Drug and Alcohol

Working in Drug and Alcohol roles

Working in Drug and Alcohol roles

Drug and alcohol workers known as substance misuse workers help people tackle and recover from their dependence on illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, alcohol or solvents.

Psychologists and drug experts who work with addicted people make one common cause. But at different stages of treatment and recovery need help of various specialists.

Help is needed when the dependent person expressed intoxication after he drank large amounts of alcohol. In this condition, there is feeling unwell, high blood pressure, sweating, irritability. Psychiatrist will help to cope with the physical dependence on alcohol.

Such role involves helping clients to access services such as counselling, healthcare and education. This work could vary widely, depending on personal interests and qualifications, and could include:

Drug and Alcohol jobs can be segmented next way:

Outreaching role – visiting substance users and helping with immediate needs, such as temporary accommodation. Outreach work in the drug field is a proactive method used by professionals and trained volunteers or peers to contact drug users. Its aims are to inform them about the risks associated with drug taking, to support them in reducing or eliminating such risks, and/or to help them improve their physical and psychosocial circumstances through individual or collective means.

Drop-in center work –talking to clients about their needs and finding ways of supporting them towards recovery

Counselling and rehabilitation –giving support and dealing with the causes of substance misuse

Arrest referral work –supporting clients arrested for drug-related offences

Education and training –helping clients access services to help them with reading, writing, maths, computer and job-search skills

Healthcare – working as a specialist nurse in an addiction clinic, prescribing medication and supervising detox programs

Advocacy – helping clients to use housing, employment and healthcare services

Needle exchange – providing clean sharps and giving advice on how to use substances safely and reduce harm to self and society

Prison ‘CARAT’ work – Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Through care in prisons and remand centers, including support with detox programs

Youth work – giving emotional support and help with education, employment and training

Drug and Alcohol workers provide support services to people in the community with drug and alcohol issues. These services can include assessment, intervention and counselling.

Drug and Alcohol workers may also act as advocates by promoting awareness of drug and alcohol services and health education. The average salary of a Drug and Alcohol Worker is $68,344 per annum.

In some jobs, this role may cover several of these areas or specialize in a particular one.

The role may also include other segments, such as carrying out risk assessments, designing training and care programs, as well as providing ongoing support for clients while they deal with their substance misuse issues.

What do  you need to do to become a drug and alcohol worker?

You may come into this work from a variety of backgrounds, such as nursing, criminal justice, social care, youth work or counselling. For example, you may have dealt with drug or alcohol-dependent patients as a nurse, or worked in the probation service dealing with offenders after their release.

If you have personal experience of addiction or dependency you could also apply for this type of work, as applications are usually welcome from people who have been through treatment successfully.

Volunteering is an excellent way to gain relevant experience, make contacts and eventually find paid work. It gives the employer a chance to see your skills and motivation, and lets you decide whether this is the career for you. Most drug and alcohol support organizations offer volunteering opportunities and training. You can find volunteering opportunities by contacting local substance misuse organizations.

Employers often ask for between six months and two years’ relevant experience, whether paid or unpaid, and the ability to work with vulnerable people. Employers may sometimes ask for professional qualifications in social work, nursing or counselling, depending on the job.

You can also enter this profession as a support worker with few qualifications, providing you have enough experience. There are some introductory courses in substance misuse, which may be available at local colleges.

You will need enhanced background checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) for most jobs.

To be notified of a job in alcohol & substance misuse be sure to sign up for email on Jooble to be notified when new jobs are added. Keep an eye at the The Medical Job board for opportunities that match your skill set and experience. You can check our website regularly or set up email job alerts.

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