Social workers play an essential part in assisting people with substance abuse issues. In fact, fighting addiction is one of many roles social workers fill. It is not simply that social workers possess an unattainable toolbox of skills to fight substance abuse. Rather, social workers study and gather experience that helps them become successful.
If you are considering becoming a social worker who specializes in substance abuse disorder and its effects, understanding the role these professionals play will help you make a final decision.
Social Workers Work in a Variety of Environments
Social workers who specialize in substance abuse issues may work anywhere from an inpatient drug treatment center to a private practice. Some social workers have positions in methadone clinics, sober-living home, or at outpatient centers.
When you begin studying substance abuse, you have no idea where you might end up pursuing your dreams. One thing is clear. Social workers must be flexible.
Social Workers Develop Treatment Plans
Creativity is an underrated skill for social workers, but it is an important one nonetheless. Social workers may be responsible for establishing plans of action for clients, helping them become and stay sober. For example, working in an inpatient rehabilitation center might mean that you are making determinations about a client that could impact the rest of his or her life.
Social Workers Assist People Achieving their Goals
One part of working with individuals who struggle with substance abuse is to help them find a sense of self-worth. In fact, some clients find it motivating to stay sober when they have goals in mind. These goals might include being able to parent a child or going back to school. Your role is to help clients realize that these goals are within reach.
Social Workers Provide Counsel
Not only do social workers assist individuals struggling with substance abuse, but they also help family members and friends cope with addiction. As a social worker, you might find yourself providing tools that family members might need to avoid enabling behaviors.
Social Workers Perform Community Outreach
In an effort to reach out to the community, social workers often work by building relationships and diminishing stigma. This outreach may also include educating clients and the community as a whole about the nature of addiction. Social workers may also provide resources to prevent overdose and disease.
For many clients, social workers are a central resource in providing assistance for those who are leaving prison or jail and may require mental health services or other addiction treatment. Sometimes you just need to act as the middle person between the client and his or her next step on the road to addiction recovery.
Social Workers Pursue Continuing Education
Of course, growth is not just essential for clients. Social workers also need to learn how to develop as the social work industry expands and shifts with changing laws and demographics.
PDH offers several courses, including “Substance Use Disorder and Women,” that social workers find beneficial for their careers. Could one of these courses work for you? Social Work Courses are just a few clicks away.