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Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees by State

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Our comprehensive list of online substance abuse counseling degrees by state allows students to find flexible programs at schools with local reputation and campus resources. Since licensing and certification requirements for substance abuse counselors vary widely, it can be challenging for prospective students to choose a program they can be sure will meet all the practice requirements for the state they live in. We've made the search easier by providing overviews of the licensing and certification requirements for substance abuse counselors in each state.

All programs listed on this page are available in fully online format, offering students maximum flexibility as they complete their studies. Those interested in learning more can also browse a comprehensive, alphabetical list of online substance abuse counseling degree programs.

Looking for an Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degree? Search Over 22,000 Online Programs:

Alabama Learn More

Online students interested in working as Certified Addictions Counselors in Alabama must meet the necessary requirements in three distinct areas: experience, competency, and examination. Before giving an oral presentation to a panel of Alabama Association of Addiction Counselor Certification Board (AAACCB) members and taking the National Certified Counselor (NCC) exam, every student must submit a completed application. The application must show proof of two years of work experience in Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment, 60 units of continuing education, six units each of ethics and HIV/AIDS training within the past five years, a National Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors (NAADAC) membership, and references from colleagues. Applicants must also have four qualifying points, which are comprised of combinations of the following: 100 hours of SUD training, two years of active participation in self-help SUD groups, a bachelor’s degree in a health science program, or more than two years work experience. This state also recognizes national certification by the NAADAC.

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Alaska Learn More

The state of Alaska has both a degree track and a non-degree track for certification as a Counselor Technician (CT), a Chemical Dependency Counselor I (CDC I), and a Chemical Dependency Counselor II (CDC II). Online students looking to pursue the degree track must complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral health field. To become certified as a CT, students must complete 20 units of specified coursework, while certification as a CDC I requires 2,000 hours of work experience, 100 hours of supervised practicum, and 20 units of coursework. Similarly, a CDC II requires 6,000 hours of work experience, 200 hours of supervised practicum, and 48 units of coursework. Candidates must also achieve a passing score on the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) level I or II, or the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) exam. Online students seeking certification by way of the non-degree track must take 84 units of required coursework for a CT certification. The requirements for the CDC licenses are also enhanced with a CDC I requiring 4,000 hours of work experience, 100 hours of supervised practicum, and 148 units. With the non-degree track, a CDC II requires 8,000 hours of experience, 200 supervised practicum hours, 176 units, and a passing score on the NCAC level I or II, or the MAC exam.

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Arizona Learn More

Any online students interested in working in the field of substance abuse counseling must obtain a credential as a Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT), a Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC), or a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC). To become a LSAT, online students must hold either a bachelor’s degree with 30 units of counseling classes or an associate of applied science degree in chemical dependency with 30 units of counseling classes and another 18 units in chemical dependency. The LASAC requires a bachelor’s degree with 30 units of counseling coursework and a minimum of 3,200 supervised hours of work experience in substance abuse counseling (with 1,600 hours involving direct contact with clients), or a master’s degree in behavioral health sciences with a minimum of 24 units of counseling courses. To become a LISAC, candidates must obtain a master’s degree in behavioral health sciences. At least 24 units must derive from counseling classes and students will also need to provide documentation of 3,200 supervised work hours in substance abuse counseling within 24 months of conferring the degree, also with 1,600 hours of direct client contact.

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Arkansas Learn More

Arkansas has a three-tier licensure system based primarily on level of education; online students can become Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Technicians (CADAT), Licensed Associate Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (LAADAC), or Licensed Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADAC). These certifications require a high school diploma, a bachelor’s degree, and a master’s degree respectively. In addition, online students must provide proof of at least 6,000 hours or 3 years of supervised work experience and 270 collective units of approved education related to alcohol or drug abuse including courses on ethics. Lastly, they’ll need to pass a written exam approved by the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors.

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California Learn More

In California, there are multiple ways to become a certified substance abuse counselor. To become a California Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor (CAODC) or a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor – Certified Addiction Specialist (CADC-CAS), online students must have completed 155 units of coursework relating to alcohol and drug use and 2,080 hours of work experience as a substance abuse counselor. Both certifications also require passing a written exam. Other certifications, such as the California Alcohol/Other Drug Counselor – Advanced (CAODC-A) and the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I or II (CADC-I or CADC-II) have similar but slightly more intensive requirements. California’s highest level of certification, the Certified Addiction Treatment Counselor (CATC), operates in levels from basic to level V. It, too, requires supervised work hours and an exam, but the level of education necessary differs by level of certification. A CATC basic requires only 315 units, while a CATC I requires completion of an addiction studies program. A CATC II requires an associate’s degree, a CATC III a bachelor’s, a CATC IV a master’s, and a CATC V a doctorate.

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Colorado Learn More

Online students aspiring to work as substance abuse counselors in Colorado have two paths to choose from. One is to become a Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC I, II, or III). The CAC I requires at least a high school diploma along with 1,000 hours of supervised work experience in a six-month period and 112 units of approved courses. The CAC II builds on that, requiring CAC I training, 126 units, 2,000 hours of work experience with three hours of clinical supervision per month, and a passing score on the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) I exam. For CAC III certification, students must hold a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences with 56 units of field-related coursework, complete an additional 2,000 hours of work experience, and pass the NCAC II. Alternatively, online students can choose to become a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), for which they will need to have a clinical master’s degree or a doctorate, 168 units of specified coursework, documentation of 3,000 hours of work experience, and a passing score on the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) exam.

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Connecticut Learn More

To obtain certification as a drug and alcohol counselor in Connecticut, online students will need to document a minimum of 300 hours of supervised training in the field, three years of work experience, and 360 units of approved courses with 240 units directly relating to alcohol and drug abuse counseling. Additionally, they must pass the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium’s Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) examination. To practice with an Alcohol and Drug Counselor license, any individual is required to hold a master’s degree in social work, marriage and family therapy, psychology, or a counseling and drug use-related subject including at least 18 units of counseling courses. The required training hours, work experience, number of units, and exam scores are the same for the license as for the certification.

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Delaware Learn More

The state of Delaware requires that online students obtain a master’s degree with at least 30 units of counseling courses in order to be eligible for a Chemical Dependency Professional License. In addition, they must complete 3,200 hours of work experience in substance abuse counseling, 1,600 of which must be supervised hours. Furthermore, 100 of the 1,600 supervised hours must be spent in face-to-face consultations between the candidate and supervisor.

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Florida Learn More

There are three types of certification open to online students wishing to work as substance abuse counselors in Florida: the Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), the Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), and the Certified Master’s Level Addiction Professional (MCAP). The CAC requires 6,000 hours of work experience if students have a high school diploma and 4,000 hours for those holding an associate degree in Behavioral Sciences, with 300 or 150 hours of direct supervision respectively. In addition, online students must complete 250 units of related coursework and successfully pass the Florida Certified Addiction Professional Exam. To become a CAP, a minimum of bachelor’s in a Behavioral Science from an accredited university is required, with 350 units of specific coursework. Online students holding master’s or doctoral degrees need 4,000 supervised hours related work experience, while those with a bachelor’s degrees must complete 6,000 hours. CAP candidates must also pass the Florida Certified Addiction Professional Exam. The MCAP is available to online students already holding a master’s degree, although they are required to document 350 hours of training, 4,000 hours of addiction-specific work experience, and a passing score on the Florida Certified Master’s Level Addiction Professional Exam.

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Georgia Learn More

There are three paths to certification as a substance abuse counselor in Georgia: the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I), the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor II (CADC-II), and the Certified Advanced Alcohol Drug Counselor (CAADC). Online students aspiring to obtain any of these certifications must complete a minimum of 270 units of specific coursework and 300 hours of supervised work experience with 120 hours of face-to-face interaction. In addition, students working to obtain a CADC I certification must have at least a high school diploma and 6,000 hours of work experience in alcohol or drug abuse treatment. The CADC-II requires a bachelor’s degree and 4,000 hours of work experience. The final option, the CAADC, requires students to complete a master’s degree in a human service field with clinical application. After applications have been reviewed, candidates will be directed to sign up for the necessary exam as specified by the Alcohol & Drug Abuse Certification Board of Georgia.

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Hawaii Learn More

To become Certified Prevention Specialists (CPS) in the state Hawaii, online students must hold a high school diploma, complete 120 units of prevention-specific education, and spend 2,000 hours working in the field including 120 hours of preceptor supervision. Additionally, students must pass the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) International Written Prevention Specialist Examination. A Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC) license also requires students to hold a high school diploma in addition to completing 270 units of approved substance abuse education, 400 hours of practical training, and 6,000 hours of supervised clinical work experience. Some degrees and programs may be substituted for work experience hours. The final requirement for the CSAC is as passing score on the International Certification Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors.

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Idaho Learn More

In Idaho, there are three different certifications available to online students interested in pursuing substance abuse counseling. A Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) must hold a high school diploma, complete 210 units of field-related classes, complete 2,000 hours of field-related work experience, and pass the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) exam. Online students aspiring to become Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselors (CADC) must complete 6,000 hours of work experience with 300 hours of direct supervision, 270 units of counseling, six units of ethics training, and a passing score on an Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) exam. Further education can be substituted for work experience hours. The third certification option in Idaho is the Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor (ACADC), which requires candidates to have a minimum of a master’s degree in a behavioral science field with 180 units of specified coursework, 2,000 hours of work experience, six hours of ethics training, and a passing score on the ADC exam.

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Illinois Learn More

There are multiple levels of certification that online students can obtain in order to practice as substance abuse counselors in Illinois. One is the Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC), which requires a high school diploma, 4,000 hours of work experience within the last four years, 225 units of specified education, and a passing score on the CADC Illinois examination. Another level is the Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CRADC), which also requires a high school diploma as well as 6,000 hours of work experience, 300 units of education, and successful completion of both the CADC Illinois examination and the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) examination. The highest level of certification that can be attained is the Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CAADC), which requires online students to earn a master’s degree in a behavioral science with a clinical application. In addition to the degree, they must complete 2,000 hours of field-related work with 300 hours of supervision. The CAADC also requires 180 units of courses and a passing score on the IC&RC Advanced examination. For the CADC and CRADC certifications, online students may waive partial work experience if they already hold a bachelor’s or associate degree.

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Indiana Learn More

There are two types of licensure available in Indiana: licensure as an Addiction Counselor (LAC) and as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC). Online students pursuing the LAC must hold a bachelor’s degree with 40 units of specified coursework, complete 350 hours of practicum experience and two years of supervised work experience (subsequent to degree completion), and achieve passing scores on both the Indiana Jurisprudence exam and the Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) examination. The National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) II examination may be substituted in place of the latter. Alternately, to apply for the LCAC, online students must hold a master’s degree in a behavioral science that includes 27 units of related courses as well as completing 700 hours of LCAC-approved practicum and at least two years of work experience. LCAC must pass the Indiana Jurisprudence exam as well as the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) exam or the Master Addiction Counselor exam.

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Iowa Learn More

There are three types of substance abuse counseling credentials in Iowa. Online students pursuing the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) licensure must have a high school diploma, 310 units of specified education, 3,000 hours of experience in the field with 36 hours of direct supervision, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) exam. The International Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IADC) certification also requires that students obtain a high school diploma as well as 270 units of related education, between 4,000 and 6,000 hours of work experience, with 300 hours of direct supervision, and a passing score on the ADC exam. To earn an International Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IAADC) credential, online students must hold a master’s degree in a related field, complete 180 units of alcohol and drug treatment training courses (including six units of ethics and three units of culture-related courses) and 2,000 hours of work experience, and achieve a passing score on the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor examination.

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Kansas Learn More

To practice in the state of Kansas, online students must pursue credentialing as a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) or a Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC). To become an LAC, one must hold a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science with 33 units of coursework, including a practicum with 600 hours of counseling-related work experience. At least 100 of the hours must be supervised. LCAC licensure requires a master’s degree in a behavioral science with 24 units of specified education, a practicum with 350 hours of work experience, and 35 hours of direct supervision. To obtain either the LAC or the LCAC, online students must pass a standardized exam that is approved by the board.

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Kentucky Learn More

Kentucky has one route for certification, but two additional licenses for substance abuse counseling. Certification as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) can be obtained by online students holding a bachelor’s degree that includes 270 hours of classroom training and 6,000 hours of experience in substance abuse (300 supervised). Additionally, all candidates must pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam. For Licensure as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Associate (LCADCA), online students are required to hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a behavioral science with clinical application including 180 units of related courses. They must also complete 300 supervised work hours and obtain a passing score on the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) exam. Licensure as a Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) stipulates that candidates must earn a master’s or doctoral degree in a behavioral science with clinical application and complete 180 hours of specific training. The LCADC also requires 2000 hours of experience in the field along with a passing score on the AADC examination.

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Louisiana Learn More

The state of Louisiana requires that substance abuse counselors hold one of three credentials: Registered Addiction Counselor (RAC), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), or Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC). Each requires a 300-hour practicum. To obtain an RAC, online students must complete 270 units of approved coursework, 6,000 supervised hours of work experience, obtain a passing score on a written exam administered by the Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (ADRA), and present a case study. The CAC also requires 270 units of specified classes, but only 4,000 hours of work experience as well as successful completion of the ADRA exam and the presentation of a case study. To become an LAC, online students must hold a master’s or doctoral degree with the standard 270 units of approved coursework as well as completing 2,000 hours of supervised work experience, passing the ADRA exam, and presenting a case study.

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Maine Learn More

There are two paths for online students looking to becoming practicing substance abuse counselors in Maine. A Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) must hold a minimum of an associate degree, complete 4,000 hours of work experience, and achieve a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) examination administered by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). Alternately, a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) is only required to hold a high school diploma, but must complete 6,000 hours of supervised work experience. Online students who have completed an associate or bachelor’s degree in a clinically based behavioral science field need only 4,000 hours and a passing score on the ADC exam to obtain LADC licensure, while those with a master’s or who have already obtained CADC certification need only 2,000 hours.

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Maryland Learn More

There are four tiers of credentials for online students aspiring to work as substance abuse counselors in Maryland. A Certified Supervised Counselor: Alcohol and Drug Certification (CSC-AD) must hold an associate degree in a behavioral science with 24 units of drug and alcohol classes, a practicum, and a passing score on the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) and Law Test. A Certified Associate Counselor: Alcohol and Drug (CAC–AD) must have a bachelor’s degree in the field with 33 related units, a practicum, 2,000 hours of supervised work experience, and successful completion of the IC&RC and Law Test. The third certification is the Licensed Graduate Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LGADC), which requires online students to attain a master’s degree in a human services or counseling field with 27 units of alcohol and drug coursework and a passing score on the Examination of Master Addiction Counselor (EMAC) and Law Test. Finally, those wishing to earn a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) credential must complete a master’s degree in a human services or counseling field with 39 units of specific training, a practicum, 2,000 hours of supervised work experience (subsequent to degree completion), and a passing score on the EMAC and Law Test. Online students should note that, of the 2,000 hours work experience, 1,500 must include face-to-face client contact.

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Massachusetts Learn More

In Massachusetts there are three credentials available to online students wishing to become substance abuse counselors: Licensed Alcohol Counselor Assistant (LACA), Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (LADC II), and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (LADC I). To obtain an LACA, online students will need to hold a high school diploma, complete 2,000 hours of work experience in the field and 50 hours of specific training, and achieve a passing score on the written exam. The LADC II also requires a high school diploma, but the other requirements differ. To earn the LADC II credential, online students must earn 270 hours of specific training in the substance abuse field, complete 300 hours of supervised practical training and 6,000 hours of supervised work experience (only 4,000 hours for candidates holding a bachelor’s degree), and achieve a passing score on a written exam. The final certification, the LACA I, requires a master’s or doctoral degree in the behavioral science field plus 270 hours of substance abuse counseling training, 300 hours of a practicum, 6,000 hours of supervised work experience, and a passing score on the written exam.

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Michigan Learn More

In Michigan, there are two types of certifications available. The first is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). Online students wishing to become credentialed as a CADC must attain at least 6,000 hours of work experience (less if the student already holds a degree in the behavioral sciences field), complete 270 units of required classes and 300 hours of practicum, and achieve a passing score on the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Drug Counselor (IC&RC/ADC) written examination. The other path for online students wishing be credentialed is to become a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC). This requires 2,000 hours of work experience in the substance abuse field, a master’s degree in a related field that includes a practicum and 180 units specific to substance abuse along with 300 hours of supervised practical training and a passing score on the IC&RC/ADC exam.

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Minnesota Learn More

Minnesota has only one option for substance abuse counseling licensure but two methods for attaining it. The standard path to becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) requires online students to complete a bachelor’s degree that includes an 880-hour practicum in drug and alcohol counseling and 270 units of specified coursework. Candidates must also obtain a passing score on both a written and oral exam. An alternate path to licensure is the supervision method. It requires online students to complete a bachelor’s degree with 270 units and 8,800 hours of practicum, attain 2,000 hours of supervised work experience, and pass a written exam.

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Mississippi Learn More

In the state of Mississippi, there are three options for those looking to earn certification as a substance abuse counselor: the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC), the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor I (CADC I), and the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor II (CADC II). To become a CADC, online students must earn 270 units as outlined by the International Certification Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), gain 6,000 hours of supervised work experience, present a written case, and pass the IC&RC written examination. Certification as a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor I (CADC I) requires online students to hold a bachelor’s degree plus 270 units of specified education, 8,000 hours of work experience, a case presentation, and successful completion of the IC&RC examination. For CADC II, a master’s degree or higher in a behavioral science is required. Candidates must also complete 270 units of courses or training directly related to substance abuse counseling and 10,000 hours of supervised work experience. Additionally, online students will need to pass the IC&RC examination and complete a written case study.

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Missouri Learn More

To become a Recognized Associate Substance Abuse Counselor I (RASAC I) in Missouri, candidates with a high school diploma need 160 hours of work experience and three units of ethics training, while those with an associate degree or those who have completed a year of an addiction certificate program just need to complete the three hours of ethics training. Alternately, online students can earn a credential as a Recognized Associate Substance Abuse Counselor II (RASAC II), which requires either a high school diploma with 2,000 hours of work experience and 90 hours of specified training or an associate degree with 1000 hours of work experience and 90 contact hours of education. Online students already holding a bachelor’s degree just need to complete three hours of ethics training. Finally, the Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor (CADC) credential requires that students have a minimum of a high school diploma, 300 hours of a supervised practicum, 180 units, work experience in the field, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam. Online students should note that work experience requirements vary based on a candidate’s education level: 4,000 hours for a high school diploma; 3,000 hours for an associate degree; 2,000 hours for a bachelor’s degree; and 1,000 hours for a master’s degree.

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Montana Learn More

To practice substance abuse counseling in Montana, online students must earn a Licensed Addiction Counselor credential. Candidates for this credential must complete an associate or bachelor’s degree in a behavioral sciences field, including 270 units of specific coursework. In addition, they will need 1,000 hours of work experience in a chemical dependency treatment program and a passing score on a written examination.

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Nebraska Learn More

The state of Nebraska requires an online student looking to practice as a substance abuse counselor to have at least a high school diploma along with 270 units of education specific to substance abuse counseling. Certification also requires 300 hours of supervised practicum experience, 6,000 hours of work experience, and a passing score on the written exam. Online students should note that an associate degree may be substituted for 1,000 hours of the work experience requirement, while a bachelor’s can be substituted for 2,000 hours and a master’s for 4,000 hours. However, students may not claim multiple degrees for additional work experience hours.

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Nevada Learn More

To work as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) in Nevada, an online student must obtain a bachelor’s degree in a social sciences field, complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience, and obtain a passing score on the NAADAC Level II written examination. Alternately, becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) requires a master’s degree along with 4,000 hours of supervised work experience, a passing score on the Masters in Addiction Counseling exam, and completion of an oral exam. CADC and the LADAC candidates that have completed 18 units in addictions as part of their bachelor’s degree programs only need 1,500 hours of work experience. Finally, online students wishing to become credentialed as Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LCADAC) will need to complete a master’s or doctoral degree with 2,000 hours of postgraduate counseling experience, six months of supervised counseling, and a passing score on the written and oral exams administered by the Board.

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New Hampshire Learn More

In New Hampshire, there are two options for licensure as a substance abuse counselor. The requirements for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) stipulate that students must hold an associate degree as well as completing 270 units of drug and alcohol counseling education that was either completed in the degree program or separately. Students also need 4,000 hours of supervised work experience, 300 hours of a supervised practicum, and a passing score on the examination administered by the board. To obtain a Master Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (MLADC), students must hold a master’s degree in the behavioral sciences field with 270 units of alcohol and drug use coursework, a 300-hour practicum, 3,000 hours of post-master’s work experience in the field, and a current LADC license.

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New Jersey Learn More

In New Jersey, online students aspiring to work as substance abuse counselors can obtain either certification or licensure. A certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling (CADC) requires a high school diploma with 270 units, 3,000 hours of work experience within the past 5 years, attendance at 30 alcohol and drug abuse self-help groups, a case presentation, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) exam. To obtain a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) credential, online students need a master’s degree in a counseling- or addiction-related field with 18 units of specified education, 270 units of CADC coursework, 3,000 hours of related work experience, and attendance at 30 self-help meetings. In addition, students must pass the ADC exam and complete a case presentation.

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New Mexico Learn More

Those looking to practice as substance abuse counselors in New Mexico must obtain either a License as a Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) or a License as an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC). Online students opting for LSAA credentialing will need to complete an associate degree in a counseling-related field including 90 units of education in drug, alcohol, and counseling. Alternately, the LADAC requires an associate or bachelor’s degree in a counseling-related field including 276 units in substance abuse education with 3,000 hours of supervised experience or 2,000 hours of experience. Online students who have completed a master’s or doctoral degree just need to complete 276 hours of substance abuse education in order to earn the LADAC credential.

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New York Learn More

In the state of New York, online students will need to become Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselors (CASAC) in order to practice alcohol and drug abuse counseling. Candidates must have a high school diploma, 6,000 hours of supervised work experience with at least 2,000 hours in the past five years, 300 hours of a practicum, and 350 units of classes. For online students holding an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, the work experience requirement is reduced to 5,000 hours, 4,000 hours, or 2,000 hours respectively. In addition, all students must pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselor examination as administered by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). Those actively working toward the CASAC can obtain a trainee credential. For this, they will need to document 350 units of specific coursework, 85 hours of training, and 4,000 hours of supervised work experience.

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North Carolina Learn More

North Carolina provides two options for online students to earn certification as substance abuse counselors. The first, a Substance Abuse Counselor Intern, requires a high school diploma, a 300-hour practicum, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) examination administered by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC). Alternately, a Substance Abuse Counselor certification stipulates that all students must gain 6,000 hours of supervised substance abuse counseling experience and complete 270 units of approved education as well as fulfilling the requirements of the Intern credential.

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North Dakota Learn More

North Dakota requires those wishing to work substance abuse counselors in the state to obtain a Licensed Addiction Counselor credential. To obtain the LAC, online students must submit documentation of degree completion including 32 units in addiction studies, a 1,400-hour clinical training program, and a passing score on the Board Approved examination. Online students interested in earning this credential should contact the Board directly for information regarding the exam, as changes are currently in progress.

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Ohio Learn More

Online students aspiring to work as substance abuse counselors in Ohio have several possible paths to becoming credentialed. The Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA) has two phases. Phase I requires students to complete 40 hours of chemical dependency specific education while Phase II requires that students hold a Phase I for 10 months and obtain an additional 30 units of specified education. The Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) II requires online students to complete an associate degree in a behavioral science or nursing field or a bachelor’s in any field plus 2,000 hours of work experience in the field. 180 units of related education, 220 practical experience hours, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) examination are also required. Online students wishing to earn the LCDC III credential will need to complete a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences or nursing, 2,000 hours of related work experience, 180 hours of specific coursework, a 220-hour practicum, and a passing score on the ADC exam. A Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor credential has the same requirements as the LCDC II, but requires online students to obtain a minimum of a master’s degree in a behavioral science.

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Oklahoma Learn More

Oklahoma requires practicing substance abuse counselors to hold a credential as either a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) or a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Online students attempting to earn a CADC credential must complete a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science field, 4,000 hours of work experience with half of that deriving from direct alcohol and drug abuse counseling services, 270 units of related education with a minimum of 45 units of specialized training in co-occurring disorders, and a 300-hour practicum, and achieve a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselor examination. The LADC requires candidates to hold a master’s degree in a clinical counseling field, complete a 300- hour practicum, and gain 2,000 hours of work experience in the field with 1,000 hours deriving from direct client contact. Online students should note that they must also obtain a passing score on the ADC.

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Oregon Learn More

The state of Oregon provides three levels of certification for online students wishing to become substance abuse counselors. The Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor (CADC) credential requires 150 hours of drug and alcohol education, 1,000 hours of supervised work experience, and a passing score on the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) I exam. To obtain a CADC II credential, online students must earn a minimum of an associate degree with specialized training in addiction counseling and 300 units of specific coursework, complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience and a case presentation, and pass the NCAC II exam. The CADC III requires a master’s degree with 300 hours of coursework in alcohol and drug-use, 6,000 hours of supervised experience providing substance abuse counseling, three years of sobriety, a case presentation, and a passing score on the Master Addiction Counselor exam.

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Pennsylvania Learn More

The state of Pennsylvania offers five credentials that directly relate to substance abuse counseling. An Associate Addiction Counselor (AAC) I requires a high school diploma, 100 hours of related education, one year of work experience, and 100 hours of supervision. To obtain the AAC II credential, online students must complete an additional 100 hours of education as well as a year of experience with 200 total hours of supervision. The Certified Associate Addiction Counselor (CAAC) credential requires that students hold a high school diploma, have 300 units of related education, successfully pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) examination, and obtain three years of experience in the field with 300 hours of direct supervision. The Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) credential requires online students to complete a bachelor’s degree with 300 hours of specific coursework, two years of experience providing services to substance abusers, and a passing score on the ADC. Lastly, candidates for a Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) credential must hold a master’s degree and complete 300 hours of specific training and one year of experience with 300 hours of supervision, and obtain a passing score on an International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium exam.

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Rhode Island Learn More

There are multiple avenues for online students wishing to work as substance abuse counselors to obtain credentials in Rhode Island. The Provisional Chemical Dependency Professional (PCDP) requires 2,000 hours of work experience providing counseling, including 150 hours of supervision, and a high school diploma with 140 hours of specific education. The PCDP is valid for 2 years. The Advanced Chemical Dependency Professional (ACDP) necessitates 6,000 hours of related work experience with 300 hours of supervision, a high school diploma with 270 hours of approved coursework (online students should note that an associate degree can replace 1,000 hours of work experience, a bachelor’s can replace 2,000 hours, and a master’s can replace 4,000 hours), and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) examination. Online students wishing to earn an ACDP II credential must complete a master’s degree with 180 hours of approved classes, finish 2,000 hours of work experience with 300 hours of direct supervision, and earn a passing score on the Advanced ADC examination.

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South Carolina Learn More

There are two tiers of Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC) certification in South Carolina. To become a CAC I, online students must complete 4,000 hours of work experience in drug and alcohol counseling with 150 hours of clinical supervision, and a bachelor’s in a human services field plus 270 hours of specific coursework. In addition, they will be required to pass an oral examination and pass a Level I written examination. Online students wishing to earn a CAC II credential must complete a bachelor’s or higher degree in a human services field with 450 hours of specific training, finish 8,000 hours of work experience in the field with 150 hours of clinical supervision, and successfully complete an oral examination and the Level II written examination.

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South Dakota Learn More

There are two credentialing options substance abuse professionals in South Dakota: the Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) and the Licensed Addition Counselor (LAC). The CAC requires a high school diploma and 8,000 hours of supervised work experience. Online students who have completed an associate degree only need 6,000 hours, with a bachelor’s they need 4,000, and with a master’s they need 2,000 hours. In addition, online students must provide documentation of 300 hours of supervision and pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) exam. To gain LAC credentialing, candidates must hold master’s degree in a behavioral science field as well as completing approved coursework, gaining 2,000 hours of related work experience and 300 hours of supervised training experience, and passing the ADC exam.

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Tennessee Learn More

Tennessee requires online students to hold a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) I or II credential before practicing as substance abuse counselors in the state. The LADAC I calls for a high school diploma, 6,000 hours of supervised work experience, and successful completion of the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) Level I written exam or the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) written exam. Online students aspiring to earn a LADAC II credential will need either a bachelor’s degree and 4,000 hours of supervised work experience, or a master’s degree with 2,000 hours of experience, as well as successful completion of the NCAC Level II written exam or the MAC written exam. Both credentials require at least 270 hours of specific training/education, a case study presentation, and a passing score on a jurisprudence examination.

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Texas Learn More

Texas provides two credentialing options for online students looking to work as substance abuse counselors in the state. To be a Counselor Intern (CI), students are required to have a high school diploma, document 270 units of approved coursework, and complete a 300-hour practicum in the field. To become a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) online students must meet all of the requirements of a CI, hold an associate degree, complete 4,000 hours of supervised work experience with chemically dependent persons, and pass a written chemical dependency counselor exam as administered by the department.

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Utah Learn More

To become a licensed or certified practitioner in Utah, online students must pass the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) National Certification Exam Level I, II, or the Master Addiction Counselors (MAC) exam. Additionally, to be a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Intern, candidates must hold a high school diploma and be working toward their required experience and education hours. They do not need to complete the exam for this type of certification. Alternately, those looking to become Certified Substance Abuse Counselors must have a high school diploma with 4,000 hours of work experience with a direct supervision ratio of 1:40 hours. Online students who hold a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences must have 2,000 hours of supervised work experience. A Licensed Substance Abuse Counselor requires a bachelor’s or master’s and 200 hours of specific education, a 350-hour supervised practicum, and 4,000 hours of work experience.

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Vermont Learn More

Online students looking to work as substance abuse counselors in the state of Vermont have two credentialing options: the Apprentice Addiction Professional Credential (AAP) and the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC). Candidates for the AAP must have a high school diploma and 40 units of specific coursework, be currently employed in the field of substance abuse with 16 hours of work per week, and achieve a passing score on the TAP 21 examination as administered by the Vermont Alcohol and Drug Addiction Certification Board (VADACB). To become an ADC, students must have a high school diploma with 6,000 hours of supervised work experience, or an associate degree with 5,000 hours of post-graduate supervised work experience. Online students who already have a bachelor’s degree will need only 4,000 hours of post-graduate experience in the field, and those with a master’s or doctoral degree only 2,000 hours. Online students should note that at least half of the documented work experience must be in direct one-on-one counseling, family counseling, or group counseling. Regardless of education level, all ADC candidates must complete 270 units of specific training and pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselors examination.

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Virginia Learn More

To become Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Assistants (CSAC-A) in Virginia, students need a high school diploma, 300 units of required coursework, and a passing score on the Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Assistant Examination. Online students wishing to become Certified Substance Abuse Counselors (CSAC) will need to complete a bachelor’s degree, 400 hours of substance abuse education from an approved college or program, 2,000 hours of supervised experience in the field with a minimum of 100 hours of face-to-face supervision, and achieve a passing score on the Certified Substance Abuse Counselor Examination.

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Washington Learn More

There are two paths for online students looking to work as credentialed substance abuse counselors in Washington state. The Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee qualification requires that students are enrolled in an approved school and obtaining work experience in the field plus four hours of HIV/AIDS training. Alternately, the Chemical Dependency Professional credential requires online students to complete an associate degree in human services with at least 30 semester credit hours in chemical dependency and four hours of HIV/AIDS training. Hours of supervised experience required vary based on the candidate's level of education. Online students with an associate degree need 2,500 hours while those with a bachelor’s degree need 2,000 hours, and master’s or doctoral students need only 1,500 hours. Candidates who are already licensed nurses, psychologists, or clinicians need just 1,000 hours. Online students should also note that all candidates will need to complete the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) level I or higher.

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Washington, D.C. Learn More

The Board of Professional Counseling in Washington D.C. provides two different certifications for online students aspiring to become addiction counselors. The first, Certified Addiction Counselor I (CAC I), requires that students obtain an associate degree from an accredited college as well as 30 units of courses from 10 different fields and 500 hours of supervised work experience. Students must also complete the NAADAC National Exam. Alternately, online students aspiring to earn the Certified Addiction Counselor II (CAC II) credential must complete a bachelor’s degree, 42 units of courses in 12 field areas, and 180 hours of supervised work experience. Instead of the NAADAC exam, students must earn a passing score on the D.C. Jurisprudence Exam. For either certification, online students will be required to undergo state and FBI criminal background checks and provide fingerprints. Both credentials must be renewed every two years with 40 units of continuing education, including six units in ethics and three units in trauma counseling.

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West Virginia Learn More

There are two levels of certification available to online students aspiring to work as substance abuse counselors in West Virginia. The Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) requires six years of qualifying experience, 270 hours of specific training in addictions, three years of supervised work experience with 300 hours of direct supervision, and a passing score on the Alcohol and Drug Counselors examination. Online students should note that a degree from an accredited institution can replace three of the six years of required experience. Alternately, online students can earn an Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor credential by completing a master’s degree in a behavioral science field, 180 hours of training, three years of experience with at least one year post-degree, 2,000 hours of ADC experience, and a passing score on the Advanced ADC examination.

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Wisconsin Learn More

Online students looking to work as substance abuse counselors in the state of Wisconsin will want to consider earning certification as A Substance Abuse Counselor in Training. This credential requires a high school diploma with 100 hours of specific training, current employment in the field including two hours of clinical supervision for every 40 hours of work, and successful completion of the state exam. Alternately, credentialing as a Substance Abuse Counselor requires a high school diploma, 360 hours of specific education, 4,000 hours of work experience, and a passing score on the state exam. Online students should note that an associate degree can replace 500 hours of work experience, a bachelor's can replace 1,000 hours, and a master’s or doctoral degree can replace 2,000.

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Wyoming Learn More

There are two levels of certification for substance abuse counselors in Wyoming. An online student looking to become a Certified Addictions Practitioner Assistant will need to complete an associate degree in a behavioral sciences field and 270 hours of addictions specific coursework, and achieve a passing score on a board-approved examination. Alternately, credentialing as a Certified Addictions Practitioner requires a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in addictionology, chemical dependency, or substance abuse, and 27 units of related coursework. Candidates for the Certified Addictions Practitioner credential will also need to pass a board-approved exam. The state of Wyoming also offers a single option for licensure as a substance abuse professional: to become a Licensed Addictions Therapist, online students must complete a graduate degree in a mental health discipline that includes required courses and 3,000 hours of supervised clinical training (with 1,200 of them involving direct client contact), and achieve a passing score on the Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) exam. Online students may obtain a Provisional Addictions Therapist license while working towards the LAT.

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