Substance Abuse Worker (#RS1000)
$18.21-$22.13 Hourly / $3,156.08-$3,836.24 Monthly / $37,873.07-$46,034.95 Yearly


Under immediate supervision, performs routine, non-counseling work in a San Joaquin County Alcohol or Drug Program; and does related or other work as required in accordance with Rule 3, Section 3 of the Civil Service Rules.


This classification performs support tasks in a San Joaquin County Drug or Alcohol Program. Employees in this class may also be trained in counseling functions. Incumbents learn the components of intake, observation, and related services. Incumbents may be provided on-the-job training in methods and techniques of counseling. Incumbents perform supervision, care and evaluation of substance abuse clients in various programs. Positions that do not require incumbents to provide counseling, such as those assigned to detoxification units, are allocated as Substance Abuse Workers.


  • Completes non-clinical intake forms; logs in all personal property; assigns clients to beds. 
  • Obtains information from clients on drug or alcohol use; provides clients with referral information; may confer with client case managers on information obtained during discussions with clients; may transport clients to other alcohol programs, appointments and community referrals. 
  • Observes and monitors individuals withdrawing from alcohol; may administer first aid or send clients to the hospital for further treatment as required. 
  • Observes and learns to co-facilitate individual or group substance abuse counseling sessions and activities; may assist in maintaining client caseloads under guidance of the primary counselor. 
  • Participates in in-service training; attends staff meetings. 
  • Maintains security and discipline over assigned unit or program; enforces rules and regulations of the facility and programs; conducts counts of residential clients; ensures compliance with program rules and regulations. 
  • Observes and evaluates behavior and needs of groups and individuals; communicates the information to appropriate individuals. 
  • Schedules a variety of ancillary services to accommodate the unique needs of the client and program; facilitates and monitors activities related to physical, social, occupational, vocational, and health programs; develops and assigns client work assignments. 
  • May be required to perform basic housekeeping and maintenance tasks; may be required to pick up and deliver supplies, food or other program-related materials. 
  • Prepares and maintains records and reports related to clients.


License: Possession of a valid California driver’s license if required by nature of assignment.


Needs, problems, attitudes and behavior patterns of persons suffering from alcohol or chemical dependency; first aid; basic principles of human behavior; community resources.


Understand and follow oral and written instructions; maintain routine records; communicate effectively, orally and in writing; empathize with clients; understand and accept differences in human behavior; read and understand job related material; learn to conduct individual or group substance abuse counseling and case management; establish and maintain effective working relationships with others; administer routine first aid; respond to emergency situations.


Mobility- Frequent sitting and standing for long periods. Occasional walking/climbing stairs, bending and stooping. Visual Requirements- Constant overall vision, eye/hand coordination, depth perception. Frequent color perception, reading close-up, field of vision/peripheral. Dexterity- Frequent holding, reaching, repetitive motion, writing. Hearing/Talking- Constant hearing normal speech, hearing on the telephone. Frequent talking in person, talking on the telephone. Emotional/Psychological Factors- Constant concentration. Frequent public contact working weekends and nights. Environmental Conditions- Frequent exposure to noise.

San Joaquin County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and, upon request, will consider reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

CLASS: RS1000; EST: 6/8/1988; REV: 10/13/2021;