Addiction rehabilitation assistants provide direct supportive assistance to individuals in addiction recovery programs. They also deliver group education, coaching, mentoring, and advocacy and outreach services. These professionals typically work as part of a treatment team in support of a client’s treatment plan. Launching an addiction rehabilitation assistant career can begin with enrolling in an associate’s degree in applied psychology program.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that overall substance abuse counseling jobs are expected to grow much faster than average in coming years. Employment will increase as society learns more about addiction and more people seek treatment. Additionally, increasing numbers of drug offenders who are required to attend treatment programs will spur demand for addiction rehabilitation assistants.
Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant Job Duties
Addiction rehabilitation assistants support patient recovery efforts by implementing clinical services according to treatment plans developed by substance abuse counselors and other mental health professionals. Typical duties include assisting clients with meal preparation and routine household chores, such as laundry and cleaning, as well as assisting with financial management. Additional responsibilities may include encouraging participation in social and recreational activities, leading group learning sessions and participating in program meetings.
In addition to monitoring client medical and mental health needs, addiction rehabilitation assistants are often required to manage and observe patient self-administration of medications. They may conduct orientations and training, prepare reports for state, local and federal agencies and transport clients when needed. Depending on the employer, timely upkeep of client case records and documentation of encounters may also be required.
Addiction rehabilitation assistants typically work in hospitals, residential substance abuse care centers or private rehabilitation facilities. They may be required to travel during the work day. While many addiction rehabilitation assistants work 40 hours per week, many positions are part time. Evening and weekend work is often required.
According to national data on PayScale.com in April 2011, the median total annual pay for the category that includes addiction rehabilitation assistants was $29,299. The middle 50% earned between $18,066 and $40,532. Recent associate’s degree program graduates will typically start out at the lower end of the scale and move up in salary with experience.
Education and Training for Occupational Therapy Assistants
Specific requirements for addiction rehabilitation assistant jobs vary according to employer. Typically, a high school diploma is required. Many employers show preference to applicants with associate’s degrees. Some employers also require advanced training and/or certifications.
A career as an addiction rehabilitation assistant can begin with an associate’s degree in applied psychology. Coursework typically includes introduction to psychology, group behavior, human behavior perspective, and lifestyle development and psychology.
Employers can be confident that graduates of an associate’s degree in applied psychology program are able to:
- Exhibit the values of ethical behavior.
- Value the complexity of sociocultural diversity.
- Recognize the differences between various psychological theories of human behavior.
- Identify and develop solutions through critical thinking.
- Leverage advanced skills and knowledge to succeed as an addiction rehabilitation assistant.
Some employers offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain a position with an associate’s degree and use a tuition assistance program to pay for a bachelor’s degree program.
Skills Required to Land an Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant Job
Considering a career as an addiction rehabilitation assistant? You’ll need strong verbal and written communication skills, as well as excellent customer-client relational skills. A high level of diplomacy and professionalism will serve you well in this occupation, as will excellent organizing and planning skills. If this sounds like a good match for you, explore the many opportunities provided in the addiction rehabilitation assistant field.