12 Core Functions: Screening & Crisis Intervention*



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.
Target Audience: Addiction Counselors
Content level: Beginner to intermediate
2 CE hour credits approved by ASWB, NAADAC, & NBCC
State Board Approval
ADACBGA # 19-12-17-1212
FCB # 5387-A
OCDP Board # 50-29024

Course Features

  • Lectures 2
  • Quizzes 1
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Skill level Beginner to intermediate
  • Language English
  • Students 1005
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Self
    • Lecture.1
      12 Core Functions: Screening & Crisis Intervention*
    • Lecture.1
      12 Core Functions: Screening & Crisis Intervention*
  • QUIZ
    • Quiz.1
      12 Core Functions: Screening & Crisis Intervention* 15 questions

Jenny M. Kirwin, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS completed her BA in Psychology and Human Services; Masters of Social Work Degree with a concentration in Alcohol and Drugs from the University of Buffalo, NY. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker; Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist; and Certified Clinical Supervisor in NC. Jenny has been working as a consultant and clinical supervisor with almost 20 years in the field of mental health and substance abuse specializing in Co-Occurring Disorders. She began her career in North Carolina with the local Area Authority in Mental Health. Transitioning to the Women’s Program as a lead worker. Substance abuse quickly became her focus while obtaining LCAS and CCS with NCSAPPB. From Private Practice to DWI Programs, her background brings diverse experience to her clinical supervision services.
Jenny has been married for 19 years and has 4 children, 2 dogs, 8 chickens, and a goldfish. She enjoys being outdoors with her family as well as homesteading and staying physically active.