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Published On: March 11, 2021|Categories: Employment and Addiction|

Working in the substance abuse recovery field can be an immensely rewarding career path. By providing individuals with solutions, counseling and intensive treatment, you not only make a difference in someone’s life, but you might be a key factor in saving it. It is truly rewarding to know that the hard work you put towards entering a substance abuse career can have a dramatically positive impact on many people’s lives. 

Choosing a career can be a daunting task, especially when one area of expertise (substance use) offers a number of career possibilities. Depending on your particular interests and motivations, however, certain milestones of substance abuse recovery could be more appealing than other areas. For example, you might be more drawn to the medical side of the industry, and wish to pursue a career centered in a Partial Hospitalization Program. Or, Outpatient Programs might be more of interest to you due to their more hands-off, guiding approaches to recovery. No matter which area you find yourself attracted to, there is a rehab job for you! 

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

PHP is an intensive day treatment program for recovering individuals needing more support than outpatient rehab. It gives them the flexibility of being able to go home during the evenings, while receiving intense support during the day at this critical stage of recovery. 

There are a variety of people who make this part of recovery possible and successful. The treatment team, such as those individuals you’ll find employed in Rehab After Work’s PHP,  consists of a Medical Director (certified in psychiatry), Licensed Therapists, Certified Addiction Counselors, Psychiatric Nurses, Music/Art Therapists and Holistic Practitioners. Each discipline brings unique skills and experiences to the table, while all work toward the common goal of making recovery achievable for their patients. 

  • Psychiatrist – Geared toward the medical side, a psychiatrist can prescribe treatment drugs, unlike counselors, social workers or therapists. After receiving their doctorate, psychiatrists can combine their knowledge of therapy and medicine to prescribe treatments for those recovering from substance abuse. 
  • Therapist These individuals utilize psychotherapy to identify and treat specific mental disorders. They handle psychotherapy from more of a medical perspective, diagnosing specific disorders and treating them accordingly. A therapist will handle the more severe cases of behavioral and emotional disorders. 
  • Addiction Counselor – An addiction counselor helps individuals deal with the difficulties of life. In the scene of addiction therapy, a counselor would work with an individual to provide them with skills and healthy coping mechanisms needed to successfully tackle life, addiction-free, outside of treatment.
  • Psychiatric Nurse – This job entails providing and monitoring treatment/medication throughout recovery. More on the medical side, this position requires the ability to focus on the changes occurring in patients and, with the assistance of a doctor, make the best choices in the care of severe cases. 
  • Music/Art Therapist Mixing art and therapy, an art therapist blends psychology and human development to help individuals channel their self-expression into artistic creations. It allows clients to express themselves in a way which can reduce anxiety and stress, boost confidence and self-awareness, and strengthen social skills. 
  • Holistic Practitioner If you can’t choose just one area, consider holistic medicine. The philosophy here focuses on the health of the whole person – mental, emotional, spiritual and physical – and believes if one area is off, the entire person suffers. It blends medicine with psychology, mental well-being with physical health, to create the best plan for recovery and wellness. 

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) & Outpatient Program

There are differences as well as similarities between IOP and Outpatient treatment programs, but in the discussion of careers, the professionals demanded during these treatment stages are relatively similar. Counselors and therapists provide group, family and individual counseling to recovering individuals during both stages. Social workers also assist in providing resources to individuals who have walked through most of recovery and are looking for assistance in getting back on their feet outside of treatment.

When it comes to considering a career field, IOP requires more intensive care with clients who have either come from a PHP program or those who have just detoxed from alcohol/drug use and are in need of frequent sessions to avoid relapse. Outpatient, on the other hand, provides more of a supportive atmosphere than an intense treatment environment, as it is usually the last step on the recovery journey. Depending on the kind of substance abuse rehab job you find most attractive, you might choose a lesser intense career field, but still one geared toward assisting others on their recovery journey. 

Substance Use and Rehab Careers

No matter which field you pursue, a career in substance use treatment provides a fast-paced work day, and the chance for rewarding experiences. Whether you desire a medical career or something more along the lines of general counseling, there are countless possibilities. Check out Rehab After Work’s Career Page for a full list and jump start your career today! Call (610) 644-6464, to inquire about openings or to discuss any of our services today.


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