Substance Abuse Technician

Provide basic counseling to people overcoming addiction.
picture of Substance Abuse Technician

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$25,000 – $60,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Substance Abuse Technicians do?

People struggling with alcohol or drug abuse often need outside help to truly kick the habit. A Substance Abuse Technician provides this assistance through one-on-one counseling and group therapy sessions.

As a Substance Abuse Technician, you may work for a facility that provides substance abuse help for a group of residents, or you may work for a company that provides help to people in their own homes. Either way, you get to know your patients very well, and you do everything you can to help them beat their addiction.

When a patient comes to you for help, you interview them about the addiction. You may test their blood or urine for evidence of drugs or other substances, take their pulse or blood pressure, and ask how long they’ve been abusing the substance. You then set goals with your patient, and put together reasonable steps to help them meet those goals.

You may hold one-on-one sessions with your patient, where you discuss how they feel about their addiction, and help them talk about triggers and how to avoid those. Alternatively, you may hold group sessions with many patients, encouraging them to share experiences and help one another heal.

Your work as a Substance Abuse Technician is incredibly rewarding, as you help your patients overcome their addictions and improve their lives. You may sometimes face setbacks, though, when people don’t heal. You mourn when this happens, but you always bounce back. After all, other patients are counting on your support to get their lives back on track.

Should I be a Substance Abuse Technician?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Social: You're happiest working on teams or with other people.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Drug Abuse Technician, Substance Abuse Specialist

    How to Become a
    Substance Abuse Technician

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