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Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Idaho - ID

A job as a substance abuse counselor can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling of all the allied health professions.  If you want to become a substance abuse counselor in Idaho, you should make a point of reviewing the guidelines set forth by the Idaho Board of Alcohol/Drug Certification (IBADC). Certification is voluntary in Idaho; you do not need to be certified to work in the field of substance abuse counseling.  However, getting certified will demonstrate to potential employers and clients that you are competent, qualified, and that you take your career seriously.  The IBADC offers credentials for Certified Alcohol Drug Counselors and Advanced Certified Alcohol Drug Counselors, as well as separate certifications for Certified Clinical Supervisors and Certified Prevention Specialists.

Whatever you do, do not forget the importance of education.  Technically, you can become a Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor with only a high school diploma.  However, you will find it hard to advance in the field and gain the respect of your colleagues, superiors, and clients without at least a bachelor’s degree.  The very best opportunities in this field are reserved for those with a master’s degree or higher. Educated and highly qualified substance abuse counselors in Idaho can find themselves at such premier medical institutions as Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, and Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center and Satin Luke’s Boise Medical Center in Boise.  Certification requires 270 hours of coursework in topics specifically related to chemical dependency and alcohol and drug counseling.  It also requires three years of experience working directly with individuals with alcohol or drug addictions.  A bachelor’s degree in one of the behavioral sciences, such as psychology, social work, or sociology, can substitute for one year of work experience. 

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