Substance Abuse Counselor


This is a responsible position delivering substance abuse treatment services to consumers who suffer from substance abuse problems in an outpatient treatment setting.  The work assignment may be at a single location or at multiple treatment sites and involve travel.

An employee in this class provides counseling and guidance to assist consumers in their personal recovery process including addressing such clinical issues as overcoming denial, recognizing feelings and behavior, encouraging personal responsibility, and constructively using leisure time.  Duties may include some or all of the following:  Screening, intake, assessment, orientation, treatment planning, facilitating group education or counseling sessions, individual counseling, case management, crisis intervention, referral, reporting and record keeping, and consultation.  All work is in accordance with the requirements of the Missouri Division of Behavioral Health and CARF accreditation, and other applicable contractual agencies.  Work is performed under the general supervision of a program manager or counselor supervisor and reviewed through direct observation, reports and staff conferences.


Work may include, but is not limited to, the following examples:

  • Remains alert during working hours; attends work as scheduled, and complies with the attendance policy.
  • In face to face interviews with consumers, conducts intake, orientation, screening, evaluation, and assessment of consumer problems and needs, and develops individualized treatment goals and objectives.
  • Provides culturally sensitive, effective therapeutic services directed at treatment plan goals that include individual and group counseling, case management assistance, and information, and information and education directed at addressing problems related to substance abuse. Assists consumers experiencing a crisis.
  • Assesses, monitors, evaluates and records consumer participation, progress, and adjustment against measurable recorded treatment goals in a timely manner.
  • Coordinates the delivery of needed services to consumers with state and local contractors, courts, public agencies, correctional organizations, and social service agencies.
  • Makes appropriate referrals and appointments.
  • Maintains timely, clear, concise and well organized information in the electronic health record of services provided. Enters into Care Logic, the EHR, and the results of assessments and prepares treatment plans, treatment plan updates, transition plans, discharge summary reports, progress notes, and other consumer related data.
  • Attends multi-disciplinary treatment team meetings and provides information regarding consumer problems, progress and plans.
  • Attends staff meetings, administrative meetings, and training, as required.
  • Develops and maintains effective professional rapport and therapeutic relationships with consumers, and their family members as appropriate. Receives positive consumer satisfaction reports and positive response from consumers.
  • Develops and maintains professional, cooperative working relationships within the agency, and with state and local contractors, public agencies, and social service organizations.
  • Transports consumers to therapeutic activities, as required, maintains insurance on vehicle, and has an insurable driving record.
  • Dresses in appropriate business attire; is well groomed and is professional in appearance.
  • Adheres to established professional ethical and behavioral standards of conduct and continuing professional development.
  • Complies with agency policies and procedures and internal operating procedures of the Program.
  • Complies with all requirements of HIPAA Privacy and Security Act. Complies with regulations pertaining to the confidentiality of consumer protected health information.
  • Complies with Code of Conduct and Corporate Compliance Policy. Reports violations immediately.
  • Performs other duties as may be assigned.


  • Knowledge of recovery process and ability to apply principles in assisting others.
  • Knowledge of basic counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation principles, practices and techniques.
  • Knowledge of current resources available to persons with substance abuse problems.
  • Working knowledge of the certification requirements of the Missouri Division of Behavioral Health and CARF for the provision of services to persons suffering from substance abuse disorders.
  • Working knowledge of human behavior, attitudes and motivation and its applicability in the rehabilitation of persons suffering from substance abuse problems or dependency.
  • Skill in resolving conflicts and negotiating with others.
  • Skill in guiding and instructing individuals in individual and group settings.
  • Skill in maintaining organized consumer records in accordance with certification requirements.
  • Ability to motivate consumers in recovery process.
  • Ability to establish a professional and therapeutic rapport with consumers;  to assist, and exercise tact, patience, respect and understanding of others.
  • Ability to recognize symptoms of substance abuse and to elicit information from individuals concerning underlying reasons for addiction.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with consumers, their family members, other staff and the general public, orally and in writing.
  • Ability to work effectively with persons from diverse cultures and backgrounds and to respect individual differences.
  • Ability to act decisively when necessary to protect consumers; to make judgments about crisis and carry out appropriate course of action.
  • Ability to work harmoniously and professionally with employees, consumers, consumer families, guardians, public agencies, and the general public.
  • Ability to handle confidential information appropriately.
  • Ability to recognize potential ethical problems and address in ethical manner.
  • Ability to plan and organize work time effectively.
  • Ability to work with autonomy or with minimum direction.
  • Proficiency in use of computers and knowledge of basic software.


A physician or mental health professional licensed in Missouri with at least one (1) Year of full time experience in the treatment of persons with Substance Use Disorders;


Certified or registered as a substance abuse professional by the Missouri Substance Abuse Counselors’ Certification Board, Inc.,


An individual who is within one (1) year of meeting one of the above criteria and has a Division approved written training plan.


No candidate may be considered for employment who is, or has been for the past two (2) years under the supervision of Federal, State, County or Municipal Corrections Department nor have any pending felony or misdemeanor charges other than minor traffic charges.

Driving may be required for this position.  The successful candidate must have and remain in possession of a valid current driver’s license, automobile insurance, and be insurable under the agency’s motor vehicle insurance policy.

All candidates for employment must meet the established minimum qualifications for employment as identified by the applicable regulatory agencies.

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