Alaska Substance Counselor Licensure & Certification

Addiction Counselor Resource, Alaska

As of recently, 13.3% of Alaska’s residents reported using at least one of these substances within the last month: Alcohol, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs and cocaine. There is a serious problem here, and addictions counselors are desperately needed. Are you ready to learn how to become a substance abuse counselor in Alaska?

The Alaska Commission for Behavioral Health Certification provides counselors with the required certification to practice within the state. There are 4 different levels of certification available. These are: Counselor Technician (CT), Chemical Dependency Counselor I (CDC I), Chemical Dependency Counselor II (CDC II), and Chemical Dependency Clinical Supervisor (CDCS).

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Degree Requirements & Education

Unlike most states, Alaska offers the same opportunities for those with a degree and without. The only difference is that applicants without a degree will be required to complete more work experience hours than those that hold a degree.

The first level of certification, CT, without a degree, requires the applicant to complete 84 hours of education in these fields: Ethics, Confidentiality, Infectious Diseases & HIV, Intro to Addictive Behavior, Documentation, Crisis Intervention, Intro To Client Centered Counseling, Intro To Group Counseling, Working With Diverse Populations, Community Resources Use & Case Management, Recovery, Health, Wellness, and Balance. The CT with a degree only needs to take 20 hours of education. Those classes required are: Confidentiality, Infectious Diseases & HIV, and Intro to Addictive Behavior.

  • CDC I without a degree requires the following classes: Psycho-physiology, Motivational Interviewing, DSM Practice, ASAM Practice, and Co-Occurring Disorders CDC I with a degree requires the applicant only complete the same required classes as the CT with a degree, listed above.
  • CDC II without and with a degree must take all the courses for the CT and CDC I without a degree, and these classes in addition: Special Issues In Behavioral Health Services and Documentation Quality Assurance.
  • CDCS with and without a degree will be required to take Principles of Practice & Supervision.

Experience Requirements

  • CTs are not required to complete any practicum or experience requirements.
  • CDC I without a degree needs 4,000 hours (about 2 years) of work experience in the addictions field. With a degree, the applicant needs to work 2,000 hours (1 year). 100 of these hours must be supervised practicum.
  • CDC II without a degree needs 8,000 hours of work experience in the field. With a degree the applicant needs only 6,000 hours. Once again, a 100 hour practicum will be required.
  • CDCS without a degree needs to complete 12,000 hours in the chemical dependency field. With a degree, the applicant needs only to complete 10,000 hours. 100 more hours of supervised practicum is also needed.
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In order to apply, applicants will need to print the relevant form from the Board’s website. In addition to filling out the forms, the applicants will need to have 3 different references. Within the application are the required reference forms. For CDC I, CDC II, and CDCS, one of these references must be a supervisor. When the reference has filled out the sheets, they must directly mail them to the Board.

When submitting the application, it is important the applicants also submit a copy of their state ID and sign a background check disclosure sheet. The fee must also be mailed in with the application. The CT fee is $180, the CDC I fee is $195, the CDC II fee is $210, and the CDCS fee is $230.


The CT and CDC I certification does not have a required exam. CDC II and CDCS are able to take any of the following exams: NCAC I, NCAC II, and the MAC Exam. These exams are administered by the Board on behalf of National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).

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All levels of certification will need to be renewed every 2 years. All counselors will need to complete 40 hours of continuing education which must include at least 3 hours in Ethics and Confidentiality. Each level requires a different recertification fee. They are as follows: the CT fee is $165, CDC I fee is $180, CDC II fee is $195, and the CDCS fee is $215.