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Substance Abuse/Addiction Counselor

companyTransformation Healthcare
locationBaltimore, MD, USA
PublishedPublished: 6/14/2022
Full Time

Job Description


Summary of Position Responsibilities

In this position, you will provide assessments, individual sessions and facilitate groups based on the needs of the facility. You will work directly with our clients assisting them to achieve a sober drug-free lifestyle while maintaining the highest quality of care in a safe and healing environment. (See provided “Job Breakdown”)


  • Maintaining a weekly set schedule, Incedo authorizations, composing reports, detailed client specific documentation,
  • Contribute to team meetings, group facilitation, familiarity with evidence-based practices and current treatment modalities.
  • Managing all aspects of a case from date of entry to date of discharge.
  • Evaluating patients' physical and mental behaviors.
  • Developing appropriate treatment and recovery plans.
  • Facilitating individual and group therapy sessions.
  • Monitoring patients over time to access treatment progress.
  • Collaborating with psychiatrists, doctors, nurses, social workers, and departments of correction.
  • Identifying behaviors that interfere with treatment and recovery.
  • Assisting primary caregivers to manage addiction-related behavior.
  • Other duties as assigned

Client Type:

  • Adolescents/Children
  • Adults
  • Family


  • English (required)
  • Spanish (Preferred)

Typical Working Conditions:

Work is usually performed in an office environment; includes continuous contact with staff and the public. Work is performed in an office or other environmentally controlled room; work exposes incumbent to contagious or infectious diseases; work may expose incumbent to dangerous and volatile situations, which could result in bodily injury.

Other Duties:

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.



A substance abuse counselor's daily duties depend on the environment in which they work, but these are some of the typical tasks they may complete each day:

  • Meet with clients to assess their substance issues:
  • Before a substance abuse counselor can create a treatment plan for a patient, they must first assess their substance abuse. Understanding which substance they use, their triggers and what led them to seek substances are all priorities for addiction counselors.
  • Identify recovery interference situations:
  • One aspect of a substance abuse counselor's job is identifying which situations may interfere with a patient's recovery efforts. For example, if a patient comes in contact with their old friends who are still abusing substances, it may interfere with their recovery.
  • Educate clients about coping mechanisms:
  • During the process of overcoming addiction, patients develop coping mechanisms to help them in complicated situations. A substance abuse counselor's job is to educate their clients about various healthy coping mechanisms they can use to not return to old habits.
  • Conduct group therapy sessions for patients:
  • Many mental health and substance abuse centers conduct group therapy for their patients to develop healthy relationships and recover from addiction. A substance abuse counselor may need to be skilled at managing many clients at once during these group sessions, ensuring that each person feels comfortable and heard.
  • Track and analyze patient recovery progression:
  • To ensure that each patient is progressing in their recovery, substance abuse counselors must assess their status and consistently track it to implement new treatment if they plateau or regress.
  • Update the legal system about patient progress:
  • Occasionally, the courts may assign a patient to pursue addiction recovery in response to a drug-related offense. In these situations, a substance abuse counselor may need to communicate with the legal system to update them about a client's progress.
  • Help clients plan for discharge from facilities:
  • Once a patient has completed a treatment plan in a substance abuse recovery facility, they must transition back to their daily lives. A substance abuse counselor works closely with each of the patients to develop plans that help them return to their lives and avoid their triggers.
  • Communicate with clients and family members:
  • In some cases, the client may be underage or under the care of their family members. In this situation, the substance abuse counselor must be skilled at communicating with the client and their family members to explain the recovery process and the client's current progression.
  • Develop patient crisis management plans:
  • Both in a facility and after transition back to their daily lives, the patient may experience crises that prompt them to return to using. A substance abuse counselor helps them plan for these moments by introducing coping mechanisms, sponsors and safe spaces.
  • Lead outreach addiction education programs:
  • Depending on the environment the substance abuse counselor works in, they may lead or take part in outreach programs. These programs visit schools, prisons and other organizations to educate people about the effects of substance abuse.
  • Intervene during emergency situations:
  • Substance abuse counselors monitor their clients and intervene during emergency situations to ensure the patients remain safe at all times.



  • Associate Degree in Chemical Dependency Counseling, or a bachelor’s degree with coursework in chemical dependency, or a Master's Degree in Counseling preferredMaryland ADT, CSC-AD, CAC-AD, LGADC, LCADC, LMSW, or LCSW. Background and CPS checks.
  • Related keywords: substance abuse counselor, substance abuse, counselor, mental health
  • Previous experience with the treatment of substance abuse disorders.
  • Familiarity with electronic health record systems like AVATAR would be advantageous.
  • Experience with co-occurring health and mental health problems.
  • Application of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services’ (SAMHSA) best practice indicators.
  • In-depth knowledge of drug and alcohol testing to monitor treatment plans and medical instructions.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and a compassionate nature.

Typical Physical Requirements:

Sit for extended periods; frequently stand and walk; normal manual dexterity and eye hand coordination; corrected hearing and vision to normal range; verbal communication; use of office equipment including computers, telephones, calculators, and copiers. Move and lift light objects up to 25 pounds such as mail, supplies, files, and equipment.

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