Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.




Occ. Code 8339020





New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Addictions Counselor Assistants serve as a member of a multidisciplinary clinical treatment team providing therapy programs tailored to the individual needs of patients in an Addictions Treatment Center (ATC). Under the supervision of an Addictions Counselor, incumbents assist in the delivery of rehabilitation programs, and serve as secondary counselors for groups of patients in one or more units of an ATC. 


These positions are non-competitive and classified at the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS).




ADDICTIONS COUNSELOR ASSISTANT: paraprofessional; under the supervision of an Addictions Counselor, performs duties related to the care and counseling of patients to assist them in recognizing and handling their addictions and its social, medical, economic, and psychological aspects and consequences.




Addictions Counselors are professional members of a multidisciplinary clinical treatment team providing therapy to patients in an ATC.  Incumbents play a central role in the design and delivery of comprehensive, short-term, individualized treatment programs through consultation with team members, individual and group counseling of patients, discharge planning, community involvement, and case management services; and counsel patients, families, and significant others to assist them in recognizing and accepting their addiction and its social, medical, economic, and psychological causes and consequences. Addictions Counselors hold the Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) certification required to independently treat patients in ATCs.




Under the supervision of an Addictions Counselor:

·       Screens prospective patients for admission to the facility and recommends an appropriate modality of treatment.

·       Develops written summaries of in-take interviews, including health and family history; patient actions, such as participation in treatment plans or incidents; and their short term and long term goals.

·       Reviews the written summary of the treatment plan and records progress notes regarding its implementation.

·       Assists in conducting family therapy or crisis intervention therapy.

·       Assists in developing, assessing, and modifying individual treatment plans by providing information gathered through direct observation and discussion with patients.

·       Educates and provides information about coping mechanisms and, for emergency situations, the availability of medical, addictions, and social services in the community.

·       Discusses discharge and continuing care plans with patients at the end of their time in ATCs, including information about community providers and support groups, such as Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. 

·       Provides information to community groups about ATCs to improve the understanding of addictions and programs provided for addicts.

·       Provides supplementary counseling on an individual or group basis to assist in planning a schedule of patient activities and encourages full participation.

·       Assists in the evaluation of a patients suitability for a half-way house or other form of sheltered living.

·       Assists therapy specialists with programs and conducts specialized therapy programs (recreational, vocational, social) in the temporary absence of a therapist or a therapy assistant.

·       May review patient records for completeness and accuracy in accordance with standards set by senior clinical staff.

·       May provide training or guidance to new incumbents, particularly in relation to the routines, procedures, and policies of the ATC.




Non-Competitive: one year of experience in a field requiring the application of communication skills, and one year of experience in a direct treatment capacity working in an addictions treatment setting.

Revised:  8/17


NOTE: Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe. Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class. The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written. Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.