According to the Sage Clinic, the state of New Mexico has maintained the highest alcohol related death rate since 1997. Are you looking at how to become a substance abuse counselor in New Mexico? The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department runs the Counseling and Therapy Practice Board. The Board issues licensure to those who pass the requirements to become addiction counselors. There are 2 different levels of licensure available: Licensed Substance Abuse Associate (LSAA) and Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC). The applicant must become an LSAA before applying for the LADAC. All applicants must be over 21 years of age.
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Both the LSAA applicant and LADAC applicant must hold at least an Associate’s Degree or higher in a related human services field.
The LSAA applicant must have completed at least 90 clock hours specific to drug and alcohol abuse counseling. The LADAC applicant needs to have completed at least 276 hours. They must be: 90 hours in the field of alcohol abuse, 90 hours in the field of drug abuse, 90 hours in the field of counseling, 6 hours that pertain specifically to alcohol and drug counseling ethics training.
The LSAA applicant is not required to have any experience prior to application. The LADAC supervised experience requirements vary based on the degree the applicant holds. If the applicant has:
- Associate’s Degree they need to complete 3,000 hours over the course of 3 years and 200 of these hours must be under direct supervision
- Bachelor’s Degree they need to complete 2,000 hours over the course of 2 years and 100 of these hours must be under direct supervision
- Master’s Degree they need to complete 1,000 hours over the course of 1 year and 50 of these hours must be under direct supervision
The application can be typed out online or printed and filled out in black ink. In order to apply for the LSAA the applicant must have already found a supervisor that will fill out part C of the application. The LSAA and LADAC application fee is $75. The fee must be sent in with the application. It must be paid by check or money order which should be made out to the Counseling and Therapy Practice Board. All transcripts from colleges and universities must be sent into the Board in a sealed envelope. The applicant will need to also attach a recent 2 inch by 2 inch passport quality photo of themselves with the application. All applications must be signed, dated, and notarized.
The LSAA applicant is not required to take any exams since it is a trainee certification. The LADAC however must take and pass the NCAC I exam administered by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). The exam fee is $160. The applicant will have a total of 3 hours to complete the 150 questions. All questions are multiple choice. Applicants must score at least a 67% to pass. This is the same as getting at least 101 questions correct out of 150.
Upon passing the exam, before the applicant will receive their license they will need to pay the initial certification fee. The initial licensure fee for the LSAA is $75. The initial licensure fee for the LADAC is $150.
All LADACs must renew their licensure every year. They will be required to take 40 clock hours of continuing education every renewal cycle. The counselor needs to take at least 6 hours in Ethics. All of these hours must be completed between October 1 and September 30th of the next year. The LSAA renewal fee is $75 and the LADAC renewal fee is $150. Find the recertification forms here: Applications.