A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor is licensed to provide chemical dependency treatment services involving the application of principles, methods and procedures of the chemical dependency profession. We help clients develop an understanding of their chemical dependency problems, define goals, and implement treatment strategies. More specifically LCDCs provide:
Screening-This is the initial evaluation stage, during which a potential client's physiological, psychological, and social symptoms of substance abuse are evaluated. The client’s need and eligibility for treatment are assessed, and based on these and other factors, I decide whether or not the client is appropriate for treatment or referral. I look for any coexisting conditions (medical, psychiatric, physical) that indicate the need for additional professional assessments or services. During the screening process, I explain all applicable laws.
Intake- This can be seen as an extension of the screening stage. During this process, I obtain all appropriately signed consents and complete all the legally required documents.
Orientation- These first three core functions of addiction counseling may not be exact in order; the orientation stage may take place before, during, or after the screening and intake stages. The main goal of orientation is to familiarize the client with the general rules and goals of the counseling process, and what the client can and should expect over the course of treatment.
Assessment- This is when the counselor works with the client to gather his history, relating but not limited to any problems with substance abuse. This information-gathering can take the form of interviews, testing, and a review of patient records. As a LPC-S, I make a diagnosis and explain the assessment results to the client.
Treatment Planning- Now I explain the assessment results and identify and rank the problems that are in need of resolution, and discuss in the written treatment plan an appropriate treatment process. We formulate agreed upon short and long term goals using behavioral terms.
Counseling- The counselor assists his patient by examining the patient’s actions and problems, and by helping the patient see the consequences of his substance abuse and destructive behaviors. The counselor also works with his client to come up with solutions that the patient can agree to and be held accountable for and, together, the two implement their treatment plan.
Case Management- This core function of counseling brings the various parties and resources together for the purpose of coordinating services for the client. After a treatment plan has been established, the gathered resources come together to help meet the patient’s needs as mapped out in the treatment plan. Basically, coordinate services for client care.
Crisis Intervention- Of all the substance abuse counselor roles, this one may be the most intermittent. It involves taking immediate action in response to any serious or crucial crises that come up during the course of treatment. Implement an immediate course of action appropriate to the crisis.
Client Education- It’s part of the counselor’s responsibility to present relevant substance abuse information to the client and to other groups who may also have issues with substance abuse. These resources should also be aimed at informing and educating the general public, and letting them know what resources and services are available.
Referral- Over the course of the other core functions of addiction counseling, it’s likely that a patient will express certain problems and needs that cannot be met by his counselor. When that happens, the counselor should assist the client in matching his needs to the appropriate resource, such as a different counselor or treatment program. The counselor would identify client needs they can't meet, explain the rationale for the referral to the client, match the client needs to the appropriate resources, and assist the client in making the transition.
Reports and Record Keeping- As with most jobs, it’s important to document the administration and results of assessments and treatment. Counselors are responsible for taking notes, writing reports, and keeping track of other data relating to each patient.
Consultation with Other Professionals in Regard to Client Treatment- When counselors recognize issues that are beyond their knowledge, skills or abilities, they consult with knowledgeable resources to ensure the provision of effective treatment services. By consulting with other professionals and peers, counselors can ensure that the patient has been provided with the best and most thorough care and treatment.