The function of the Addiction Therapist is to assist in providing treatment and rehabilitation to psychoactive substance dependent veterans and veterans suffering with behavioral addictions. The target population includes all patients who abuse legal or illegal drugs or alcohol, as well as patients who have behavioral addictions. Basic Requirements: United States Citizenship: Non-citizens may only be appointed when it is not possible to recruit qualified citizens in accordance with VA Policy. Education. Hold a bachelor's degree in drug and alcohol studies or a related behavioral health field from an accredited college or university. In some jurisdictions, individuals may not be required to hold a bachelor's degree to be licensed in Alcohol and Drug Treatment. VHA will not waive education requirements even if the candidate has a license that does not require a bachelor's degree. Licensure. (1) Licensure Requirements: Individuals appointed or reassigned to an AT position in the GS-0101 series must: (a) Hold a full, current, and unrestricted license in a state, territory, commonwealth, or the District of Columbia to practice in the field of Alcohol and Drug Treatment; AND (b) Complete one of the following: i International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Certification; or ii National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, National Certified Addiction Counselor Level 1. Foreign Education. There is no substitution for foreign education for this occupation; therefore, foreign education evaluation is not applicable. Physical Standards. See VA Directive and Handbook 5019, Employee Occupational Health Service for requirements. English Language Proficiency. AT/LMAT candidates must be proficient in spoken and written English as required by 38 U.S.C. § 7403(f). May qualify based on being covered by the Grandfathering Provision as described in the VA Qualification Standard for this occupation (only applicable to current VHA employees who are in this occupation and meet the criteria). Grade Determinations: Addiction Therapist (Bachelor's Level) GS-05: Experience. The entry level assignment is used for ATs who are licensed with less than one year of experience. There is no experience outside of the basic requirements. Addiction Therapist (Bachelor's Level) GS-07. Experience. In addition to the basic requirements, at least one year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-05). Duties include: assisting with intake/assessments, facilitating program orientation or educational sessions and treatment planning; OR Education (Advanced Entry Level Placement). Applicants who meet the GS-05 grade level may be appointed at the GS-07 grade level if they possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a major field of study in a drug and alcohol studies or a related behavioral health field with an EXEMPLARY academic record as demonstrated by:(a) 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on four years of education or as computed based on courses completed during the final two years of the curriculum; OR(b) 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final two years of the curriculum; OR(c) Class Standing: Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university or major subdivision based on completed courses. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience/education requirements, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs. Knowledge of principles, concepts and methods of counseling and therapies used in treatment of individuals with SUDs. Knowledge of appropriate documentation of substance use history and treatment. Ability to identify patients who are in psychological distress. Addiction Therapist (Bachelor's Level) GS-09. Experience. One year of creditable experience equivalent to the next lower grade (GS-07). Duties include: intake assessments using biopsychological history, provide case management and counseling, conduct and utilize designated measurement tools, and create individual treatment plans. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs). In addition to the experience above, the candidate must demonstrate the following KSAs: Knowledge of coexisting medical or other mental health disorders as interrelated to SUDs. Ability to complete assessments of substance use disorders, treatment planning and continued care planning. Ability to develop and maintain effective working or therapeutic relationships with multidisciplinary staff, Veterans and their families, from various backgrounds and community resources to ensure appropriate referrals. Preferred Experience: Experience conducting substance abuse treatment groups for an adult population Experience conducting intakes and biopsychosocial assessments At least three years experience working with an adult population with co-occurring disorders Experience working with a team of multi-disciplinary providers Experience serving as a case manager for co-occurring disorder patients Experience in delivering motivational enhancement techniques References: VA Handbook 5005/155, PART II, APPENDIX G76 The full performance level of this vacancy is GS-09. The actual grade at which an applicant may be selected for this vacancy is in the range of GS-05 to GS-09. Physical Requirements: The work is sedentary. Some work may require movement between offices, hospitals, warehouses, and similar areas for meetings and to conduct work. Work may also require walking/standing, in conjunctions with travel to and attendance at meetings and/or conferences away from the work site. Incumbent may carry and lift light items weighing less than 15 pounds. ["Major Duties include, but are not limited to: Provides addiction counseling services in the SUD program as a member of the multi-disciplinary treatment team; Conducts initial screening interviews with new patients seeking treatment in the SUD program. In order to comply with Joint Commission Behavioral Health standards of care, all veterans referred to the Addiction Therapist will be assessed utilizing the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Multidimensional Assessment tool that is used to place a patient into an appropriate level of care across the ASAM continuum; Perform assessments: gathering information about Veteran patients who present with addiction concerns and engaging with them to determine the severity of addiction, readiness for change, existence of co-occurring mental health disorders, problem areas that may affect treatment, and other needs and opportunities; Develop individualized treatment plans that address each substance use disorder and that are continually modified depending on the patient's response to treatment. This treatment plan is multidisciplinary, implemented in conjunction with other members of the patient's health care team. Treatment plans must match the individual needs, readiness and goals of the patient; Conducts individual, family, and group therapy that is evidence-based with the goal of improving patient's ability to identify and change negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. substance abuse treatment. Therapy must be goal-directed and incorporate strategies for coping with relapse triggers and other stressors; Work with patients to avoid relapse and maintain recovery by assisting patients to determine risks for relapse and to develop prevention plans; Refer patients to other support resources that are vital to their recovery. This can include referrals to other SUD team members, medication management, psychotherapy for co-occurring mental health disorders, inpatient care, intensive outpatient programming, residential treatment, and mutual help groups; Timely documentation in the medical record of all patient encounters, therapeutic interventions, and treatment plans is required in order to communicate progress to other members of the treatment team, to track progress in treatment, and to evaluate and refine treatment plans on an ongoing basis; Observes patient behaviors possibly indicating difficulty adapting or responding to treatment (e.g. missed assessment appointments, failure to attend or maintain abstinence, risk to self or to others, disruptive behavior, etc.) and completes appropriate documentation and reports concerns to the SUD supervisor or treatment team in a timely manner; The incumbent may be assigned other duties including, but not limited to, serving on special committees, special projects, action teams, etc. Work Schedule: Monday - Friday; 10:30am - 7:00pm Compressed/Flexible: Available Telework: Available Virtual: This is not a virtual position. Functional Statement #: Addiction Therapist / PD000000 Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized Financial Disclosure Report: Not required"]
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,321 health care facilities, including 172 VA Medical Centers and 1,138 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program. At VA Long Beach Healthcare System, our health care teams are deeply experienced and guided by the needs of Veterans, their families, and caregivers. Our medical center provides primary care and specialty health services, including cardiology, mental health care, treatment for spinal cord injuries and disorders, suicide prevention, women’s health services, and more.