Q&A with Jay Giancola CSAC, CS-IT

Jay Giancola - Substance Abuse CounselorClinical substance abuse counselor,  Clinical supervisor-in training

What does a clinical substance abuse counselor/clinical supervisor-in training do?

I am credentialed to work with individuals who suffer from substance use disorders. Duties  range from screenings, assessment , counseling, treatment planning to discharge. Modalities include, Out-patient  day treatment, inpatient or residential. Counseling will include individual, group or family. We also provide education and support to anyone who contacts our facility. Provide community education and prevention when requested.

When someone comes in to see you, what information should they bring?

That depends upon the individual and the reason for treatment. Many clients are voluntary, some are court ordered  or referred by other agencies,  It is helpful to bring  collateral information such as address’s phone numbers and names if referred by another party.  Generally be honest about your situation, open minded and have a willingness or desire to change.

What are three questions someone should consider asking during their visit?

There are no stupid questions when it comes to addiction. It invades all areas of ones life. As counselors we are prepared to answer, or provide information to any question on a variety of subjects.  Many individuals have  questions about length of treatment as well as outcomes. The most important question, however should come from within. Do I want help?

How can I be sure that my information is kept confidential?

In addition to Following the counselor code of ethics as well as federal and state laws concerning health information, substance abuse is a highly personal issue. Staff understands the need for privacy and respects all client rights.

What is the largest misconception you think people have about your position?

Unfortunately even today many individuals and healthcare providers do not fully understand  the role  and importance of treatment.  As the field of substance abuse evolves, many options are available. Today we are able use a variety of medications which will assist people in their recoveries. There are many approaches we use, in addition to the 12 step program. Your treatment will be individualized and client centered.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give to people to improve their overall health?

Apply the one day at a time principle.  As individuals we are complex and multi dimensional. Total wellness includes not only physical health but emotional and spiritual well being. Be patient with yourself, ask for help and surround yourself with others who are looking to make changes.

If someone wanted additional health information about substance abuse, what are some available resources?


If you or someone you care about is suffering from substance abuse please call Behavioral Health services  or the crisis line. Information is also available on our website.