Ethics

In SUD Counseling

Ethics are generally regarded as the standards that govern the conduct of a person. Smith and Hodges define ethics as a, “human reflecting self-consciously on the act of being a moral being. This implies a process of self-reflection and awareness of how to behave as a moral being. Some definitions are dictated by law, individual belief systems, religion or a mixture of all three."

The Career Path

Each certifying organization (CO) has their own career path that exceeds the state required minimum. The basic career path in California starts with education. To become a certified counselor, individuals must obtain a minimum education in addiction counseling; practical training/experience; and pass an exam. In order to gain experience you must become registered. It is recommended that you do not become registered until you are ready to look for work. The state regulations only allow for five years to become certified once you become registered. Those are consecutive years regardless of your employment or volunteer status. The clock does not stop if you get registered and are not actively gaining experience. You may begin your education without working in counseling.

Each COs career path begins with registration, then certification. There are multiple levels of certification, based on education and experience hours. To get certified you must complete the required minimum  education, initial on the job training and supervised experience hours, and pass the credentialing exam. For more information click on the section title below.

Education

Education requirements

registration

Getting registered (internships)

certification

Putting it all together!

education

Minimum Requirements

Title 9, Chapter 8, California Code of Regulations

State regulations require a minimum of 155 hours of classroom education in SUD studies. The courses must meet the areas covered in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) Technical Assistance Publication (TAP) 21: Addiction Counseling Competencies – The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice. It is important to note that the DHCS approved certification organizations all require more than the minimum.

California Certifying Organizations

The State Department of Health Care Services, Substance Use Disorders Compliance Division (DHCS-SUDCD) is the governing body over the state approved certifying organizations (CO). For information on the approved certification organizations, visit the DHCS website. Here are the education requirements of each CO.

CCAPP

California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals

CCAPP requires a minimum of 315 hours of education from an approved school. Courses from non-approved schools will need to be approved during the certification process by providing course descriptions from the school. Courses must include the academic content areas in SUD studies. CCAPP Academy is user-friendly, local access, and it’s hands-on learning approaches it is famous for; expanding throughout the state offering more locations, and greater selection of classes; cutting edge curriculum to keep California counselors in the forefront of their profession.

CADTP

California Association of DUI Treatment Programs

CADTP (sometimes misspelled as CADPT) requires a minimum of 315 hours of education from an approved education. Courses from non-approved schools will need to be approved during the certification process by providing course descriptions from the school.

CAADE/ACCBC

California Association of Alcohol/Drug Educators

CAADEs certification is through the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC). ACCBC requires a minimum of 315 hours of AOD/ADC from a CAADE approved school.

registration

Minimum Requirements

Title 9, Chapter 8, California Code of Regulations

State regulations require individuals to gain a minimum of 160 documented hours of supervised training and an additional 2,080 hours of documented work experience providing counseling services in an AOD/SUD program prior, after, or at the same time as completion of the education requirements to become certified. In order to begin obtaining this experience, an individual must become registered with a DHCS approved certifying organization. Registered individuals are given five (5) years to complete the education and experience requirements. The registrant must become certified to continue working past the five years. In extreme cases, one may request a hardship extension up to two (2) additional years.

California Certifying Organizations

The State Department of Health Care Services, Substance Use Disorders Compliance Division (DHCS-SUDCD) is the governing body over the state approved certifying organizations (CO). For information on the approved certification organizations, visit the DHCS website. Here are the education requirements of each CO.

The COs have agreed upon a prerequisite of successfully completing a nine (9) hour orientation course prior to becoming registered. This must be an approved orientation course including three (3) hours of Ethics, three (3) hours of Boundaries, and three (3) hours of confidentiality. Taking separate courses that include these topics is not accepted.

Candidates must renew their registration annually. At the time of renewal, the candidate will need to provide documentation the the CO identifying what steps have been accomplished towards meeting the education and experience requirements towards certification.

certification

Minimum Requirements

Title 9, Chapter 8, California Code of Regulations

State regulations require individuals to gain a minimum of 160 documented hours of supervised training and an additional 2,080 hours of documented work experience providing counseling services in an AOD/SUD program prior, after, or at the same time as completion of the education requirements to become certified. In order to begin obtaining this experience, an individual must become registered with a DHCS approved certifying organization. Registered individuals are given five (5) years to complete the education and experience requirements. The registrant must become certified to continue working past the five years. In extreme cases, one may request a hardship extension up to two (2) additional years.

California Certifying Organizations

The State Department of Health Care Services, Substance Use Disorders Compliance Division (DHCS-SUDCD) is the governing body over the state approved certifying organizations (CO). For information on the approved certification organizations, visit the DHCS website. Here are the education requirements of each CO.

The COs have agreed upon a prerequisite of successfully completing a nine (9) hour orientation course prior to becoming registered. This must be an approved orientation course including three (3) hours of Ethics, three (3) hours of Boundaries, and three (3) hours of confidentiality. Taking separate courses that include these topics is not accepted.

Candidates must renew their registration annually. At the time of renewal, the candidate will need to provide documentation the the CO identifying what steps have been accomplished towards meeting the education and experience requirements towards certification.

California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)

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

CADC I

To become a CADC I you will need

  • 315 hours of AOD specific education from a CCAPP Educational Institute approved school
  • 255 hour field practicum (done through your school in cooperation with your employer)
  • 3,000 hours work experience
  • Obtain a passing score on the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) written exam

CADC II

To become a CADC I you will need

  • 315 hours of AOD specific education from a CCAPP Educational Institute approved school
  • 255 hour field practicum (done through your school in cooperation with your employer)
  • 6,000 hours work experience
  • Obtain a passing score on the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) written exam

CADC III

To become a CADC I you will need

  • 315 hours of AOD specific education from a CCAPP Educational Institute approved school
  • 255 hour field practicum (done through your school in cooperation with your employer)
  • 4,000 hours work experience and a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science or allied mental health profession
  • Obtain a passing score on the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) written exam

LAADC

To become a LAADC you will need

  • Masters Degree in SUD/AMHP with 300 hours SUD specific education and six hours ethics
  • 4,000 hours work experience in SUD counseling
  • Obtain a passing score on the IC&RC Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) written exam

LAADC-S

To become a LAADC you will need

  • Masters Degree in SUD/AMHP with 300 hours SUD specific education and six hours ethics
  • 45 hours clinical supervision education
  • 4,000 hours work experience in SUD counseling (with 2,080 completed post graduate)
  • Obtain a passing score on the IC&RC Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) written exam

ready to start?

Visit the CCAPP Education website to start your schooling. Visit the CCAPP Credentialing website to get registered or apply for certification.