Certified Substance Abuse Counselor

Scope of Practice: The practice of a certified substance abuse counselor consists of the Twelve Core Functions, including screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, report and record keeping, consultation with other professionals in regard to client treatment and services, and referral to treat addictive disorder or disease and help prevent relapse.

Who May Apply? This credential is designed for applicants with a high school diploma or equivalency, Associate Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, or graduate degree that does not meet the requirements for LCAS.

How to Earn this Credential

If any of these materials are received by the Board Office outside of LearningBuilder, the staff will evaluate the material through an official file review. Official file reviews take place every 2 weeks. Once a review is completed, notification of registration status will be verifiable online via LearningBuilder.

  1. Registration – This is the first step in the credentialing process. You must first submit the items for registration. A Registered person is a considered a substance abuse professional who is receiving supervision from a Certified Clinical Supervisor or Clinical Supervisor Intern at a ratio of 1:10 hours. Please Note: Registration is limited to 5 years, after which an applicant must re-apply. The items required  for registration are:
    1. Documentation of high school graduation, completion of GED, Baccalaureate or advanced degree. These items must be scanned and updated.
    2. A  supervision agreement by a CCS or a CCS Intern
    3. Agreement to adhere to the Ethical Principles of Conduct of the Board
    4. Completion of 3 clock hours of ethics training
    5. Resume and Job Description
    6. Registration Fee ($125.00) (non-refundable) to the NCSAPPB
    7. Completion of SBI/SBI background check to include $38.00 (non-refundable) fee to NCSAPPB.
  2. Intern—The Substance Abuse Counselor Intern is a substance abuse professional who has completed Registration and the 300 Hour Supervised Practicum. It is at this point that an applicant may be scheduled for the IC&RC ADC Examination. In order to sit for the test, the applicant must submit to the Board:
    1. Completion of the 300 Hour Supervised Practicum with 10 hours of supervision in each of the 12 Core Functions by the applicant’s CCS or CSI.
    2. A second supervision agreement by a CCS or CSI
    3. Examination Fee (non-refundable) of $125
  3. Full Certification— To complete certification, the Intern must submit:
    1. Completion of  6,000 hours (3 years) of supervised substance abuse counseling experience verified by CCS or CSI
    2. Completion of 270 clock hours of approved education/training, of which 190 must be substance abuse specific. No more than 50% may be online/independent study. No more than 20% may be in-service training. These hours must include: 6 hours HIV/AIDS/BB/STD/Infectious Disease, 6 hours Ethics, and 6 hours in a) Nicotine Dependence, b) Substance Abuse and Veterans, c) Substance Abuse and the Elderly, d) Psychopharmacology, and/or e) Evidence Based Treatment Approaches
    3. Completion of two Colleague or Coworker Evaluations
    4. Successful completion of the IC&RC ADC Examination