Becoming an Addictions Counselor in California

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1 2015 Becoming an Addictions Counselor in California

2 The Process Under control of the California State Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders Services

3 Education/Training Under current regulations, there are no education or training requirements to be hired as a counselor. However..

4 The Five-Year Rule Once you begin working as a counselor (intern, volunteer, or paid position) you must become a fully certified counselor within 5 years You may request a two-year extension

5 DHCS Does Not Certify DHCS does not certify counselors. It oversees certifications issued by three state approved, private certifying bodies

6 Certifying Organizations Alphabetically: Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC) Affiliated with the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) (9/30/17) California Association of Drinking Driver Treatment Programs (CADTP) (8/31/18) California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) (4/30/17)

7 Registration Once you start working, you must register within 6 months with one of the approved certifying organizations Once registered you should use your registration number on all public displays of yourself as a counselor (business cards, websites, etc.)

8 After Registering... You must have a clinical supervisor at all times (Certified AOD Counselor or LMFT, LCSW, LPCC, Licensed clinical psychologist). Once registered the five year clock starts ticking, and during this time you must start/finish school, take an approved test from a certifying body, and complete at least 2080 hours of work experience. CAADE/ACCBC requires 2240 supervised hours CCAPP requires 6000 supervised hours

9 Which Certification? DHCS/State Regulations require only 155 hours of education Each Certifying Organization sets its own requirements with at least that minimum The only classes accepted by all certifying bodies are those offered by CAADE accredited community colleges and universities

10 Which Certification? Certifications can be divided by high, medium, and low education requirements Regulations went into effect in 2005 Prior to that there were NO requirements

11 CAADE / ACCBC The highest level certification in California is offered by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC: est by CAADE) California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators (CAADE) (est as a public benefit, not-for-profit org) Accredits 40 community colleges and Universities in California, Nevada and Arizona (click here for list of colleges)

12 CAADE / ACCBC Regionally accredited colleges/universities only -- Fully transferrable units Financial aid, low cost CERTIFIED ADDICTIONS TREATMENT COUNSELOR Tiers: Basic, I, II, III, IV, V, N (by degree level)

13 Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor V CATC V The individual with a CATC V has a Doctorate in Addiction Studies or a related field from a regionally accredited college or university, and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. IV CATC IV The individual with a CATC IV has a Master s Degree in Addiction Studies or a related field from a regionally accredited college or university, and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. CATC Tiers III II CATC III The individual with a CATC III has a Bachelor s Degree in Addiction Studies or a related field from a regionally accredited college or university, and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. CATC II The individual with a CATC II has an Associate s Degree in Addiction Studies or a related field from a regionally accredited college or university, and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. I CATC I The individual with a CATC I has completed a CAADE accredited addiction studies program or equivalent at a regionally accredited college or university and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. N CATC N The individual with a CATC N has a Nursing degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or a school approved by the California Board of Nursing), and has met the requirements of the Basic CATC. Basic CATC (Entry-Level ) The individual with a basic CATC meets the minimum addiction studies education requirements by completing 21 units or 315 hours in AOD education from a CAADE - accredited program (or equivalent), 250 hours of supervised practicum fieldwork, and 2080 hours of supervised internship, along with passing the CATC exam or other NCCA approved examination per California regulations.

14 Medium/Low Certifications 315 classroom education hours ACCBC (Credential: CATC [basic]) CCAPP (Credential CADC II) 155 hours of education CCAPP (Credential: CAS) CADTP (Credential: CAODC)

15 All Certifications Require: Fieldwork experience while enrolled in school A signed code of ethics / scope of practice Plus California Uniform Code of Conduct Written exam 40 hours of continuing education every two years with renewal of credential

16 What about licensure? There is NO license for addiction counselors in California The certifying organizations are working on a certification/licensure bill Standard career ladder/tiered system with a Master s level license. National standards moving toward college degrees and Master s level licensure (like CATC Tiered System)

17 National Standards? The National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission is standardizing requirements on a national level Based on SAMHSA Model Scopes of Practice/Career Ladder CATC Tiers modeled after SAMHSA ladder

18 What is CAADE fighting for? Higher standards, Higher standards, Higher standards Better salaries for addiction counselors Tiered system of certification that is incremental Rewards people who stay in school while allowing counselors to be working as they advance up the degree tiers

19 What is CAADE fighting for? Requirements such as full certification for intervention and prevention counselors High standards for the Licensure level (Master s degree) Standardized education Fully accredited schools No criminal background exclusions but better oversight for public safety

20 Legal and Ethical Requirements As a counselor, you are legally and ethically required to report ethics violations You must report to DHCS (reporting to the certifying body is optional) You can report anonymously, or ask that your name be withheld Failure to do so can result in sanctions for you!

21 Preliminary National Study Reported....Substance abuse treatment professionals have the highest rate of ethical violations among all other human service professionals.

22 Certified Addiction Counselors had a 12.4% higher rate of ethical violations compared to Licensed Social Workers, a 17.1% higher rate than Licensed Psychologists, an 18.8% higher rate than Licensed Professional Counselors, and a 26.3% higher rate than Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists. From: Ethical Violations: A Quantitative Study Comparing Human Service Professions John Gallagher, MSW, LAODAC, 2008

23 84.6% of all ethical violations for substance abuse treatment professionals were for dual relationships and exploitation of patients, this includes sexual relationships with a current or former patient. 46.2% of the ethical violations for Certified Addiction Counselors from were for dual relationships and 38.4% were for exploitation of patients.

24 The Addictions Counselor of the Future Will be educated and licensed Will be multi-disciplinary Will be well versed in evidencebased practices Will be familiar with both 12step and non-12step

25 The Addictions Counselor of the Future Will specialize: Specific populations Criminal Justice Women Adolescents CODs Seniors

26 The Addictions Counselor of the Future Will work comfortably with multi-disciplinary staff Will be comfortable and knowledgeable in Medication- Assisted Treatment (MAT)

27 The Addictions Counselor of the Future Will meet a higher standard of care Will meet a higher standard of ethics

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