Delaware Substance Counselor Licensure & Certification

Addiction Counselor Resource, Delaware

Substance abuse counselors in Delaware are provided certification by the Delaware Certification Board (DCB). They offer 2 different certification levels: the Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC) and the Certified Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CAADC).

How To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor In Delaware

Degree Requirements & Education

The CADC generally requires applicants to have a Bachelor’s Degree. However, the Board will consider an Associate’s Degree. With the Associate’s Degree, the applicant must have taken at least 6 courses (or 18 credits) that are focused in the area of substance abuse counseling and have completed a practicum. CAADC applicants must have a Master’s Degree in a field relevant to addiction counseling.

Applicants must undergo specific training and education. This education can be in the form of: seminars, workshops, college/university courses, and online classes. CADC applicants need 300 hours while CAADC applicants only need 180 hours. 6 of these hours must be taken in Professional Ethics or in a related area.

Experience Requirements & Supervision

Those pursuing certification will need to document hours of supervised work experience in the substance abuse counseling field. Generally the positions that are accepted as qualified work experience are: case managers, technicians, peer and recovery counselors/specialists, intake, and admissions. The applicants must be currently working in one of the listed positions at the time of application. It is important to note that only employment hours in the last 7 years prior to application will count towards the certification requirements. Supervision must be done by an individual who is a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS). Supervision requirements include a specific number of hours in each of the 4 domains. The domains are:

    1. Screening, Assessment, & Engagement
    2. Treatment Planning, Collaboration, & Referral
    3. Counseling & Education
    4. Professional & Ethical Responsibilities

CADC applicants will need to work for at least 2 years of full time employment, or complete at least 4,000 hours within the required time span. 200 of these hours should be under direct supervision and have at least 10 hours in each domain. CAADC applicants will only need 1 year of full time employment in a relevant position or 2,000 hours of part time employment. 100 of these hours must be under direct supervision with a minimum of 10 hours in each domain. There is a form in the application that must be filled out by the applicant’s supervisor which is called the Supervision Documentation Form.

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CADC and CAADC applicants will either need to print, fill out, and mail in the application to the Board at: DCB, 298 S. Progress Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17109; or fill it out online and email it in to the Board’s email address at: [email protected]. If the applicant chooses to email the application in, they must submit the application in a PDF format. Photos of the application will not be accepted. The CADC has an application fee of $350. The CAADC’s application fee is $250 for those that already hold a CADC. For applicants who are applying for the CAADC without holding a certification, the fee will be $350. These fees may be paid by credit card, money order, or check. At the time of application, the applicant’s transcripts from college or university must be sent directly to the Board from the educational institution. The Board recommends that the applicant requests the transcripts at least 3 weeks before sending in their application. In order to ensure the Board received the application, the applicant will need to follow up with the Board by email at the above address. Before inquiring, please allow the Board 5-10 business days to review application submissions. If the applicant receives an email with information on registering for the exam, then the application has been approved. When an application has not been accepted, or the applicant wishes to change information on the application, they will need to re-submit the application along with a $50 fee.


Both certifications require the applicant to take and pass an exam that is provided by the IC&RC. The CADC applicants will need to take and pass the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. The CAADC applicants will need to take and pass the Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. The exam must be completed within 3 hours. The exam will be computer based. It will be a multiple choice exam with 150 questions.

Upon passing the exam the applicant is considered certified. Allow 5-10 business days from the exam date to receive certification in the mail from the Board. If applicants need to re-test, they will need to submit a $150 re-test fee to the Board. The IC&RC offer candidate guides, study materials, and practice exams online: IC&RC Exam Prep.

If for some reason the applicant must cancel their exam after it has already been scheduled, there will be a $150 exam cancellation fee.


All counselors must renew their credentials every 2 years. In order to qualify for recertification, counselors will need to take 40 hours of continuing education. 3 of these hours must be in Ethics while the rest should be specific to alcohol and drug counseling. Subjects that will meet the Ethics requirement are: HIPAA, confidentiality, boundaries, mental health law, and mandated child abuse reporting. All education must be approved by the Board. The recertification fee is $150 for both credentials.

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If the counselor’s credential lapses, they must recertify within 12 months of the expiration date. When applying for recertification with a lapsed credential, the applicant will also need to pay a $100 lapsed credential fee in addition to the recertification fee.

When applying for recertification, the counselor will not need to submit documentation of continuing education. They will only need to do so if their application is randomly selected for review. Just like the initial application submission, the recertification application should also be emailed in or mailed into the Board. All counselors will use the same application form which can be found below. Recertification Application