A substance abuse counselor helps people who have addictions, such as alcoholism and drug addiction. They offer support and provide advice, tools and techniques to help clients overcome their addictive behaviors. Counselors may provide services to the families of patients, too.
As you craft your substance abuse counselor job description, you will want to make sure that you have noted the importance of being a caring and compassionate person. A counselor must be committed to helping others. In addition, counselors should have good listening and communication skills.
For success in this position, a person needs to have a good understanding of addiction. You can use the following substance abuse counselor job description template to help you create a strong, professional one of your own.
Substance Abuse Counselor Job Summary
Are you a compassionate person who has a passion for helping others? As a substance abuse counselor in our treatment and counseling center, you will be providing assistance to individuals with varying levels of substance addictions. You will also work with individuals who are addicted to a wide variety of substances. Your job would be to provide high-quality care and counseling to help patients change their addictive behaviors and become clean. We provide you with your own private office area to see patients and a support staff to assist you with anything you need, from scheduling to telephone answering services. Our company is committed to your success, so we also provide you with an amazing benefits package with a week of paid vacation as soon as you are hired.
- Counsel patients in individual or group sessions by listening to their stories, concerns or issues and providing feedback, including teaching them coping techniques and offering advice on their current situations
- Educate patients on treatment options, methods and techniques to ensure the patient understands the process when they are completing the intake procedures
- Maintain records for health insurance and patient tracking, along with personal files for your use as you work with the patient and create the treatment plan
- Work with other professional staff to collaborate on treatment methods and plans for patients and to assess suitability for counseling services or referrals to other treatment centers
- Conduct research as needed to develop new treatment methods and to stay up-to-date on changes within the field
- Agree to and comply with all company policies and procedures as outlined in the employee handbook, including how to handle patient grievances, proper intake procedures, staff meeting requirements and general code of conduct
- Assist with general monitoring of in-house patients as needed based upon availability and staffing needs
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in counseling or a related field
- State licensing or certification
- Experience in individual and group counseling
- Excellent communication skills
- Ability to maintain confidentiality
- Master’s degree in counseling, psychology or a related field
- Understanding of DSM-V diagnoses
Want to use this job description?
Substance Abuse Counselor Job Responsibilities
As you go about building your substance abuse counselor job description, be prepared to invest the most time and consideration in the job responsibilities section. This information-packed list represents the main course of the listing. Done well, it should effectively attract applicants whose experience and abilities match the position impeccably.
Bullet points are an excellent tool for organizing a substantial amount of detail in a scrollable fashion within the job description. Lively and descriptive verbs help to paint a vivid picture of the daily requirements of the position and should start each bullet. An ideal range for this section of your substance abuse counselor job description is 6-8 responsibilities.
Use these examples of substance abuse counselor job responsibilities as inspiration for your own list:
- Counsel patients both individually and within group sessions as appropriate
- Create and modify individualized treatment strategies based on research, clinical knowledge, patient history and evaluations of progress while in counseling
- Mediate and advocate for patients in the event that emergencies arise
- Assess patients’ drug dependency status continually by collecting and evaluating urine and blood samples
- Advise family members and friends in how best to understand patients’ struggles and provide support during the recovery process
Substance Abuse Counselor Job Specifications
While the finished version of the job qualifications and skills section of the substance abuse counselor job description will probably look short and sweet, the best ones are the products of considerable time, consultation and multiple drafts. It’s a safe bet you don’t have a ton of free time at your disposal, but don’t let that justify hurrying through this enormously important element of your listing. Without precisely defining your non-negotiable minimum requirements, you may be inviting a flood of applications from underqualified jobseekers.
One fantastic way to gain thorough perspective and cover all your professional bases is to collaborate with leadership staff and individuals who are succeeding in similar positions. A direct supervisor likely knows the daily demands and expectations better than anyone and could provide beneficial insight for your substance abuse counselor job description. If you choose to include both compulsory and preferred specifications, make two separate lists to be clear about which is which.
Below are a few substance abuse counselor job specifications you may wish to adapt for your own listing:
- Bachelor’s degree from a Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredited university program
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, active listening and progress monitoring
- Perceptive emotional judgement and decision-making
- Strong social awareness and compassion for challenging, sensitive interactions