Volunteer Opportunity

INTERN: Substance Abuse Intervention/Syringe Access Intern

Opportunity Type: Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity
Department: Public Health
Category: Human Services and Public Health
Time Commitment or Project Date: 20 hours per week for at least 6 months; commitment of 9-12 months is preferred, with the potential to continue assignment longer than 12 months. Some ability to structure own schedule; may require some evening hours. Ideal candidate is currently enrolled in a Master's level counseling or social work program.

3482 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80304 and 515 Coffman Street, Longmont, CO 80501

Program Summary:

This intern position works partially under Boulder County Public Health’s (BCPH) Communicable Disease and HIV Prevention Works Program and partially under its Community Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Program’s Substance Abuse Intervention Program (SAIP). The position provides direct group and individual psychoeducation and counseling services to adolescents and young adults with substance-related challenges. It also provides direct clinical contact with people who inject drugs (PWID) by offering harm reduction supplies and education (i.e. psychoeducation, brief counseling, and case management) to PWID.

Duties and Responsibilities:

• Provides psychoeducation/brief counseling services (groups and individual sessions), including Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT), Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS), and Drinking as Responsible, Mature Adults (DARMA), for adolescents and young adults.
• Meets with PWID to provide harm reduction supplies, psychoeducation, brief counseling, and case management; meetings may take place at several locations.
• Completes necessary paperwork and documentation, as required by each program.
• Maintains client confidentiality except when there is a duty to report.
• Participates in CSAP and Communicable Disease/HIV Prevention Team meetings.
• Attends individual and group supervision, as required.
• Attends all required trainings.
• Other duties, as assigned

Qualifications and Requirements:

Education: Must be enrolled in a master’s-level clinical internship for counseling or social work program.

• Experience working with young adults is preferred but not required.
• Experience working with individuals suffering from substance use disorder is preferred but not required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Knowledge of substance abuse, harm reduction, treatment, and prevention is preferred.
• Must have strong communication, empathy, and motivation to support individuals who are suffering from the negative effects of alcohol or drug use is preferred.
• Must be committed to understanding the social determinants of health and their impact on substance abuse.

Special Requirements:
• Ability to travel to different locations that include Longmont and Boulder.
• Must submit immunization history form and immunization documentation. Some immunizations and/or tuberculosis (TB) tests may be required (at the expense of BCPH), and intern must comply with these requirements prior to start date.
• Universal precautions and TB training will be provided by the BCPH employee infection control nurse before the intern may begin.

Training Dates and Information:

• Intern will be oriented to the agency, staff, and programs.
• Intern will be trained to provide SBIRT, BASICS, and DARMA counseling services during the first two weeks of assignment.
• Intern will be trained to provide needle exchange and Break-the-Cycle during the first two weeks of assignment and continue to provide them an ongoing basis.
• Intern will be trained to provide case management (i.e. how to refer clients to appropriate levels of treatment, housing, employment, Medicaid, and other services) on an ongoing basis.
• Intern will be trained in motivational interviewing, as well as other counseling modalities that include but are not limited to person-centered, gestalt, mindfulness-based, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) on an ongoing basis.

Additional Information:

Benefits Gained:
• Direct contact with clients who utilize alcohol and/or other substances. This includes and is not limited to injecting drug users who utilize the Works Program and those with minor drug offenses who are required to attend SAIP.
• Direct clinical supervision from a licensed addiction counselor.
• Training as outlined above.
• Hours credited towards a master’s degree in counseling internship.
• Potential to gain hours towards certified addiction counselor (CAC) certification.
• Learning about addiction, substance use, mental health, counseling, case management, treatment, prevention, oneself, community teamwork, and ethics.
• A strong grounding in equity in a clinical setting.
• A clear understanding of the continuum of prevention and the role of brief intervention in public health practice.
• Connection with professionals at BCPH and other agencies.

Supervision: One hour of individual supervision will be provided each week (or as required to fulfill assignment requirements) by the substance abuse prevention specialist, with the potential for additional group supervision time if the intern is pursuing CAC certification.


BCPH Volunteer/Intern Services Program
3450 Broadway
Boulder CO 80304
Phone: 303-441-1163
Email: healthvs@bouldercounty.org

Application Process:

Submit an application online.