Substance abuse counselors are judged on their competency in what is called the 12 Core Functions. These specific functions were developed as the critical criteria for addiction counselors through a form of meta-research. By looking at the competencies educators and overseeing professionals in the field expect of a chemical dependency worker, the twelve items were identified and combined into a guide that we can all follow to improve and make sure we are up to par.
Screening is the process by which the client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program. The screening function is a preliminary interview to begin gathering information about the client to determine if admission to a specific substance use disorder treatment program is appropriate. At the screening, it determines if a client has a substance use disorder and/or co-occurring mental health disorder. This process is not one of inclusion but of “ruling out.”
A crisis is generally considered to be a state of disorganization in which the client faces frustration and profound disruption of his/her life. By definition, a crisis is temporary and can result in distress and dysfunctional behavior. However, a crisis refers to the client’s feelings of fear, shock, and distress about the disruption, not the disruption itself. A crisis is a situation or period during which a client feels extremely uncertain, frustrated, or scared. (NAADAC Basics of Addiction Counseling: Desk Reference and Study Guild, Module 2 Addiction Counseling Theories, Practices and Skills 2009).
- Identify the global criteria associated with screening and crisis intervention.
- Discuss the important components of the screening process.
- Describe conditions that trigger crises
- Explain the counselor’s role in crisis intervention including potential suicide.
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