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Substance Abuse Counselor Requirements in Arkansas

Arkansas substance abuse counselors are licensed by the State Board of Examiners of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (SBEADAC). Credentialing is based on education, supervised practice, and examination.

The Licensed Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) credential is issued to professionals with master’s degrees. The Licensed Associate Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor (LAADAC) is for those with education at the bachelor’s level. An individual may qualify for a Certified Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Technician (CADAT) credential with no college degree, provided other eligibility requirements have been met. SBEADAC also registers licensed counselors as clinical supervisors.

Individuals must be credentialed by the Board to provide services, unless they fall into one of the exemption categories (http://www.sbeadac.org/faqs.html).

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General Requirements: Education and Experience

In order to be credentialed at any level, an individual must be at least 21 years old and possess, at minimum, a high school diploma or equivalency (http://www.sbeadac.org/licensure_info.html). The individual must have a combination of formal experience and supervised training. A total of 270 clock hours of education related to drug and alcohol counseling must be documented. This may include workshops, conferences, and in-service trainings. At least six hours must be in the area of ethics.

Three years (6,000 hours) of supervised experience is required. Both paid and volunteer hours may be credited. Supervision is to be provided by an approved supervisor. A list of approved supervisors can be downloaded from the Board website (http://www.sbeadac.org/licensure_info.html). The registered supervisor will maintain documentation.

General Requirements: Examination

All substance abuse counselors must pass a written examination. Generally, this is the IC&RC. General testing information is found on the IC & RC website (http://internationalcredentialing.org/exams). Candidates do not register directly with IC & RC; instead they go through their member board or licensing agency. Before approval can be granted to take a license-qualifying examination in Arkansas, a candidate must remit a $265 fee.

The Department of Human Services notes that other examinations required for professional licensing may also be accepted (http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/dbhs/Documents/SATS%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions.pdf)

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LADAC and LAADAC Requirements

The LADAC and LAADAC licenses are awarded only to individuals with qualifying degrees. The degree may be in health, behavioral science, or another related area deemed acceptable by the Board.

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The Application Process

Application materials can be found on the SBEADAC website (http://www.sbeadac.org/licensure_info.html). The applicant may submit a copy of a birth certificate or driver’s license to document age. The candidate will provide information about all professional credentials currently held. Candidates who give “yes” responses to questions about professional history (revoked or denied licenses, current investigations) must provide explanation.

The applicant will need three references. The application form must be notarized. The applicant must also sign a code of ethics.

The 270 hours of required substance abuse education may be documented through certificates. Supervision is to be verified on the form supplied for this purpose; both the applicant and the SBEADAC-approved supervisor will sign. The supervisor will list the duties the applicant performed. The applicant must also provide a list of agencies where supervised work was performed; job title, agency contact information, and name of supervisor are to be documented.

Official transcripts showing qualifying degree should be mailed to the Board office in Bryant.

Clinical Supervisor Requirements

In order to be registered as a supervisor, a counselor must be a Licensed Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselor; this is the master’s level designation (http://www.sbeadac.org/pdf/RULES_FINAL_-_6-27-12.pdf#page=34). The LADAC must meet experience requirements set by the Board.

Clinical supervisors must have at least six hours of training in each of the following RC & IC domains:

Clinical supervisors must do six hours of supervision training during each renewal cycle in order to renew their status.

Reciprocity

SBEADAC notes that, while reciprocity is not automatic, applicants who hold credentialing through comparable boards will be reviewed on a case-basis; they may be found eligible for licensing without having to meet additional requirements in Arkansas.

Adjunct Certifications

An Arkansas substance abuse counselor may pursue other certifications through the Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board (http://www.asacb.com/certifications.html). ASACB offers substance abuse counseling credentials at two levels; it also offers certification for clinical supervisors, criminal justice addictions specialists, and peer recovery specialists. The Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional credential is offered at three levels.

ASACB is a member of IC&RC. There are member boards in most states as well as in U.S. military branches and some Native American regions.

Additional Information

Licenses are renewed on a two-year basis. Continuing education not provided by one of the nine approved sponsors must have prior approval. No more than half of the required hours may be completed through online learning.

The Board may be reached by telephone at (501) 295-1100 or by email at sbeadac at gmail.com. Additional contact information is available on the Board website (http://www.sbeadac.org/contact_us.html).

The Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board is an additional professional resource. ASACB has a new website (http://www.asacb.com/home.html).