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Substance Abuse Specialist - A.C.T. Program

The Bridge


The Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team provides mobile community based mental health treatment to promote the recovery and community integration of individuals with serious mental illnesses, high rates of co-occurring substance use disorders and histories of criminal justice involvement. The substance abuse specialist is an integral part of a multi-disciplinary team of mental health clinicians. The team provides 80% of its treatment services in community locations. The team has two substance abuse specialists leading the team’s integrated treatment. We are looking for clinicians with experience working with adults with serious mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders. The specialists must be motivated to conduct assertive outreach and engagement, use motivational interviewing and stage-wise interventions that target an individual’s readiness for change. The substance abuse specialists must be team players with knowledge of psychiatric disability, substance abuse individual and group treatment to promote wellness, recovery, public safety and reductions in criminal behavior. Specific responsibilities include:

• Complete comprehensive assessment with substance abuse assessment and updated six month assessments using results from administration of standardized screening instruments for substance use, suicidality, and trauma
• Complete crisis intervention and relapse prevention plans
• Identify the treatment services consumers should receive based on severity of substance use diagnosis, stage of change, immediate needs and recommend treatment objectives for the consumer’s treatment plan
• Assess and provide services to consumers to address housing, income support, education and vocational training, social supports, employment, and primary care needs
• During the assessment obtains information: a) to establish the degree risk for substance use and associated harmful behaviors, and interventions required to promote progress towards recovery, and b) lead the team in daily meetings and weekly clinical meetings around substance use issues and incorporate findings into service plans
• Complete comprehensive recovery-oriented initial treatment plans and 6-month treatment plan reviews and modify the plan in the light of feedback from recipients and relevant others
• Use motivational interviewing, recovery and trauma-informed approaches when delivering services
• Run weekly Harm Reduction, Engagement, Wellness Self-Management Plus, and Relapse Prevention treatment groups
• Involve social supports in the consumer’s treatment with the team
• Complete progress notes within 24-hours of service delivery and ensure progress notes are available to be read in the morning organizational meeting
• Provide ACT treatment services including engagement, problem-solving, wellness self-management, medication support, family support and treatment, individual mental health, relapse prevention, harm reduction and substance use counseling based on motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral responses to mental illness and substance use
• Work effectively with community housing providers, education and vocational training providers, and self-help groups providing services to consumers
• Link consumers to self-help recovery groups
• Complete expected minimum monthly treatment contacts each month
• Direct standards for toxicology screens in accordance with Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) orders and criminal justice supervision expectations for probation and parole, etc
• Provide weekly reports to AOT staff for consumers with AOT orders
• Act as advocate and liaison for consumers in securing emergency detox and rehabilitation care, and other community supports that promote integrated dual disorder treatment
• Coordinate discharge in collaboration with inpatient staff when consumers have ER and inpatient stays
• Provide 24-hour crisis intervention on-call services on rotating basis
• Provide 80 percent of treatment contacts in the community
• Provide culturally competent services in accordance with policies and practice


•LMSW, LCSW, LMHC, CASAC's with current New York State license or credential
•At least one year of experience working with individuals with serious mental illness with co-occurring substance use disorders
•Experience with various evidence-based models pertaining to treatment of substance use, mental illness, and risk, need, responsivity to criminal behavior
• Knowledge of Assertive Community Treatment, community integrated treatment, support services, and resources
•Highly organized and self-motivated
•Proficient in computers
•Fluency in Spanish preferred
Salary: Commensurate with experience. 35-hour week with excellent benefits


In one document, attach your cover letter and resume in PDF or Word format, and send to:

Sheryl Silver, Sr. Vice President of Community Support Programs at

Posted on 05/12/17; CVMHA ID #11008