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What Is a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist?

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A substance abuse prevention specialist practices as a health care professional in the prevention of all types of substance abuse, including nicotine, alcohol and illegal and prescription drugs. In most states, she must be certified by a board.


Due to the confidential nature of a prevention specialist's work, she must comply with strict ethical requirements. These include non-discriminatory practices, proper behavior toward others and integrity in her actions.


Legally, a substance abuse prevention specialist must comply with combined requirements of education, practical training and testing. Typical requisites include 50 hours of related training and one year of experience. Training provides practical knowledge regarding implementation of a substance abuse prevention program and is offered through specialized courses available at many colleges and universities nationwide. The candidate must pay applicable fees and be a resident of the state in which she will practice.

Job Duties

The substance abuse prevention specialist assists in the development and coordination of substance abuse prevention, working with schools, community groups and other agencies. She may also work with volunteers and write grants.


According to the Career Builder website, a substance abuse prevention specialist can expect to earn about $37,000 per year or more. The Indeed job search website also relates comparable salary information.

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