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Substance Disorder Counselor

Purpose: Counsel and educate clients to assist them in the development of healthy coping skills to effectively manage their chemical health to become mentally sound, emotionally balanced, socially adjusted, physically well and spiritually alive.

Classification: Full Time, Non-Exempt

Reports to: SUD Treatment Director

Essential duties and responsibilities: Responsible to ensure and/or deliver and properly document the provision of treatment services including the Initial Service Plan, Comprehensive Assessment, Individual Treatment Plan, Progress Notes, Summary at Termination of Services, and the maintenance of client records in accordance with Minnesota 245G.01 subdivision 4 and 148F.01

Treatment Services

  • Upon service initiation, ensure that each client has an initial service plan which addresses the client’s immediate health, safety, and preliminary service needs.
  • Complete a comprehensive assessment/diagnostic assessment and an assessment summary of the client’s substance use disorder/s and mental health disorder/s if licensed to do so within three calendar days after service initiation.
  • Provide an Individual Treatment Plan after completion of the comprehensive assessment which is subject to amendment until services to the client are terminated. The individual treatment plan must include treatment goals, specific methods to be used to address identified problems, resources to which the client is being referred, and client goals.
  • Enter progress notes in each client’s file weekly or after each treatment service. The progress notes must reference the individual treatment plan.
  • Complete a discharge/termination summary within five days of the client’s termination of services.
  • Ensure the content and format of client records are uniform and entries in each case are signed and dated.
  • Provide individual and group counseling, client education strategies to avoid substance chemical use and health problems related to substance use, transition services, and services to address issues related to co occurring mental illness.
  • Lead client education groups as required.
  • Participate in the weekly treatment clinical team meetings to review and update client progress notes.
  • Participate in weekly IDS clinic site meetings for case consultation/treatment coordination, and to stay up to date with clinic and company happenings
  • Participate in weekly SUD staffing
  • Offer walk in comprehensive assessments a minimum of one day a week or otherwise assigned by supervisor/treatment director
  • Assure treatment coordination is completed and followed up on within 5 business days and documented in accordance with 245G requirements
  • Complete urinalysis testing per client case requirements and follow up with external lab agencies as deemed necessary and document to client chart accordingly
  • Participate in external outing activities with clients as assigned by clinical supervisor/treatment director
  • Actively participate in WebMed community events to promote and educate community on services
  • Assist with cleanliness of work space and group room including meal clean up and item stocking as necessary
  • Follow up on scheduling intakes and referrals to SUD services for care coordination within 5 business days of initial request
  • Initiate and maintain ongoing communication with client referral, probation, social service agencies, etc.

Continuing Education and Training

  • Stay current regarding professional research, techniques, etc.
  • Complete continuing education courses in current treatment concepts and methods as required by the State of Minnesota to maintain Alcohol and Drug Counselor license.
  • Attend in-house training and staff meetings.


  • Other duties assigned by the Supervisor.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 18 years of age.
  • Must be free of chemical use problems for at least the two years immediately preceding hire.
  • Must have or obtain 12 hours of training in co-occurring mental health problems training within six months of hire.
  • Ability to provide individual and group counseling including crisis intervention.
  • An alcohol and drug counselor must either be licensed or exempt from licensure under chapter 148F.
  • An individual who is exempt from licensure under chapter 148F, must meet one of the
    following additional requirements:

    1. completion of at least a baccalaureate degree with a major or concentration in social work, nursing, sociology, human services, or psychology, or licensure as a registered nurse; successful completion of a minimum of 120 hours of classroom instruction in which each of the core functions listed in chapter 148F is covered; and successful completion of 440 hours of supervised experience as an alcohol and drug counselor, either as a student or a staff member;
    2. completion of at least 270 hours of drug counselor training in which each of the core functions listed in chapter 148F is covered, and successful completion of 880 hours of supervised experience as an alcohol and drug counselor, either as a student or as a staff member;
    3. current certification as an alcohol and drug counselor or alcohol and drug counselor reciprocal, through the evaluation process established by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc.;
    4. completion of a bachelor’s degree including 480 hours of alcohol and drug
      counseling education from an accredited school or educational program and 880 hours of alcohol and drug counseling practicum; or
    5. employment in a program formerly licensed under Minnesota Rules, parts 9530.5000 to 9530.6400, and successful completion of 6,000 hours of supervised work experience in a licensed program as an alcohol and drug counselor prior to January 1, 2005.
  • An alcohol and drug counselor may not provide a treatment service that requires professional licensure unless the individual possesses the necessary license. For the purposes of enforcing this section, the commissioner has the authority to monitor a service provider’s compliance with the relevant standards of the service provider’s profession and may issue licensing actions against the license holder according to sections 245A.05, 245A.06, and 245A.07, based on the commissioner’s determination of noncompliance.
  • Ability to successfully complete MN Dept of Human Services background study prior to hire.
  • Must have a minimum of 12 hours of training in co-occurring disorders that includes
    competencies related to philosophy, trauma-informed care, screening, assessment, diagnosis and person-centered treatment planning, documentation, programming, medication, collaboration, mental health consultation, and discharge planning. May grant credit for relevant training obtained before employment, with documentation to be filed in personnel file.
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