There is an increasing need for compassionate people to work in the field of counseling. There is even more of a need for individuals who want to help people with alcohol and drug problems. California, with its large population, presents many opportunities for those willing to assist in this socially responsible endeavor. Helping others combat the debilitating effects of substance abuse is a fulfilling career. Before one receives a license, they must complete certain requirements. One benefit of the licensing process is that each level provides the foundation for successfully moving up the ladder.
There are four levels of certification for Alcohol and Drug Counselors with the State of California. Most of these career paths require coursework, practicum and final examination. In general, Counselors must renew their credentials at least every 2 years.
1. The Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor Associate (CADCA) is the beginner level. A CADCA performs intern duties after completing the necessary requirements. To qualify as a CADCA one must complete 350 hours of coursework, complete 250 hours of practicum and achieve a passing score on the final written examination.
2. A Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor I (CADC-I) is someone who has completed 7 years at the CADCA intern level, or has completed 315 hours of coursework, completed 255 hours of practicum, passed the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium written exam and logged 4,000 hours of work experience.
3. The Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor II (CADC-II) must fulfill all the above required of a CADC-I, expect they must have 6,000 hours of work experience.
4. Those with a Master’s degree may apply to become a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LAADC).
In the State of California, the California Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (CAADAC) oversees the certification process. For more information, visit the CAADAC website: https://www.caadac.org/. Prospective counselors should attend California addiction counseling schools approved by the CAADAC.
The University of the Pacific Substance Abuse Counselor Certificate Program is located in Stockton, CA. Graduates receive a certificate. Total estimated cost is $3, 295. For more information or to apply, visit the program website: http://www.pacific.edu/Academics/Professional-and-Continuing-Education/Programs/Certificate-Programs/Substance-Abuse-Counselor-Certificate-Program.html.
The University of California, San Diego Extension Professional Certificate Program in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling is located in La Jolla, CA. Graduates earn a professional certificate after completing 13 courses and a practicum. The total estimated cost is $4,700. For more information or to apply, visit the program website: http://extension.ucsd.edu/programs/index.cfm?vAction=certDetail&vCertificateID=4.