Ohio Substance Abuse Counselor Certification

Addiction Counseling Requirements, Ohio

Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals (OCDP) Board issues certifications and licenses to substance abuse counselors in the state of Ohio. There are 4 different levels of certification and licensure available through the Board. These different levels range from an assistant certification to a completely licensed chemical dependency counselor as well as a licensed independent counselor. The different certifications and licensures are as follows:

    1. Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (CDCA)
    2. Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II (LCDC II)
    3. Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III (LCDC III)
    4. Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC)

Degree Requirements

All the different certifications and licenses require different degrees.

  • The CDCA only requires a high school diploma or the equivalent.
  • The LCDC II requires an Associate’s degree in a behavioral science or a Bachelor’s degree in any field.
  • The LCDC III requires a Bachelor’s degree in behavioral science or nursing.
  • The highest level of licensure is the LICDC which requires a Master’s degree in behavioral science.

Experience Requirements

All levels of licensure require 2,000 hours of supervised substance abuse counseling work experience aside from the CDCA, which does not require any work experience.

Education & Practical Requirements

The CDCA only requires 30 hours of chemical dependency education, while ALL other levels of licensure require 180 hours. The applicants will need 220 hours of practical experience. This experience must be documented on the correct form, which may be downloaded here: Practical Experience Form.

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All levels of licensure aside from the CDCA require the passing of the Alcohol Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam by the IC&RC. The applicant may find study materials as well as practice exams here on the official IC&RC website: IC&RC Study Materials.


When applying for any credential, the applicant will need to request official transcripts whether it is from the high school or college, and have them sent in to the Board directly by mail addressed to Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board 77 South High Street, (Vern Riffe Center) 16th Floor

Columbus, OH 43215, or email them to [email protected]. The Board no longer accepts paper applications, therefore all applications must be filled out and turned in online. In order to apply, the applicant will need to create an account with the Ohio e-license website, which the applicant can access here: Elicense. Because applications are reviewed in the order of submission, it can take up to 40 business days to review an application. Since everything in the application process is online, it is important the applicant have access to a computer with the internet because all documents will need to be uploaded digitally. The Board will contact the applicant via email if there is anything else required for the application.

There will be a one time $50 application fee when applying for the first time. For those who wish to “upgrade” their licensure to a higher level there is a $35 fee. Upon the approval of application and passing of the required exam, the applicant will receive an email with their certificate/license. It will be up to the applicant to download and print the certification since they are NOT mailed.

Criminal Background Checks & Eligibility

The Board offers such an opportunity known as the “Fresh Start Position.” This allows those with certain criminal offenses to still be considered for certification and licensure. The Board encourages all to apply, no matter what. Applicants who have been charged but not convicted will not be refused credentials. It is important to note however, just because one has been given credentials, if they have a criminal record, employers may use this to determine their eligibility to work for said employer regardless of holding credentials. If the applicant is refused credentials due to their criminal history, they have a right to a hearing.

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The legal document that details all rules, laws, and restrictions can be found here: Fresh Start Position Laws and Rules.

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