Requirements for certification as a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor shall be as follows:

(1)           Completion of 6,000 hours of paid or volunteer supervised experience as set out in G.S. 90-113.40(a). If the work setting is not exclusively substance abuse focused, the applicant may accumulate experience proportional to the substance abuse services performed or as determined and verified by the applicant supervisor.

(2)           Board approved education and training of at least 270 clock hours, consisting of:

(a)           Substance Abuse Specific (SAS) education and training in the amount of at least 190 hours;

(b)           Up to 80 hours may be directed toward general professional skill building to enhance counselor development;

(c)           No more than 25% of the 270 hours (67.5) hours may be in-service education received within the applicant's organization by staff of the same organization;

(d)           The 190 Substance Abuse Specific clock hours needed for initial certification must be in the core competencies. Core competencies are listed as follows:

(i)            Basic alcoholism and drug addiction knowledge;

(ii)           Screening, intake, orientation, and assessment;

(iii)          Individual, group, and family counseling and intervention techniques;

(iv)          Case management, treatment planning, reporting, and record keeping;

(v)           Crisis intervention skills:

(vi)          Prevention and client education;

(vii)         Consultation, referral, and networking that utilizes community resources;

(viii)        Ethics, legal issues, and confidentiality;

(ix)          Special populations that include individuals or groups with ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, and gender characteristics as well as persons dealing with HIV, co-occurring disabilities, persons with criminal justice related issues, and perinatal issues:

(x)           Physiology and pharmacology of alcohol and other drugs that include the licit and illicit drugs, inhalants, and nicotine;

(xi)          Psychological, emotional, personality, and developmental issues; and

(xii)         Traditions and philosophies of 12-step and other recovery support groups;

(e)           Of the 270 clock hours, applicants for certification as a Substance Abuse Professional must document six hours of HIV/AIDS/STDS/TB/Bloodborne pathogens training and education, six hours professional ethics education, and six hours of education to be selected from the following:

(i)            nicotine use disorder;

(ii)           psychopathology;

(iii)          evidence-based treatment;

(iv)          substance use disorder issues and older adults;

(v)           substance use disorder issues affecting veterans; and

(vi)          substance use disorder and domestic violence.

(3)           A one hundred fifty dollar ($150.00) exam fee and a two hundred dollar ($200.00) non-refundable certification fee, unless previously paid. The applicant may request a reexamination and pay a non-refundable reexamination fee as set out in G.S. 90-113.38(c) for the written exam if a passing score is not achieved and at least three months have passed from the date of failed test.

(4)           Achieving a passing score on the IC&RC or its successor organization Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam.

(5)           Completed evaluation forms by the professional's applicant supervisor documenting 6,000 hours of clinical substance use disorder counseling experience submitted to the Board, and two references from other substance use disorder professionals as part of the application for certification.

(6)           An attestation or otherwise signed adherence by the applicant to the Ethical Standards of the Board.

(7)           Documentation of highest level education. Verification of high school graduation or completion of GED may be evidenced by diploma. Applicants presenting baccalaureate or advanced degrees must submit a completed transcript.

(8)           Completed registration application found on the Board's website.

(9)           Resume.

(10)         Job description that verifies job function to include the 12 Core Functions.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 90-113.30; 90-113.33; 90-113.39; 90-113.40;

Eff. August 1, 1996;

Amended Eff. January 1, 2010; August 1, 2002; August 1, 2000;

Readopted Eff. April 10, 2019.