Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Louisiana - LA
By Laura Wrede, allied health world contributing writer
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In order to become a substance abuse counselor, there are several steps to take and decisions to make regarding your eventual certification designation. The first step is enrolling in a program preparing you for your chosen certification.
Substance abuse counselor certification in Louisiana requires up to a master’s degree in order to receive certain specialty designations. Deciding which designation you want will help you determine how much school you need.
Next, you need work experience. Your work needs to be under direct supervision of a licensed counselor who will log your hours. Many students have previous training in this field before going to school. Some of these hours may count as your work experience if it was in a qualified setting. Otherwise, you can gain work hours while in school.
When you have finished logging your work hours and have completed school, you can proceed to the certification process. Possible certificates include:
- Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC)
- Registered Addictions Counselor (RAC).
- Substance Abuse Specialty Certificate (SASC)
Seeking the SASC from Louisiana Association of Substance Abuse Counselors and Trainers (LASACT) may give you an added advantage over other job applicants, as many employers require this particular certification.
Once your education, work experience, and certification are satisfied, you are ready for the state license test offered by the Louisiana Addictive Disorder Regulatory Authority (LADRA).
Through campus based and online programs, aspiring substance abuse counselors in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Shreveport, Louisiana may be able to prepare themselves for the possibility of employment in some of the largest hospitals and healthcare facilities in the state including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, CHRISTUS Schumpert Saint Mary Place, and Ochsner Medical Center.