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How To Get Certified In Addiction Counseling

Alabama Cacrep Accredited Online Counseling Certification

Understanding Addiction Counselor Certification

Board of Examiners in Counseling

The Alabama Board of Examiners in Counseling is a panel of professional counselors appointed to regulate counseling professionals. Their mission is to:

  • Protect the public
  • Enforce counseling licensure qualification standards
  • Enforce disciplinary procedures when required


950 22nd Street NorthSuite 765 Birmingham, AL 35203

  • Associate Licensed Counselor

Cacrep Accredited Online Certification

Two types of accreditation are recognized in the United States institutional and specialized. Institutional accreditation takes the entire institution into account while the specialized focus on professional preparation programs. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs is a specialized accreditation that focuses on masters and doctoral degree programs in counseling at colleges and universities worldwide. Only already-accredited institutions are eligible for CACREP review. The review for accreditation will center on programs offering graduate degrees in substance abuse counseling.

Choosing a CACREP-accredited program ensures that the program meets the highest of quality standards. Many counseling specialties are accredited bythe CACREP, including addiction counseling. Accredited addiction counseling programs prepare individuals to work with those affected by addictive behavior and their families. Addictive behaviors include alcohol, drugs, food, gambling, sex, and anything else that negatively affects your personal or work life by creating addiction behaviors.

CACREP-accredited programs will focus on treatment models and the phases of addiction including prevention, recovery, and relapse prevention. These 60-semester hour programs will include the application of interventions. When students choose a CACREP-accredited program they can be confident that:

Board of Behavioral Sciences

Certified Addictions Counselor Reciprocal Level

This certification also doesnt require a college degree. A high school diploma and GED are required. You need to have three years or 6,000 hours of direct counseling experience. If you do have an advanced degree, a masters degree will be a good substitute for two years or 4,000 hours of experience. If you have a bachelors degree, this is a substitute for one year or 2,000 hours of direct counseling experience.

You need 300 hours of clinical supervision in 12 core functions. Take 270 hours of education and training workshops related to the 12 core functions.

Obtain evaluations from three colleagues and your supervisor. Take four hours of HIV/AIDS education and six of ethics education.

At this level, you need to pass the ICRC written exam, submit a written case presentation, pass the oral exam and sign your copy of the Code of Ethics and all releases.

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Licensed Addiction Counselor Requirements & Certification

Category: Addiction Counselor, CADC Certification, CCAPP, CCAPP Approved Certification Programs, CCAPP Certification, RADT

If you want a job where you truly help others, becoming a licensed addiction counselor might be a great option to consider. At Sober College, we can set you on the path to becoming an addiction counselor, but first, lets take a quick look at the requirements and the training needed to become a counselor.

Licensed Addiction Counselors Are In Demand

According to the United States Bureau of Labor, the need for substance abuse, behavioral abuse and mental health counselors is growing faster than the need for workers in many other industries. The bureau speculates that between now and the end of the decade, the projected growth rate for this industry is 25%, which is considered a well above average job growth rate.

For someone interested in working as a licensed addiction counselor, this is good news because it means that there will be plenty of job opportunities to consider. The median pay for these types of counseling jobs was $47,660 or $22.91 per hour, according to the bureau. In some cases, your pay might be less or more, depending on your years of experience, level of education and the location of the facility.

Types Of Licensed Addiction Counselors

How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance Abuse Counselor: What Is CAADE Alcohol and drug ...

Substance abuse counseling can be traced all the way back to the 1750s, when Native American tribes began building abstinence-based movements and practices to treat alcoholism. Since that time, people have worked against the building chaos of substances in equally chaotic waysthink, prohibition, inebriate asylums, treating alcoholism with cocaine, etc. The misuse of alcohol and drugs has recently hit devastating numbers across the U.S. Victims of addiction have hard journeys to take, facing crises inflicted upon themselves as well as those closest to them. Thankfully, although perhaps there are still many improvements to be made, todays methods of treatment help people everywhere battle the painful fight against addiction think, the Affordable Care Act and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Substance abuse counselors work with and for patients struggling with addiction, helping clients reach goals, find and sustain work, and practice sobriety safely and positively.

So, how can you become a substance abuse or addictions counselor from where you are now? Read on to learn more about the what, why and how of this high-demand profession!

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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.

Addictions Counseling Certificate Program

Nationwide, there are more than 300,000 job openings for substance abuse treatment providers. Projections in Ohio indicate an 18% increase in the Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor occupation from 2018 to 2028. This ranks as the 19th fastest growing occupation of 35 occupations listed on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Labor Market Information webpage.

The Addictions Counseling Certificate Program provides students at the undergraduate and graduate levels who are enrolled in a behavioral science degree program with the educational content necessary to apply for chemical dependency counselor licensure in Ohio issued by Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board. The ACCP is also available to in-career professionals who wish to pursue addictions counseling as a specialty area. The ACCP can be completed in 12 months and all classes are offered in-person at the Kent campus.

The ACCP is a certificate program offered at KSU. It is not a degree program. Because it is not a degree program, the ACCP is not accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs because CACREP does not accredit non-degree programs.

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Advantages Of Completing Your Substance Abuse Certification:

In addition to providing you with an opportunity to enhance your knowledge and hands on experience, this will increase the earning prospect for you as well. If you are a graduate, you might find it hard to find a job because of the high prevailing competition in the market. Counselors with relevant certification are given priority over simple graduates. If you are living in California and are following a career in behavioral sciences, you should complete these certifications as the demand for substance abuse counselors is going to increase for following reasons:

  • Health insurances: People are bound to get insured and with this step, an increase in the patients of drug addictions is seen at ab overall level. As most of the insurance companies cover the drug addiction therapies, there is a positive expectation of growth through this initiative.

  • You can move from one state to another and can earn an easy livelihood there when you possess such certifications. It is a onetime investment to change your life forever.

  • It is an easy way to secure your job. After competition of your course work and experience requirements and ICRC exam, you will feel confident about yourself and would feel at a competitive advantage over others.

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Certificate In Substance Abuse Counseling

AllCEUs Addiction Counselor Certification Training Programs

For those who already have a degree or who are looking for a shorter program that can potentially lead to state licensure, many schools offer certificate programs in substance abuse counseling. At the undergraduate level, a high school diploma or associate degree is a common admissions prerequisite. At the graduate level, certificate programs will require prospective students to hold a bachelors degree.

Certificate programs typically take between 15 and 20 credit hours to complete, which equates to three to five courses . This can allow students to complete the program in as little as a semester, though a two-semester program is not uncommon. As such, certificates can provide a faster route to this career compared to a two-to-four-year drug and alcohol counselor degree program, especially if you already hold a college degree. Courses in substance abuse certificate programs tend to focus on the fundamentals of substance abuse counselor training, and will commonly have titles such as:

  • Alcohol, Drugs, and Behavior

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Becoming A Substance Abuse Counselor

Substance abuse counselors may have more varied backgrounds than professionals in mental health counseling or marriage and family therapy. At the undergraduate level, they may draw from fields like psychology and human services even sociology is sometimes accepted. At the graduate level, one may find individuals trained in expressive arts therapies as well as more traditional counseling disciplines. Some hold primary licensing in fields like social work.

Requirements vary quite a bit from state to state. Many states license substance abuse counselors. In some states, they are certified by third party organizations. Minimum requirements and even accepted certification bodies may be addressed in state code. Typical requirements include discipline-specific education, examination, and supervised work experience. An individual with a bachelors degree generally works under supervision for a couple years.

Some states license technicians or counselors with education as low as the high school level. They need to take discipline-specific classes, but the focus is on the basics these professional hone their skills through practicum and supervised practice. In other states, the minimum educational level is the bachelors degree. The trend, education-wise, has been upward in recent years

The amount of discipline-specific education necessary to qualify for initial licensure varies. Some states set it at just 270 hours. In others, the requirement is much higher.

Substance Abuse Counselor Salary

The median certified substance abuse counselor salary is around $47,660 as of 2020, according to the BLS. The highest 10% earned more than $78,700.

The BLS also reports that those who work in community and social service counselor occupations earned more on average around $50,500 a year.

Because counselors are a less-expensive alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists, managed care insurers increasingly prefer to hire and reimburse counselors who hold masters degrees as opposed to psychologists with doctorate degrees.

Government agencies generally pay the highest wages, followed by hospitals and social service agencies. Residential care facilities often pay the lowest wages. Many drug and alcohol counselors start out as interns in residential care and move up as they complete their intern hours and earn their licensing credentials.

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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.

Counselor Testing & Examination Process

Substance abuse counselor certification

Counselor candidates can download information for their desired credential from the board website. There, you’ll 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.

You’ll 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 eligible–or not–to 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. it’s also worth noting that, if you have an existing CADC degree, you can upgrade your license if you earn a master’s degree and complete the advanced IC& RC exam.

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The Substance Abuse Counselor Job Outlook Is Positive

Substance abuse counseling is one of the fastest-growing occupations in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 23% increase from 2016-2026 due to a rise in people seeking addiction and mental health counseling services, as well as states seeking treatment and counseling services instead of jail time for drug offenders.

Dr. Donald Posson, who teaches several of the courses within National Universitys undergraduate certificate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling program, has been in the addictions and mental health field for over twenty years those job projection numbers dont surprise him. Thats not even taking into account the need thats coming with the opioid crisis, he says. We havent even begun to deal with the counseling aspect of that or identified how were going to deal with it or resource it. Over the next five to ten years its going to require many more therapists than we currently have in the pipeline.

Dr. Posson notes that across the professional spectrum in California, only about 10 percent of therapists currently have experience in substance abuse counseling. Individuals seeking counseling and therapy are finding it difficult to find the trained professionals they need to help them conquer negative habits.

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 .

Click here for more information on the .

Please see below for details.

The fee for most courses is $600. The fee for the “The Practice of Addictions Counseling” and the “Practicum” is $1,100. These fees do not include the cost of books.

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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.

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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:

Certified Addiction Counselor Practice Test
  • MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
  • KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.


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