SUD COUNSELOR LPHA - Bilingual Spanish
San Diego, CA Adult/Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Treatment
Job Type


Position Title:  Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Counselor (LPHA) 

Program:  Adult/Adolescent Alcohol and Drug Treatment Program

Classification:  Non-exempt, Full Time 

Salary: $24 - $27 p/h Commensurate with Experience

Summary and Range of Authority: Under the supervision of Lead Counselor, Substance Use Disorder Counselor LPHA provides treatment and relevant services to program clients. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct designated intake/screening, comprehensive assessment and diagnostic tools include but are not limited to ASAM, ASI Lite, and Diagnosis Determination Note to target population. 
  • Develop treatment planning.
  • Provide effective OS and IOS group counseling. 
  • Conduct individual, family, and collateral counseling services.
  • Provide education and supportive services to clients and families. 
  • Provide crisis intervention services. 
  • Conduct gender-specific, observed drug testing to clients congruent to the individual treatment plans and as needed. Alcohol and drug testing include patch, urine analysis, oral swab, and breathalyzer. 
  • Provide linkages and referral services according to the client’s level of care assessment. 
  • Process referrals from various referral sources such as criminal justice system, Child Welfare Services, recovery residences, other various providers and community agencies and individuals.
  • Conduct effective outreach to promote program services as assigned. 
  • Provide discharge planning services. 
  • Provide recovery services as after care. 
  • Document all the services rendered in compliance with DMC ODS and other applicable requirements and standards. 
  • Meet contracted units of service and number of clients served within the fiscal year.
  • Meet weekly/monthly productivity of the billable unit services as assigned.
  • Serve as a member of an interdisciplinary team, 
  • Participate in assigned staff meetings and various trainings. 
  • Utilize evidence-based      practices required by the contract. Such practices included, but are not      limited to Motivational Interviewing, Relapse Prevention, and Trauma      Informed Care model.  
  • Provide culturally competent services. Work well with TAY, immigrants, refugees, and other culturally diverse clients.
  • Document all the services rendered in compliance with DMC ODS and other applicable requirements and standards in a timely manner. 
  • Provide assigned work timely and effectively for the program to meet contracted annual performance goal and objectives including units of services and client census. 
  • Maintain strict confidentiality in compliance with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2. 
  • Provide all other related services required by master contract SOW.  
  • Other duties as assigned
  • All the duties and responsibilities shall be delivered in compliance with Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System (DMC-ODS), County of San Diego BHS SUDPOH, DHCS State Certification Standards and other relevant regulations. 


Required Education, Certifications/Licenses and Language/Cultural Skills:

  • Must be registered with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (e.g. Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, Associate Professional Clinical Counselor or Associate Clinical Social Worker). Or
  • Must be Licensed Clinical Psychologist (LCP), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). 

Minimum Experience and Qualifications Required:

  • Must have successful completion and maintenance of the San Diego County credentialing,
  • If recovering, must be clean and sober and stable in the recovery process for at least 1 year.
  • Must be free of probation or parole supervision for a minimum of one year.
  • Knowledge and experience working with substance abusing individuals.
  • Ability to establish and maintain supportive relationship with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Have knowledge and experience working with clients who have co-occurring disorders.
  • Ability to work effectively with various referral sources including probation officers.
  • Knowledge and experience in the principles of effective alcohol and drug treatment theories and approaches.
  • Ability to provide crisis intervention, outreach, education, advocacy, community organization and follow-up services.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills as well as attention to detail; ability to manage multiple tasks, prioritize, and successfully bring them to fruition.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with other team members.
  • Ability to function well as a member of an interdisciplinary team through effective communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Abide by UPAC Code of Conduct and professional code of conduct. 
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality regarding sensitive or proprietary information or materials
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, Internet browsers, and Outlook.
  • Ability to provide various services via TeleHealth through Microsoft Teams and Zoom. 
  • Ability to work well under pressure.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Must have flexibility to work some evening and weekend hours during scheduled client activities. 
  • Must be drug tested prior to hire and drug test results shall be negative for illegal drug use, including marijuana.
  • Must have TB clearance at hire followed by annual clearance.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination required, unless exempted as a reasonable accommodation as allowed by the law
  • Must have certified First Aid and CPR training (including infant CPR).
  • Will not be debarred or excluded from participation in Federal programs by the General Services Administration and/or the Department of Health and Human Services of the Inspector General
  • Must pass background check (Live Scan Fingerprint).
  • Must be able to drive (when      needed) for business purposes to other program locations in San Diego      County. If employee drives his/her      personal automobile for UPAC business, employee must have valid California      driver’s license and comprehensive automobile insurance coverage, as      required by law. 

Additional Preferred Education or Qualifications:

  • Bilingual, bicultural in Spanish.
  • Knowledge and experience of Drug Medi-Cal ODS and SanWITS data systems.
  • Change Agent Developing Recovery Excellence (CADRE) trained.
  • If recovering, the recovery process for 2 years preferred.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Spends approximately 70% of work time sitting and meeting with others or working at a desk and/or computer. Spends approximately 30% of work time standing or walking within the work area or outside the office at meetings and events, also bends, twists, stoops and reaches. Ability to communicate in writing and verbally. Regularly required to sit and talk or hear. Frequently is required to use hands to touch, handle or feel and reach with hands and arms. Occasionally lifts and/or moves up to 25 pounds. Working conditions are normal for an office environment and event venues. The noise level is usually moderate.