Substance abuse is unfortunately a widespread problem in America today. Millions of people each day are struggling with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication. Below, you’ll find a list of training topics that are required for most Substance Abuse Counselors.
OSHA Required Training
When OSHA Requires First Aid Training:
In the absence of a nearby hospital or clinic (more than 4 minutes away), a designated employee should be trained to render first aid. See full OSHA regulation for more details.
Retraining for life threatening emergencies should occur annually. Retraining for non-life-threatening response should occur 'periodically'.
Downloadable First Aid Training Resources (free):
Industry Best-Practice Training
(Not required by OSHA)
Downloadable Workplace Violence Training Resources (free):
Downloadable Drugs & Alcohol Training Resources (free):
Downloadable Office Safety Training Resources (free):
Similar Job Titles
- Very Low
- VERY HIGH
Annual Injury Rate
Substance Abuse Counselor Safety Tips
The national Institute on Drug Abuse has found that 23.5 million people will need treatment for a substance abuse problem.
Substance abuse is unfortunately a widespread problem in America today. Millions of people each day are struggling with addiction to alcohol, drugs, and prescription medication. The struggles these people face can be violent both physically and emotionally. As a substance abuse counselor, it is your job to help these people meet their goals of conquering their addiction and returning to a healthier, more productive lifestyle. Because of the volatile nature of this work, there are some basic guidelines that must be followed when working as a counselor to protect yourself and your clients from harm. By keeping these guidelines in mind, you will be preparing yourself to handle any potentially dangerous or harmful situations that might arise while performing this important work.
- Know the emergency procedures for your clinic or office. In the even of a fire you might be responsible for getting a large number of people, some of whom might not be in the best frame of mind, to safety.
- Be familiar with emergency exits. Know exactly where emergency exits are located and practice specific drills with your clients so everyone is aware of exactly what to do.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. Due to the nature of the issues facing many of your clients, it might not be enough to trust that everyone will follow directions in the event of an emergency. Be cautious and aware of everyone you are responsible for.
- Learn how to use a fire extinguisher and know exactly where they are located.
- Keep areas organized and clean. Don’t let any clutter build up in walkways or in front of exits, and in areas where a lot of people are cohabitating make sure and use proper disinfectants to stop the spread of germs.
Watch for Violence
- Fighting, relapsing, and suicide are all possible scenarios in a drug rehabilitation center. For your safety and the safety of those around you, be constantly reviewing the warning signs of aggressive behavior and look for them every day.
- Keep dangerous items out of the facility. Hazardous chemicals, sharps, and other items you suspect could be used as a weapon should be properly labeled and kept away from anyone who is unstable.
- Don’t approach a dangerous situation alone. In the event of a violent outburst, do not try to handle it all on your own. Call for back up in the event that you need to restrain someone.
Care for yourself
- Take breaks and vacations. This emotionally demanding work is draining and can easily cause fatigue. The more tired and unfocused you are the likely you are to sustain an injury or miss a potential safety hazard.
- Get plenty of rest. Never come into a demanding job such as this without a good night’s sleep.
- Mentally prepare yourself for difficult clients. As a counselor, you will be relied upon as a source of strength. Don’t emotionally over exert yourself and consider using counseling as a resource for you as well.
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