Drug and alcohol worker | Selby College
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Drug and alcohol worker

Drug and alcohol workers help people tackle their drug, alcohol or solvent misuse problems.

Potential salary

£17,000 to £40,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

30 to 32 a week

  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • knowledge of psychology
  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to enjoy working with other people
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Your day-to-day duties might include:

  • outreach work - visiting substance users and helping with immediate needs
  • drop-in centre work - talking to clients about their needs and finding ways of supporting them towards recovery
  • counselling and rehabilitation - giving support and dealing with the causes of substance misuse
  • arrest referral work - supporting clients arrested for drug-related offences
  • education and training - helping clients access services
  • healthcare - working as a specialist nurse in an addiction clinic
  • needle exchange - providing clean sharps and giving advice on how to use substances safely

You could work at a health centre, at a school, in the community, in a prison or at an outreach centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

With experience, you could become a volunteer coordinator, project team leader or service manager.

You can find out more about becoming a drug and alcohol worker from Turning Point.

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