as a sense of accomplishment.
Monitoring an addict’s progress is another important duty of an addiction social worker. These professionals will keep track of the accomplishments that addicts make during their treatment. An addict’s progress can help an addiction social worker determine whether or not the treatment plan is working, and it can help keep the patient going down the road to recovery.
Where do addiction social workers find employment?
Addiction social workers can often find employment in facilities such as inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment centers. Medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, mental health centers, and community health centers will also typically hire addiction social workers.
What are the education requirements for an addiction social work career?
|Education Requirements||Education Length||Available Programs|
|LBSW (License Bachelor’s Social Work)||Bachelor’s||4 Years||Online or Campus|
|LMSW (Licensed Master’s Social Worker)||Master’s||6 Years||Online or Campus|
|LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker)||Master’s +3200 Clinical Hours||7-8 Years||Online or Campus|
In order to become an addiction social worker, the proper education is imperative. A successful addiction social work career requires extensive knowledge of addictions and how they work, as well as knowledge of how to treat addictions.
Many addiction social workers start their education with bachelor’s degrees in areas such as psychology or social work, with a concentration on addiction. The majority of addiction social workers also earn master’s degrees, since this level of education is usually required to become a licensed addiction social worker in most areas.
What is the salary of an addiction social worker?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the median salary for social workers in general was $42,480 in 2010. In comparison, the median salary of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was $38,120 in 2010.