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Become a Substance Abuse Counselor in Washington - WA

The Washington State Department of Health has licensing requirements for Substance Abuse Counselors, sometimes known as chemical dependency professionals (CDPs), who advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems. The following is an overview of the requirements.

  1. Education requirements specify that an applicant must have at least an AA degree in human services or a related field from an approved school or have completed 90 quarters or 60 semester college credits. At least 45 quarter or 30 semester credits must be in courses related to the chemical dependency profession.

  2. Applicants must submit verification of supervised chemical dependency professional experience. The number of supervised hours depends upon the level of education.  The following basic requirements apply:  Associate degree in human services or a related field requires 2,500 hours of chemical dependency (CD) counseling; a baccalaureate degree requires 2,000 hours of CD counseling; master or doctoral degree requires 1,500 hours of CD counseling.
  3. Applicants must pass the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) level 1 or higher, or the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (ICRC) level II or higher examination. Exam scores must be sent directly from NAADAC or ICRC.

Note that individuals who have a credential in another state may also apply. For more information, contact the Washington State Department of Health, Health Professions and Facilities, 243 & 310 Israel Rd SE, P.O. Box 47865, Olympia, Washington, 98504-7865.

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