Kentucky Substance Abuse Counselor Certification

Addiction Counseling Requirements, Kentucky

Kentucky Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC) provides certification as well as licensure to substance abuse counselors within the state. The Board offers 4 different levels of certification and licensure. The certifications offered are:

  • Temporary Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (TCADC)
  • Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)
  • Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor Associate (LCADCA)
  • Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC)

Degree Requirements

The TCADC and CADC both require a Bachelor’s Degree in a behavioral science with a clinical application. The available licenses, LCADCA and LCADC, require a Master’s Degree or higher in a behavioral science with a clinical application.

Education and Work Experience Requirements

The TCADC is designed for applicants who have already achieved their Bachelor’s Degree, but still need to fulfill their work experience and training requirements to either become a CADC or LCADC. The CADC requires 270 hours of classroom education. The LCADCA was created for those who have already acquired their Master’s Degree, but have not fulfilled the proper work and supervision requirements for the LCADC. LCADCA and LCADC applicants need to have completed at least 180 hours of Board approved classroom education.

  • CADC applicants must document 6,000 hours of work experience with 300 of these hours under direct supervision
  • LCADC applicants must document 2,000 hours of work experience with 300 of these hours under direct supervision
Sponsored Content


In order to be eligible to apply, applicants must be at least 18 years or older. Applications for all levels of certification and licensure can be accessed online. CADC, LCADCA, and LCADCA applicants are also required to have 2 letters of reference written by credentialed substance abuse counselors. These letters of reference should be mailed in directly from the reference to the Board. Those that need to find a Board approved supervisor can do so at under “Quick Links.”

After filling out the proper application, the completed forms and application fees should be mailed directly to the Board at P.O. Box 1360, Frankfort, KY 40602. Applications and required documents must be received 10 days before the next Board Meeting to ensure the applicant’s submission will be reviewed. The application fee is $50. All fees must be paid via checks or money orders made out to the Kentucky State Treasurer. Cash is not accepted. After about 2 weeks, the applicant should receive a letter at their home address that will tell them if their application has been approved or not. If the application is approved, the letter will explain how the applicant can prepare and register for the exam. If the application is not approved, the letter will explain why, and provide the applicant with the opportunity to resubmit the application with the missing requirements.


Tests will be administered by the IC&RC. The CADC applicants will need to take the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. LCADCA and LCADC applicants must take the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. The exam fees for both tests is $200. The exams will be multiple choice. The IC&RC provides study materials, candidate guides, and practice exams online at: Exam Study Materials.

Testing is computer based and applicants can register to take the exam at any place and time of their choosing. All applicants must take the exam within 1 year of the original application approval.


The Board will receive the test scores the following business day. If the applicant did not pass, they will send instructions on how to re-test. If the applicant passes the exam, the Board will send a letter with the test score and request for the Certification Fee. The CADC Certification fee is $200 and the LCADC Certification fee is $300. After paying the fee, the Board will mail your certificate or license directly to your home address within 10 business days.

Sponsored Content


The TCADC will expire after 2 years from the date of issue and cannot be renewed. The LCADCA must submit a new Annual Supervision Report to the Board and complete 20 hours of continuing education every year until the Associate has completed all the necessary requirements to become an LCADC. The CADC and LCADCs must renew their certification and license every 3 years and complete 60 hours of continuing education. Continuing Education Application

*Related Topics