Like many other areas of the United States, Ohio is in need of addiction recovery services and professionals trained to provide them. By pursuing a career in addiction treatment in a rehab setting, you can make a difference in the lives of Ohio residents each day.
In 2019, 4,028 people died due to unintentional drug overdoses in Ohio. The powerful opioid fentanyl was involved in 76% of these deaths — an increase from 58% in 2016. These numbers will likely grow in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; the CDC reported that almost all jurisdictions with opioid-related data saw an increase in overdose deaths from June 2019 to May 2020. Of the 38 jurisdictions, 18 saw more than a 50% increase. Surveys have also indicated that Americans may be using drugs and alcohol more often due to the stressful effects of the pandemic.
Addiction impacts not only the person struggling with drugs or alcohol, but also their friends, family members, loved ones and community. Working in the field of addiction treatment and recovery means helping all of these individuals find the help they need to begin healing. Here are some of the key ways that addiction specialists help communities and families in their day-to-day duties.
As an addiction specialist, you’ll be helping create and implement individualized treatment plans for people struggling with addiction. This can involve conducting addiction screenings, diagnosing addiction and any co-occurring mental health disorders, providing treatment according to the doctor’s orders, providing maintenance medications and monitoring the progress of recovery.
Addiction specialists are often on the frontlines of the nationwide opioid crisis, working to raise awareness about the different recovery resources available. They may provide education about addiction to students at schools, employees at business organizations and residents of underserved communities. In addition to helping rehab clients understand the underlying causes of addiction and how it’s treated, specialists also provide support and knowledge to the friends, family members and loved ones of people living with addiction.
The most effective way to avoid a crisis is to prevent them, which is why addiction specialists spend a lot of time teaching prevention strategies and raising awareness about drug-related risks. Those who work in addiction recovery may provide harm prevention tools, such as fentanyl test kits or needle exchange programs, to help people avoid overdosing or taking unknown substances when using drugs. They may help people create relapse prevention plans or at least teach them what to do in an emergency like an opioid overdose.
Working as an addiction specialist means taking on the roles of educator, supporter, advocate and care provider. Regardless of which type of recovery-related job you take on, you’ll be making lasting changes in the lives of those you serve each day.
Addiction specialists are in high demand, and pay can range anywhere from $35,000 to $200,000 or more per year, depending on the type of job. Additionally, addiction specialists can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, government clinics, rehab facilities, private practice locations, schools and many more.
There are many different addiction treatment-related roles within the health care industry. These include entry-level roles like social service assistants, mid-level roles like social workers, counselors or registered nurses, and advanced roles like psychologists and physicians. Whether you’re looking to specialize in acute diagnosis and treatment, long-term recovery support or community-focused outreach, there’s a position that will fit your career goals.
If a career in addiction treatment and recovery sounds like the right fit for you, The Recovery Village Columbus is always looking for caring professionals to add to our multidisciplinary team. The Recovery Village network has over 1,000 nationwide employees, and we offer benefits such as 401(k), paid time off, medical, dental, vision and more. View our job portal to see the different positions currently available at our locations.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.