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How To Get Certification In Addiction Counseling

Counselor Testing & Examination Process

Understanding Addiction Counselor Certification

Counselor candidates can download information for their desired credential from the board website. There, youâll receive detailed information about certification criteria.

Fees vary, depending on your certification. A CADC candidate can expect to pay $350 for the exam. Retests are $200, and an AAC credential is $100.

Youâll also need to produce supporting documents like recorded practice hours, transcripts, and a signed and notarized code of ethics.

The pennsylvania certification board will then review the application packet and deem the candidate eligibleâor notâto take the exam. Once approved, the candidate can schedule their exam. If they fail, they must wait 60 days before they can try again.

Applications remain open for one calendar year. itâs also worth noting that, if you have an existing CADC degree, you can upgrade your license if you earn a masterâs degree and complete the advanced IC& RC exam.

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Substance Abuse Counselor Certification

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensing that governs the practice of mental health counseling.

Explore requirements for the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor credential in your state. The Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist credential is appropriate for counselors looking to specialize in family therapy.

In California, for example, more than one type of licensing might be needed to engage in substance abuse counseling. Visit the California Board of Behavioral Sciences website for an alphabet soup of licensing options.

Most states require counselors to take state board licensing exams like the National Counseling Exam or the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination to become a licensed professional counselor. You must also complete a certain number of counseling hours and pass written and oral exams. Felony and other background checks are required.

Mental health counselors may also elect to be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors . This national agency grants a general practice credential, the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor . The CCMHC is widely recognized nationwide and may be required by some employers.

Career Opportunities As A Drug And Alcohol Abuse Counselor

There are several types of jobs in this field, so as a first step to creating your career path, youll want to research what is available in your community and area of interest. Counseling jobs in this field are found in outpatient programs, community health centers, prisons, homeless shelters, halfway houses, juvenile facilities, adolescent treatment facilities, hospitals, residential facilities, mental health centers, and private practice. Most positions are full time and often require working evening and weekend hours.

Substance abuse counselor salary ranges depend on several factors, including the level of education, number of hours of field experience, and employment setting. Nonprofit organizations tend to offer lower salaries, while compensation at top-quality residential facilities can be higher.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for a substance abuse counselor in 2017 was $43,300. The lowest ten percent in this field earned less than $27,310 and the highest ten percent earned over $70,840. Dr. Posson finds that most drug and alcohol abuse counselors are following a passion for helping people, more than just striving for a paycheck. People are to the field theyre not just seeking a job, he says.

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Master In Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization Program Mission

Developed in alignment with the standards of The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs and curriculum specific requirements of the California Board of Behavioral Sciences , the mission of the Master of Arts in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization is to provide academic and professional clinical training to students, as adult learners, to become ethical, culturally sensitive, and competent counselors who can effectively diagnose and treat a diverse population of individuals recovering from substance abuse. The program blends both theoretical and applied concepts relevant to addiction counseling professionals, thus preparing students capable of making unique contributions to the underserved in their communities and society.

Certified Recovery Support Specialist

Certificate in Addiction Counseling

This replaces the Certified Addiction Specialist . The CRSS is the basic level of certification. It requires acceptance of the FCB ethics agreement, completion of 75 training hours, a complete criminal background check, three professional references, and 1,000 hours of clinical supervision. Applicants must pass the Florida Recovery Specialist examination.

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Addictions Counselor Education Programs Certificate

The Online Addictions Counselor Education Program Certificate was created to make the successful Certificate in ACEP more accessible nationally and internationally. With the recent approval of licensure for addictions professionals, the UMass Boston ACEP program, available both online and on the UMass Boston campus, adds great value to those seeking licensure and those seeking continuing education hours to maintain licensure.

The certificate program is divided into two parts. Part one consists of three courses, ending with the pre-practicum. Part two consists of two courses and, in addition, a practicum experience that is critical to professional development. The field-based practicum are supervised on site under the guidance of qualified addictions specialists and monitored by college faculty via conference calls and online chats.

The ACEP Certificate program is now being offered in Spanish as well!

Program Highlights:

  • Faculty are career professionals strongly committed to sharing their knowledge and skills with students
  • Qualify students for certification and licensing exams
  • Leader in Alcohol and drug education

Learn more about this program:To receive more information and connect with the program manager, please click on inquire now .

Please see below for details.

The fee for most courses is $600. The fee for the âThe Practice of Addictions Counselingâ and the âPracticumâ is $1,100. These fees do not include the cost of books.

Training And Clinical Experience

Before getting licensed as a counselor, students must spend many supervised hours gaining clinical experience. These hours may be done through internships or practicums, which are usually a part of your degree program.

In states where licensure can be achieved with a bachelors degree, candidates typically spend 4,000 to 10,000 hours gaining supervised experience. However, those with masters degrees may only need around 1,000 hours of clinical experience. After these hours are completed, a candidate can take an exam to become licensed.

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The Ashland University Addictions Program Features Include:

We Help You Succeed

Our dedicated faculty and advisors will help you every step of the way. Some of our services consist of free tutoring, one-on-one career management, and study strategy tools.

Financial Aid Available

Ashland University provides a number of financial aid options ranging from tuition assistance grants to standard student loans. Financial aid may cover up to 100% of tuition, depending on a variety of factors.


The tuition rate for the online Associate of Arts with a Concentration in Addictions is $385 per credit hour or $23,000 for the 60 hours of an associate degree.

Potential Counselor Career Path Options

  • Addiction Counselor

Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Salary And Job Outlook

CCAPP Certification: Becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor

Working as a certified substance abuse counselor can offer stable job prospects. The national earning average for substance abuse counselors is . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counseling profession to grow by 25% between 2019 and 2029 and to add 79,000 jobs.

However, salary and job outlook expectations can vary widely from state to state. Be sure to research opportunities in your area to understand average salary expectations for your level of education.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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Licensed Addiction Counselor Requirements

A LAC will need a masters or doctorate in a relevant clinical field . He or she must meet training requirements in specific areas . There are a number of courses that the counselor must either take or demonstrate equivalency for. Among them are advanced case conceptualization and advanced motivational interviewing).

A LAC must demonstrate 3,000 hours of supervised practice. A full-time worker will need at least two supervision hours a month.

An LAC candidates must take the NAADAC MAC. The examination is to be taken post-master.

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Help Others To Better Their Lives

Help others by treating individuals, families, and communities struggling with addiction by earning a Master of Arts in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization degree.

The Touro University Worldwide online Master of Arts in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization explores substance abuse and related disorders from a clinical counseling perspective that involves several factors associated with addiction.

The program is 60-credit hour program and can be completed in two years as a full-time student. Students will gain the knowledge, skills, and hands-on practice in treating individuals with addiction, substance abuse, and dependency disorders to prepare students with the tools needed to succeed in addiction counseling. Moreover, students gain clinical counseling skills that focuses on promoting clients mental health wellness to sustain recovery.

What makes the M.A. in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization program different?

  • Accelerated admissions process
  • Six starts throughout the year

What is the employment and career outlook for the Master of Arts in Counseling: Addiction Counseling Specialization?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor project growth in the field for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is 23% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

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Addiction Counselor Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects substance abuse counselor jobs will grow by 25% through the year 2029 a much faster rate than the average for all occupations.

States are creating networks to improve services for children with serious emotional disturbances and their families. These networks need staffing.

The criminal justice system will create additional demand for licensed professional counselors to treat drug offenders as an alternative to jail time.

Substance abuse professionals who have earned a masters degree, have professional and field experience, and have earned specialized accreditation or certification have the best job prospects in this field.

Outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, as well as nursing and residential care facilities employed 44% of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. Individual and family services, as well as non-education and hospital state and local government facilities make up around 13% of the rest of the prospective jobs.

Complete Supervised Clinical Practice Hours Requirements

Certified Substance Abuse Counselor  CSAC Resume Example Greensboro ...

In addition to your degree, aspiring substance abuse counselors often need to complete on-the-job field training. If you want to become nationally certified, most candidates require 3,000 hours of counseling experience and 100 hours of supervised practice following their master’s degree educations. Those that complete a Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs accredited program can often waive this requirement. However, most accredited programs involve field-work elements.

Field work can prepare you to work in a variety of settings like prisons, rehabilitation clinics and private practices. You can also learn valuable information about the underlying causes of addiction. Your studies may expose you to additional information surrounding contributing factors to addiction like socio-economic status, genetics and early life trauma. Field work can supplement your knowledge and skills in the following areas:

  • Patient and family communication

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California Consortium Of Addiction Programs And Professionals

The next step in CCAPPs Career ladder after registration is certification. There are three levels of the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor . There are two levels of Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor . Please note that the LAADC is a non-governmental licensed issued by CCAPP Credentialing.

Pass A Background Check

In order to offer your counseling services legally, you may need to pass a background check. These checks assess candidates for histories of felonies or abuse. Most employers and certification programs require some sort of vetting process. However, if you have a personal history with substance abuse, this can often make you a more effective and empathetic counselor to your patients. Don’t allow a personal history to discourage you from pursuing a fulfilling career where you have the potential to help others. Individual state and employer expectations can vary significantly.

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Cns 539 Addiction Stress And Trauma

This course addresses the role of stress and trauma in the life of individuals with addiction, specifically investigating the role of stress and violence as both etiologically relevant and to addictions and how addictive behavior is used as a maladaptive coping response to stress and trauma. The course will examine how repeated exposure to traumatic events affects development, interpersonal relationships and neurological functioning and development. Specific counseling techniques for the treatment of trauma with co-occurring addiction will be presented.

National Certified Addiction Counselor Level Ii

Addiction Counseling Licensing and Certification

This credential requires that candidates hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in substance use disorders/addiction or a related field such as social work, psychology, mental health counseling, etc. Candidates should have a state-issued license as a substance use disorders/addiction counselor or professional counselor and provide proof of at least five years of full-time supervised work in the field. NAADAC will also accept a total of 10,000 hours. On top of the degree requirement, the credential requires 450 contact hours of education in substance abuse disorders/addiction counseling. Applicants must also complete 6 hours of ethics training and then 6 hours of HIV/other pathogen training within the 6 years prior to application. Finally, applicants must provide passing scores on the NCC APs NCAC Level II exam, pay a non-refundable initial credentialing fee of $235, and then be prepared to pay $200 every two years after that for licensure renewal. Renewals must also include evidence of 40 CEU hours, a verifiable work history for the past two years, and a signed statement affirming adherence to the NAADAC/NCC AP Code of Ethics.

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Licensed Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor

  • Earn a masters degree in Behavioral Science or an Allied Mental Health Profession including at least 300 hours of education specific to alcohol/drug counseling and six hours specific to professional ethics.
  • Carry professional liability insurance providing at least $1.3 million in payment per incident.
  • Complete 4,000 hours of work experience.
  • Complete the following training programs from a provider approved by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals CCAPP – 10 Hours in Private Practice, and 40 Hours in Screening for a Co-Occurring Disorder.
  • Earn a passing score on the IC& RC AADC Exam.

North Carolina Licensing & Certifications For Associates & Independent Counselors

In order to ensure that all practicing substance abuse professionals in the state of North Carolina possess the necessary knowledge, skills, and ethical commitment, the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board was established. The NCSAPPB is responsible for providing counseling credentials to qualified individuals within the state. As a member board of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium , the NCSAPPB works to ensure substance abuse and/or addiction patients receive safe and competent services. To this end, they offer several different credentials. Those who have already received certification from another IC& RC member board can transfer their credentials to North Carolina through the reciprocity process.

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Do I Need A Masters In Order To Earn A Phd In Counseling

The degree required for admission to a PhD program varies. Some programs only admit those who already have a masters in a counseling-related discipline or equivalent formal substance abuse counselor training these programs tend to focus more heavily on research and theory. Other programs will consider applicants who have a bachelors degree these programs will likely include a deeper focus on counseling practice and may qualify the graduate for first-time counseling licensure.

Roles And Job Settings

Addictions Counselor Credential Training

Counseling is more than just talking to clients or delivering information. Tasks include screening, orientation, evaluation, and referral, among others. Professional responsibilities are varied, from assessing needs and risks to considering differential treatment models to staying within the boundaries of professional ethics and ones own scope of practice. Addiction and substance use disorder counselors may have different roles depending on their level of education and experience.

Counselors work in a variety of settings, inpatient and outpatient. They may work with segments of the population such as youth or people who are in the criminal justice system. Among the possible employers are private treatment centers, clinics, health systems, nonprofit organizations, tribal systems, military systems, and correctional facilities.

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Alcoholism And Substance Abuse Counselor

Those interested in practicing as a substance abuse counselor in New York must receive professional credentials through the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services . OASAS works to verify that all New York substance abuse counselors receive the proper professional development before joining the states workforce. They also ensure that all state substance abuse counselors are competent, ethical, and capable of meeting societal needs. While a number of certifications are available in New York, Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor deals specifically with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction counseling. Its important to note that Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor CASACs are not permitted to engage in private practice unless they have been given legal permission to do so.

Those interested in becoming a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor must:

  • Document a minimum of 6,000 hours of full-time work as a provider or supervisor of direct patient services in an approved work setting, as defined by OASAS
  • Acceptable work experience includes:
  • Diagnostic assessment, evaluation, intervention, referral, alcohol and, or substance abuse counseling in individual and group settings
  • Weekly clinical supervision by a QHP
  • Work with the alcoholism and or substance abuse services delivery system for consultations and referrals
  • Practice in alcohol and, or substance abuse counseling designed to sustain recovery and prevent future relapses
  • How To Become A Counselor

    There are a few requirements to become a licensed substance abuse counselor.

    1. Earn an accredited counseling degree- you may need to pass a background check at different points in this process.

    2. Work as a counselor with your CDCA and acquire supervised clinical practice hours.

    3. For a LCDC II or LCDC III, once your degree is completed and your supervised hours as a CDCA are acquired, you will apply to take the licensing exam through the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.

    4. Pass the test and apply for your licensure. Ashland Universitys educational components are endorsed through the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board.

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