Major Code: 395S
The Substance Abuse Intervention Technician Advanced Skill Set prepares students to work with individuals and families experiencing or affected by substance abuse problems and other co-occurring behavioral or mental health issues. Students will learn about working with clients, and acquire skills needed to apply theories used in psychology, social work, and substance use disorders to help individuals and families recover from substance abuse & addiction and prevent relapse. A 2.0 GPA is required for acceptance into this program.
This program allows students to complete a certificate quickly to prepare to work in the fields of substance abuse, social work or mental health in a treatment facility. Students who complete this Level I certificate under the federal grant referenced below, who have worked or currently work in the field of Substance Abuse Intervention and have completed at least 3,100 of internship or on the job hours in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, & education under the direct supervision of a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor (CDAC), or Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) may be eligible for an Apprenticeship Certificate through the Department of Labor.
For students who have also had a successful personal recovery experience, it will fulfill the eligibility requirements of the WV Certification Board for Addiction & Prevention Professionals (WVCBAPP) to sit for the exam to become credentialed as peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) in West Virginia.
It also fulfills some of the requirements for students who wish to pursue the Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) for Substance Abuse Intervention Specialists, or can serve as a foundation for students who eventually may wish to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Social Work, Psychology, Counseling, or related fields.
This project is supported by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant # T26HP394640100, “Opioid Impacted Family Support Program”. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.”
Students successfully completing and receiving an Advanced Skill Set Certificate in Substance Abuse Intervention Technician should be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the human services professions and social & community agencies*.
- Demonstrate knowledge of psychoactive substances and their effects on the user*
- Demonstrate knowledge of the issues related to the needs and problems of different types of clients, particularly those with substance abuse problems.*
- Demonstrate knowledge of Alcoholic’s Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, including their philosophies and 12 step programs*
- Demonstrate knowledge of issues related to medical and legal ethics*
- Demonstrate knowledge of how families and other individuals are affected by substance abuse problems.*
- Apply the skills, techniques, strategies, and abilities needed for assessing, interviewing, treatment planning, therapeutic communication, recovery, & education services and relationships with clients.*
- Apply the skills, techniques, strategies, and abilities needed for working with groups*.
- Demonstrate the ability to be productive and effective in a human services delivery system and an understanding of their role, abilities, and limitations as an entry-level human services worker by successfully completing a practicum/clinical experience*
- Utilize critical thinking skills.
*Returning students who completed certain courses more than 5 years prior to entering this program may be asked to repeat the course(s) to ensure that their knowledge & skills are current in the field.
Graduates of this program can expect to be employed in substance abuse treatment facilities or other human services agencies in positions which do not require Associate or Bachelor’s degrees as peer recovery support specialists, behavior specialists, case aides or caseworkers, or as mental health or crisis intervention technicians. To become a prevention specialist or certified addictions counselor, social worker, or similar professional, students with this certificate will need to continue their education by earning an Associate or Bachelor’s degree.
The employment outlook for these jobs currently is above average but is dependent upon changing needs within the local region, other regions and the nation.
Salaries are moderately low compared to other fields. Pay depends on the location and type of agency and on the prospective employee’s level of education and work experience.
Important information: If the student has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor for any reason, State or National credentialing boards, licensing board and agencies, which require criminal background checks on potential employees and students may deny employment or placement in certain settings, even if all academic requirements have been completed. A student who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor should contact the Program Director.
Job Titles: Peer Support Specialist, Family Service Worker, Direct Services Worker, Mental Health Technician
Wage and Employment Trends:
- $13 to $15 an hour (Payscale.com, 2020)
- 22% growth in the next four years; faster than average (SAMHSA, 2019)
CIP Code: 51.1501