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Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in District of Columbia - Washington, DC

Substance abuse counselor certification in the District of Columbia begins with finding an approved program at an accredited institution and completing extensive coursework. The training and education has to be completed through a program that is recognized through the NAADC (National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) or The National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The entity that licenses addiction counselors in DC is called the Health Professional Licensing Administration. The HPLA is a division of the Department of Health and is in charge of regulating the practice of thousands of licensees in hundreds of professions and occupations.

In order to be considered a certified addictions counselor in Washington, DC, an individual must complete the following:

  1. 200 hours of training and education at a recognized institution.
  2. 3,000 hours or the equivalent of 2 years full time experience providing direct, supervised addiction counseling to individuals who are primarily being treated for chemical dependency.
  3. Pass the DC addiction counseling exam. The exam primarily consists of questions about the laws involved in the practice of addiction counseling.

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