The Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors, which is a department of Maine’s Office of Professional and Occupational Regulation, provides licensure to substance abuse counselors in the state of Maine (PFR). The Board offers 3 types of certification: Alcohol & Drug Counseling Aide (ADCA), Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (CADC), and the Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LADC).
The ADCA certification does not require a college degree. The ADCA only requires that the applicant have at least a high school diploma or GED. The CADC and LADC applicants will need to either have an Associate’s Degree or 30 credit hours in the area of substance abuse counseling.
ADCA applicants are not required to have completed any work experience to obtain their certification. CADC applicants must have completed 4,000 hours of work experience in the field. LADC applicants must complete 6,000 hours of work experience in the addiction counseling field. If the LADC applicant currently holds a CADC then they are only required to obtain 2,000 hours of work experience. The LADC applicants are also able to substitute hours depending on if they hold a degree. With an Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree, the applicant only needs to work 4,000 hours instead of 6,000. With a Master’s Degree, the applicant will only need 2,000 hours.
Applications should be mailed to the Board at 35 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0035 or filled out and turned in online. Applications that are faxed in will not be accepted. All applicants will undergo a background check. There is a background check fee of $21. Applicants will be required to submit a birth certificate to prove their age is over 18. Documentation of education must be provided to the Board whether it is a diploma, degree, or transcripts. The applicant must also provide proof of work experience. They will also need to find a supervisor to supervise them once they are provided certification. Once applications have been reviewed, the Board will reach out to the applicant. The progress of the application can be monitored on the Board’s website here: Professional Licensing Board. The Board asks that applicants do not call to check their application status as it slows down the process. Before the applicant can actually apply for certification, they must apply for exam approval. Only after they have passed the exam may the applicant apply for certification. The ADCA license fee is $40.
Exams are provided to the Board’s applicants by the IC&RC. The ADCA certification does not have a required exam. The CADC applicant will be required to take the Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) Exam. The LADC applicant must take the Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor (AADC) Exam. Applicants can find study material, candidate guides, and online practice exams on the IC&RC’s website here: IC&RC Study Material. After passing the exam and having the licensure application approved by the Board, the license/certificate will be emailed out the following morning to the applicant. Once this happens, on the Board’s website, the applicant’s status will change from “pending” to “active” when they are provided licensure/certification.
All counselors will need to renew their certification every year by November 30th. A renewal fee of $35 must be paid at the time of recertification. There is a $50 late fee if the counselor renews after November 30th. Renewal applications can be found here: Online Renewal Application. 12 contact hours of continuing education is required to renew the ADCA certification. Counselors will need 18 hours of continuing education for the CADC level and 25 hours for the LADC.