Substance Use Disorder Specialist

Website King County Public Health - Jail Health Services


King County is seeking to hire a TLT Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Specialist within Public Health – Seattle & King County, Jail Health Services (JHS) Division. The purpose of JHS is to assure that basic health and human services are available to individuals who are incarcerated in the King County adult correctional facilities. They provide a broad range of health care—including screening for substance use disorders, prescribing medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), distributing naloxone, and providing overdose prevention and response education.

The SUD Specialist provides patient-centered, trauma-informed care and engages participants while they are in-custody and as they connect with health and social services upon release. Regular tasks include conducting substance use disorder assessments, coordinating benefit and payment authorization, and securing placement at an inpatient facility.

This is a unique opportunity for someone who wants to be part of a multidisciplinary health team that works to remove barriers to medical, behavioral, treatment and social services and is committed to reducing stigma and building power with people who use drugs.

People with lived experience of substance use, incarceration, houselessness, and/or sex work; people of color, women, and members of the LGBTQIA+ communities; and people living with HIV/AIDS and/or hepatitis C are strongly encouraged to apply.

Term-limited temporary positions are “at-will” positions but are eligible for benefits. The funding for these positions is anticipated to last for two years. However, funding is dependent upon decisions being made at both the federal and local levels. As a result, the end date of this position may be adjusted based on those decisions. JHS is actively working to secure long-term funding for these positions.

As the only jurisdiction in the world named after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the most influential civil rights leaders in our nation’s history, King County is a vibrant international community with residents that represent countries from around the world. It is a region with increasing diversity that cherishes the traditions of many cultures.

We have a deep commitment to equity and social justice and advancing practices, strategies, and policies that promote fairness, justice, and opportunity for all – in our workplaces and our communities. With this commitment, King County has adopted a pro-equity agenda to advance regional change and ensure that residents from vulnerable communities are incorporated into our emergency planning and public outreach efforts.


  • Responsible for placement into inpatient treatment, which includes determining the appropriate level of care, type of service, length of stay, and the most appropriate facility using ASAM placement criteria.
  • Demonstrate an ongoing commitment to honing your clinical skills, especially those related to cultural humility, anti-racist practices, and shared decision making.
  • Engage with people who use drugs (including alcohol) using a collaborative, person-centered approach grounded in harm reduction and trauma-informed practice.
  • Promote diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, patient preferred languages, health literacy, and other communications needed for participants referred to care.
  • Facilitate shared treatment decision making and help participants understand the benefits of assessment and accessing the appropriate level of care.
  • Work collaboratively with funding sources to obtain initial authorizations for reimbursement.
  • Work cooperatively with the referral sources, providing clinical consultation as needed.
  • Monitor patient access to care and work collaboratively with stakeholders to eliminate barriers to treatment.
  • Maintain working knowledge of drug and alcohol treatment agencies and programs.
  • Document patient contact and services delivered in electronic health record system.


  • Registration as a Substance Use Disorder Professional under WAC 440-22-240.
  • At least two years of recent, relevant work experience with people involved in the criminal legal system within King, Pierce, or Snohomish County with priority given to people with experience providing harm reduction and recovery-related services for participants with substance use disorders
  • Demonstrated skills, experience and knowledge of anti-racism concepts and approaches.
  • Knowledge of specific challenges, trauma responses, behavior and needs for people experiencing legal involvement, housing instability, poverty, substance use disorder and mental health diagnoses that are compounded by discrimination and systemic oppression.
  • Demonstrated clinical skills, experience, and knowledge of the following:
  • Participant-centered concepts and approaches to case management, including outreach, screening, intake, assessment, intervention, and referral
  • Trauma-informed care concepts, approaches, and trauma responses.
  • Recovery-oriented concepts and approaches.
  • Crisis intervention and suicide risk assessment.
  • Building and maintaining appropriate boundaries with participants.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft programs such as Outlook, and the ability to use drop down menus, point and click software, and multiple screens.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to travel on a flexible schedule as needed.
  • Must possess valid Washington Driver’s License to drive a county vehicle.

To apply for this job please visit

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