According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the state of Oklahoma has the highest rate of nonmedical use of painkillers in the entire country. 8.1% of Oklahoma uses nonmedical painkillers, that is much higher than the national average which sits at 4.8%. That being said, addiction cases are soaring in Oklahoma and addiction counselors are constantly needed. The Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors (okdrugcounselors.org) issues certifications and licenses to addiction counselors within the state.
There are two different routes a counselor may go. The certification offered is the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and the license offered is the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC).
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Degree Requirements & Education
The CADC requires the applicant to have a Bachelor’s Degree in a Behavioral Science. The applicant must have taken at least 45 hours in Co-Occurring Disorders or Abnormal Psychology courses. The LADC must have a Master’s Degree in a Behavioral Science. Both the CADC and LADC applicants are required to complete a 300 hour Practicum with at least 10 hours in each of the 12 core functions which are: Screening, Case Management, Intake, Crisis Intervention, Orientation, Client Education, Assessment, Referral, Treatment planning, Reports & Recordkeeping, Counseling (individual, group, family), and Consultation. The Practicum Form AKA Form 209, must be filled out before the applicant can apply for a supervised work position.
Experience Requirements & Supervision
CADC applicants will need to work in the addictions field for at least 2 years (or 4,000 hours). For one of these years (or 2,000 hours), the applicant must be in direct contact with the patient that suffers from addiction. LADC applicants are only required to document 1 year of work experience and half of this time must be in direct contact with the patient. Both the CADC and LADC will need to meet face to face with their supervisor for 1 hour each week.
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Supervisors must be Board approved and can be found on the Board’s website by searching a city or county under “member search.” Supervision cannot start until the applicant and the supervisor have signed the Form 206 (Supervision Contract). If the applicant happens to change supervisors it is important that the applicant sends in a new Supervision Contract within 3 business days. A supervision log, or Form 207, must be filled out during the supervision period and turned in later with the completed application forms.
Applicants must be 21 or older and be willing to undergo a criminal background check. For those applying, they may find Form 203 rather helpful. This form is the application checklist. As different requirements are met and forms are filled out, the applicant may use this form to check off what has been completed.
All applications must be signed and notarized. The application is available here as Form 201. All applicants must also have 3 reference letters submitted by the reference themselves. The applicant will print out the reference letter form and provide it to the appropriate party. This form is Form 205. The reference letters will need to be sealed and signed and given back to the applicant. The applicant can then submit the letters with their applications. The CADC application requires the applicant submit a picture as well. The picture must be from within the last 12 months or be a copy of the applicant’s Driver’s License. The LADC requires a copy of the applicant’s Driver’s License with application submission. The Code of Ethics form must also be signed and turned in with application. This is Form 204. Applicants are also required to write a 300 word essay explaining their personal methods and styles of counseling and treating those who suffer from addiction.
All of these forms must be submitted together along with the application fee of $175.
The written and oral exam are administered by IC&RC on behalf of the Board. The CADC will be required to take and pass the Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. The LADC must take the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. Study materials, candidate guides, and practice exams can be found here: IC&RC Exam Prep.
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The CADC is required to complete 270 hours of continuing education. 135 hours must be drug and alcohol specific. The LADC is required to complete 180 hours. 90 must be drug and alcohol specific. Recertification applications can be found and completed online on the state’s website here: Recertification Application. The renewal fee is $125.