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12 Core Functions > TAP - 21 >  

IC&RC 12 Core Functions

An alcohol and drug abuse counselor is a person who, by virtue of specialized knowledge, training and experience, is uniquely able to inform, motivate, guide and assist those persons affected by problems related to the use of alcohol and/or drugs. This counselor is an individual who possesses the professional competence necessary to perform the following tasks in providing alcohol and/or drug abuse treatment to clients and significant others in a variety of treatment settings:




The process by which the client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program.

Global Criteria

    1. Evaluate psychological, social, and physiological signs and symptoms of alcohol and other drug use and abuse.

    2. Determine the client's appropriateness for admission or referral.

    3. Determine the client's eligibility for admission or referral.

    4. Identify any coexisting conditions (medical, psychiatric, physical, etc.) that indicate need for additional professional assessment and/or services.

    5. Adhere to applicable laws, regulations and agency policies governing alcohol and other drug abuse services.


The administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a program.


Global Criteria

    1. Complete required documents for admission to the program.

    2. Complete required documents for program eligibility and appropriateness.

    3. Obtain appropriately signed consents when soliciting from or providing information to outside sources to protect client confidentiality and rights.


Describing to the client the following: general nature and goals of the program; rules governing client conduct and infractions that can lead to disciplinary action or discharge from the program; in a non-residential program, the hours during which services are available; treatment costs to be borne by the client, if any; and client rights.


Global Criteria

    1. Provide an overview to the client by describing program goals and objectives for client care.

    2. Provide an overview to the client by describing program rules, and client obligations and rights.

    3. Provide an overview to the client of program operations.


The procedures by which a counselor/program identifies and evaluates an individual's strengths, weaknesses, problems and needs for the development of a treatment plan.


Global Criteria

    1. Gather relevant history from client including but not limited to alcohol and other drug abuse using appropriate interview techniques.

    2. Identify methods and procedures for obtaining corroborative information from significant secondary sources regarding clients' alcohol and other drug abuse and psycho-social history.

    3. Identify appropriate assessment tools.

    4. Explain to the client the rationale for the use of assessment techniques in order to facilitate understanding.

    5. Develop a diagnostic evaluation of the client's substance abuse and any coexisting conditions based on the results of all assessments in order to provide an integrated approach to treatment planning based on the client's strengths, weaknesses, and identified problems and needs.


Process by which the counselor and the client identify and rank problems needing resolution; establish agreed upon immediate and long-term goals; and decide upon a treatment process and the resources to be utilized.

Global Criteria

    1. Explain assessment results to client in an understandable manner.

    2. Identify and rank problems based on individual client needs in the written treatment plan.

    3. Formulate agreed upon immediate and long-term goals using behavioral terms in the written treatment plan.

    4. Identify the treatment methods and resources to be utilized as appropriate for the individual client.


(Individual, Group, and Significant Others): The utilization of special skills to assist individuals, families or groups in achieving objectives through exploration of a problem and its ramifications; examination of attitudes and feelings; consideration of alternative solutions; and decision making.


Global Criteria

    1. Select the counseling theory(ies) that apply(ies).

    2. Apply technique(s) to assist the client, group, and/or family in exploring problems and ramifications.

    3. Apply technique(s) to assist the client, group, and/or family in examining the client's behavior, attitudes, and/or feelings if appropriate in the treatment setting.

    4. Individualize counseling in accordance with cultural, gender, and lifestyle differences.

    5. Interact with the client in an appropriate therapeutic manner.

    6. Elicit solutions and decisions from the client.

    7. Implement the treatment plan.


Activities which bring services, agencies, resources, or people together within a planned framework of action toward the achievement of established goals. It may involve liaison activities and collateral contacts.


Global Criteria

    1. Coordinate services for client care.

    2. Explain the rationale of case management activities to the client.


Those services which respond to an alcohol and/or other drug abuser's needs during acute emotional and/or physical distress.


Global Criteria

    1. Recognize the elements of the client crisis

    2. Implement an immediate course of action appropriate to the crisis.

    3. Enhance overall treatment by utilizing crisis events.


Provision of information to individuals and groups concerning alcohol and other drug abuse and the available services and resources.


Global Criteria

    1. Present relevant alcohol and other drug use/abuse information to the client through formal and/or informal processes.

    2. Present information about available alcohol and other drug services and resources.


Identifying the needs of a client that cannot be met by the counselor or agency and assisting the client to utilize the support systems and community resources available.


Global Criteria

    1. Identify need(s) and/or problem(s) that the agency and/or counselor cannot meet.

    2. Explain the rationale for the referral to the client.

    3. Match client needs and/or problems to appropriate resources.

    4. Adhere to applicable laws, regulations and agency policies governing procedures related to the protection of the client's confidentiality.

    5. Assist the client in utilizing the support systems and community resources available.


Charting the results of the assessment and treatment plan, writing reports, progress notes, discharge summaries and other client-related data.


Global Criteria

    1. Prepare reports and relevant records integrating available information to facilitate the continuum of care.

    2. Chart pertinent ongoing information pertaining to the client.

    3. Utilize relevant information from written documents for client care.



        Relating with in-house staff or outside professionals to assure comprehensive, quality care for the client.


        Global Criteria

          1. Recognize issues that are beyond the counselor's base of knowledge and/or skill.

          2. Consult with appropriate resources to ensure the provision of effective treatment services.

          3. Adhere to applicable laws, regulations and agency policies governing the disclosure of client identifying data.

          4. Explain the rationale for the consultation to the client, if appropriate