JOB TITLE: Certified Substance Abuse Counselor



This position involves the provision of an array of substance abuse counseling and educational services within the group and program setting.  Counselors are responsible for all client related documentation and reports as well as the development and implementation of treatment goals and objectives. Facilitating peer support groups as needed is also expected.   On a monthly basis, 95.0% of the services provided are to be in the form of direct involvement with client’ and/or their family members. Under close clinical and administrative supervision, to perform entry level work in the treatment, counseling, education and referral of clients and other concerned persons involved with the substance abuse program. Position reports directly to clinical director.


Performs substance abuse counseling and education, determines factual history and explains the Abraham Youth and Family Services program; recommends to supervisor revisions to treatment plan with consideration given to the nature and severity of the problem, family and job-related pressures or complications, individual and family histories, physical condition, and other pertinent factors.  Under direct supervision provides case management to assist clients with alcohol and/or drug related problems.  Under direct supervision, provides counseling in individual or group sessions; may serve as a  counselor in a group or program setting;  co-leads group counseling sessions; may need to have the ability to provide services to clients incarcerated in local correctional facilities; provides reassurance and encouragement to clients who make phone or personal contact during crisis or emergency situations; provides information or referral services for individuals, families and other concerned persons; ensures that all entries into records are according to the Abraham Youth and Family Services, and DBHDS standards; updates and completes records for all clients with whom they have had contact; may serve as a substitute on occasion as a primary counselor; consults with peers and other professionals to share information, to discuss early intervention and/or treatment methods and techniques and recommendations for appropriate treatment interventions; assists with substance abuse education classes for new clients, their families and other concerned persons.  Serves as an advocate for clients in their communities; and performs other duties as requested.



  • Case management
  • Client documentation
  • Oral and written communication
  • S.A. Group counseling
  • Program planning and coordination
  • Staff supervision
  • Treatment plan development
  • Crisis intervention

Knowledge of

  • Community resources
  • Counseling interventions
  • Funding sources
  • DBHDS/DMAS standards
  • Human development
  • Group dynamics
  • Computer software
  • Human rights regulations


  • CPR/First Aid
  • Medication training
  • Restraint techniques
  • CSAC


  • Home telephone
  • DMV license
  • Cellphone

Minimum Qualification:

Any combination of education and experience equivalent to the following:  Graduation from a four-year college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a related field or attainment of an Associate of Arts Certificate in a related field plus two years of experience in substance abuse or another human services field. At minimum, must be a Qualified Substance Abuse Professional recognized by the Virginia Substance Abuse Counselor’s Certification Board.

Participation in a substance abuse treatment/counseling program can be substituted for the required education on a one year for one year basis.

Knowledge of alcohol and drug addiction and the physiological and psychological effects; knowledge of/or ability to learn various substance abuse treatment methods and techniques;  knowledge of interviewing techniques; knowledge of/or ability to learn existing referral agencies and community resources; some ability to evaluate the severity of a client’s substance abuse problem and recommend appropriate intervention and treatment; ability to maintain records and prepare reports; ability to establish rapport with clients and other concerned persons and to maintain effective working relationships with co-workers and community resources; ability to speak and write effectively.


Certified Substance Abuse Counselor – Job Description