Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Requirements in Nevada

The Nevada State Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Counselors credentials the state’s alcohol and drug counselors. Alcohol and drug counselors must earn social science degrees, complete supervised practice, and pass written and oral examinations.

Counselors with degrees at the bachelor’s level are known as Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (CADCs); those with degrees at the master’s level are known as Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (LADCs). While completing requirements, individuals are credentialed as Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Interns (CADC-Interns). An individual may work as a CADC-Intern before degree completion.

The Board of Examiners also licenses Native American Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADCs). It is possible to earn the credential without a degree, but substance abuse education and training is mandatory.

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General CADC, LADC, and NAADDC Requirements

To be credentialed as an alcohol and drug counselor in Nevada, one must be at least 21. Candidates may not have had alcohol, drug abuse or problem gambling issues in the prior two years; nor may they have been on parole or probation during the prior two years. They must be legally authorized to work in the United States. They must have criminal background checks.

CADC-Intern Requirements

A CADC-Intern must have a high school diploma or GED. It is necessary to work toward a college degree. An individual who has not already enrolled in (or completed) a program will need to submit an affidavit that he or she will be enrolled at the beginning of the next semester. A non-degreed intern must take, at minimum, one course per semester (

An intern will enter into a supervision agreement with an approved supervisor. The intern will receive at least an hour of supervision a week. The supervisor will observe the intern at least once a month. The intern is subject to six-month reports.

CADC Pre-Examination Requirements

A prospective CADC must complete a baccalaureate degree in a social science field ( Majors that focus on the mind or mental illness are considered qualifying. The Board may choose to accept a degree program that includes at least 24 semester hours of counseling coursework as qualifying.

The licensing agency at one point compiled a list of degrees that were typical of those accepted ( The following are listed among the options:

  • Counseling
  • Criminal justice
  • Human development and family studies
  • Nursing
  • Psychology
  • Social work
  • Education (with a minor in addictions, psychology or counseling)
  • Human relations (with adequate coursework in psychology or counseling)
  • Sociology (with 24 semester hours of counseling-related coursework)

The Board requires 4,000 hours of supervised practice (two full-time years) unless the individual has completed 18 semester hours of addiction coursework. In this case, the requirement may be reduced to 1,500 hours (

LADC Pre-Examination Requirements

A prospective LADC must complete a social science graduate degree. The following degrees are qualifying:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse or gambling counseling
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Medicine
  • Nursing
  • Psychology

The Board may choose to accept a master’s program that includes 24 semester hours (or the equivalent quarter hours) of counseling-related coursework as license qualifying.

A master’s level candidate who has completed 12 semester hours of coursework specifically addressing addiction may be licensed after just 1,500 hours of experience; otherwise, the requirement is 4,000 hours.

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NACADC Pre-Examination Requirements

An individual may be licensed as a Native American Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor without a college degree if he or she is 1) of Native American descent or 2) providing services under a contract with, or grant issued by, the government to individuals who are eligible under 25 U.S.C. §§ 450 et seq. or 25 U.S.C. §§ 1601 (

The NAADC must have 270 hours of formal education; this can include seminars and institutes. Qualifying education prepares candidates for the following: assessment, case management, counseling, education and professional responsibilities, and ethics. The individual will need at least ten hours of training in each of twelve identified core functions. Additionally, the individual will need 4,000 hours of supervised practice; a qualifying social science associate’s degree can reduce the requirement to 3,000 hours.

The Examination Process

Candidates must pass a written examination and an oral board examination. Nevada has adopted NAADAC examinations. CADC candidates take the Level II examination. LADC candidates take the MAC examination. Candidates can take a practice examination for $60. The Nevada Board has provided the following link:

A list of upcoming test dates can be found on the Board site ( Candidates should submit applications 90 days in advance of the time they wish to test.

A candidate who lacks only examination may work under a provisional license ( The candidate must have scheduled an exam and paid fees.

The Application Process

A candidate will fill out a request for an application. Request forms are found on the Board site (; they include a description of requirements. A $150 fee is due with the request. Candidates can expect to receive fingerprint cards; they will have prints made and submit to a criminal background check. An examination application will also be included.

The candidate will pay an additional $60 processing fee when the application is submitted. Examination fees are also due at this time. The Level II examination is $260, the MAC, $280

The Board will require official transcripts. A checklist of required materials will be included in the application packet.


Addiction counselors who hold licensing in other U.S. states or territories may request to be licensed as CADCs or LADCs without further examination. The addiction counselor must have already passed an examination. It will be necessary to verify that education and experience requirements were met.

Addiction counselors who are certified by North West or South West Indian Certification can request to be certified as NACADCs without further examination.

Additional Information

The Nevada State Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Counselors can be reached by phone at (775) 684-8922. Additional contact information is found on the Board site (

The State of Nevada Association of Addiction Professionals (SNAAP) is an additional professional resource ( SNAAP is the state NAADAC affiliate.

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