Substance Abuse Counselor (2 positions)
CAL-PEP - Oakland, CA

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Job Title: (1) Substance Abuse Counselor (2) Senior Substance Abuse Counselor

Report To: Program Coordinator

Starting Salary: DOE Status: Full time

General Summary: Applicant will identify and assess individuals with substance abuse and co-occurring disorders, recognize behaviors and problems that are related to their addiction and come up with coping mechanisms. Additionally, applicant will be responsible for: meeting informally with MSM clients on a one-to-one basis both at program facilities and within the communities and neighborhoods where clients reside. Applicants will develop client treatment plans with minimal supervision. Inform clients of current information on all substance abuse treatment options (traditional and alternative) to increase understanding and encourage entry into substance abuse care and provide short–term support on an as-needed basis.

Essential Job Functions:

1) Administer drug and alcohol assessments to clients and make recommendations based on findings.

2) Assist clients in receiving support services, medical care and ongoing substance Abuse/mental health treatment.

3) Conduct individual level substance abuse counseling sessions.

4) Facilitate substance abuse and life skills support groups weekly.

5) Develop individual treatment plans, update treatment plan as required/needed and evaluate individual progress.

6) Review and evaluate clients' progress in relation to measurable goals described in treatment and care plans.

7) Complete and maintain accurate records and reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, and other required information.

8) Works with other agencies, hospitals and clinics, drug and mental health treatment centers, legal services and programs that serve the community to ensure continuity of services.

9) Works with clients to identify primary care needs and assists clients in making connections with health care services and necessary follow-up.

10) Advocate on client’s behalf and refers cases to other community resources when appropriate.

11) Assists clients in understanding and applying for public and private benefits.

12) Attends weekly team and other meetings as assigned.

13) Performs other duties as assigned by management.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Experience with and knowledge of providing social service case management.
  • Knowledge of substance abuse treatment modalities
  • Experience in providing substance abuse assessment, counseling and group facilitation.
  • Perform effectively in stressful, emotional, and confrontational situations.
  • Experience working with MSM population
  • Sensitivity to people with HIV/AIDS, substance use, ethnic and gender issues.
  • Knowledge of basic HIV/AIDS information including basic medical and treatment modalities preferred.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills
  • Personal computer skills
  • Principles of counseling, including group leader functions.
  • Obtain, maintain, and present accurate client data.
  • Understanding of harm reduction model and 12 step and the recovery process.
  • Good public speaking skills.


  • Experience

    Two years of recent work experience in a mental health or substance abuse setting. As well, high-quality skills in treatment planning, 12 step, and group/individual counseling are required. Applicant must show proof of substance abuse treatment counseling certification.

    If a recovered addict, a minimum of two years’ sobriety is required.

    CAL-PEP is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. We actively seek applications from people living with HIV/AIDS, people of color, women, lesbians and gay men. African American and/or Latino MSM are preferred.

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