Are you interested in becoming a substance abuse counselor in Minnesota? Want to start your career in the addiction field but don’t know where to start? Find out how to become a substance abuse counselor here. The following information will provide you with information regarding who issues licensure, the current degree requirements, experience requirements, practicum requirements, and more.
The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health Therapy (BBHT) offers 2 levels of licensure: a Temporary Permit and the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). Those who already have licenses and that wish to have the ability to practice in other states, or vice versa, are able to obtain a certification with IC&RC that allows reciprocity. These certifications are given through the Minnesota Certification Board (MCB).
For those applying for the Temporary Permit and LADC all checks or money orders must be made out to BBHT.
The temporary permit for substance abuse counseling is helpful for those that are working towards their LADC. The permit allows the applicant to practice under a LADC while getting the necessary work experience in the addiction counseling field. The applicant must have:
- 270 clock hours (or 18 semester credits) of alcohol and drug specific education
- 880 hours of substance abuse counseling practicum
- Find a LADC supervisor who agrees to supervise you while you hold your permit. They will need to sign page 8 of the application
In order to apply, the applicant must request transcripts from the college where the degree was obtained and have them sent directly to the BBHT at the time of application. There is a $100 application fee. The application for the temporary permit is available here: Temporary Permit Application.
The license allows the counselor to practice substance abuse counseling independently as well as supervise other counselors. The license calls for a higher level of education and passing the required exam. The LADC requires that the applicant have:
270 clock hours (or 18 semester credits) of alcohol and drug specific education
880 hours of substance abuse counseling practicum
The last requirement regarding the exam will have 3 different possible options:
- Pass the written comprehensive exam.
- Pass the written AND oral exam.
- Pass the written exam (not the comprehensive exam) AND complete 2,000 hours of supervised work experience in the addiction field. This experience must be approved by the Board.
- Page 14 of the application must be signed and notarized
In order to apply, the applicant must request transcripts from the college where the degree was obtained and have them sent directly to the BBHT at the time of application. The applicant will also need to keep in mind that a fingerprint based background check/investigation will be required. The background check fee will be $33.25. This should be paid in addition to the $295 application fee. Page 14 of the application must be signed and notarized. Find the application here: LADC Application.
The exam required for the LADC is administered by the Board on behalf of the IC&RC. The exam fee is $225. The Board accepts 2 different exams for the LADC licensure. The exams they accept are: Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam or Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. The IC&RC offers study guides as well as online practice exams. Access them here: IC&RC Study Materials.
The MCB offers another route to becoming a counselor through certification, however it is not the same as a license. In addition to holding a license, LADCs have the opportunity to obtain the credentials that are relevant in other states as well. The LADC itself has no reciprocity, but it does qualify the counselor to achieve the credentials needed for reciprocity. The MCB accepts the ADC and AADC credentials which one will receive after taking the IC&RC exams. This page from the MCB provides plenty of information regarding the process of receiving these credentials: Additional Credentials. If you are a LADC who would like to hold this credential, you will need to directly reach out to the MCB in order to get the actual reciprocity form.