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. 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 referenced in Act 443 (http://www.sbeadac.org/faqs.html). Among the exemptions referenced in state code are interns and individuals who work in certain settings.

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Training Status

The Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board, a third party organization, issues a Counselor in Training (CIT) credential for individuals who are working toward meeting requirements. The individual will have a background check at the onset.

General Requirements: Education and Experience

In order to be state-licensed at any level, an individual must be at least 21 years old (http://www.sbeadac.org/licensure_info.html). He or she must have a combination of formal education, practicum, 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. The Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board is a resource for locating a supervisor (https://asacb.com/certifications/counselor-in-training).

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 the organization; instead they go through their member board or licensing agency. The Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board, Arkansas IC & RC affiliate, charges a $250 fee for examination. Individuals working toward meeting Arkansas requirements test during the time they are CITs.

State code allows for licensure on the basis of other national examinations.

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.

The Application Process

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License 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.

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 Little Rock.

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 domains:

  • Counselor development
  • Treatment knowledge
  • Program development and quality assurance
  • Performance evaluation
  • Professional and ethical standards
  • Administration

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

Reciprocity

Arkansas has provisions for substance abuse counselors who have met substantially similar requirements.

The Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board directs candidates seeking certification reciprocity through their organization to contact the organizational administrator (https://asacb.com/certifications).

Adjunct Certifications

An Arkansas substance abuse counselor may pursue other certifications through the Arkansas Substance Abuse Certification Board (https://www.asacb.com/certifications). ASACB offers substance abuse counseling credentials at multiple levels; it also offers certification for clinical supervisors and peer recovery specialists.

There are member boards in most states as well as in some Indian Health Services branches and some locations outside the United States.

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 (https://www.asacb.com/).

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