Alabama Substance Counselor Licensure & Certification

Addiction Counselor Resource, Alabama

Substance abuse counselors in Alabama receive certification from the Alabama Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association (AADAA). They offer 4 different certifications. These certifications are: Associate Addiction Professional (AAP), Certified Adolescent Alcohol & Drug Abuse Professional (CAADP), Alcohol Drug Counselor (ADC), and Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (AADC).

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Requirements To Become A Substance Abuse Counselor In Alabama

Degree Requirements & Education

The AAP certification only requires a high school degree or GED. The CAADP and ADC certifications require the applicant to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in a human services field. The AADC applicants must have a Master’s Degree in a human services field.

AAP applicants must complete 140 clock hours of education specific to substance abuse counseling. CAADP and ADC applicants need to complete 300 clock hours of education in the substance abuse counseling field. For all certifications applicants must take at least 4 of these hours in HIV/AIDS and 6 must be in Ethics. AADC applicants only need to complete 180 clock hours of education specific to AADC duties. 6 of these hours must be in Ethics and Responsibilities.

Work Experience Requirements & Supervision

Those who are applying for the AAP need to complete 2,000 hours of work experience under a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS). 150 of these hours must be under direct supervision that operate within the 12 core functions of the Alcohol & Drug Counselor which are: Screening, Assessment, and Engagement, Treatment Planning, Collaboration, and Referral, Counseling, Professional and Ethical Responsibilities. CAADP and ADC applicants will need to work 4,000 hours if they have a Bachelor’s Degree. However if the applicant has a Master’s Degree they only need to complete 2,000 hours of work experience in the addictions counseling field. Regardless of degree, 300 of these hours must be under direct supervision. AADC applicants must work 2,000 hours in the field.

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When applying for any certification, the applicant must sign the Code of Ethics and fill out the required forms. The AAP, CAADP, and ADC require the applicants to have 3 different colleagues fill out reference forms. These forms must be sent directly to the Board from the actual reference. The application fee is $250 which includes a 1 year membership. The applicant should contact the Board for the correct application.


The AAP will take an exam administered by the state. The AAP exam fee is $175. The other certification levels will take exams that are administered by the Board on behalf of the IC&RC. The CAADP and ADC applicants will take the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. The AADC applicants will take the Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. There are study materials, candidate guides, and practice exams available on the IC&RC’s website here: Exam Prep.

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All counselors must renew their certification every 2 years. They will need to take 20 hours of continuing education. The counselors will receive renewal applications from the Board. The Board provides access to some of the available courses on their website: AADAA Online Continuing Education.