Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC)

A bachelor’s degree substance use disorder counselor providing primary, direct, clinical, substance use disorder or co-occurring counseling to persons whose primary diagnosis is that of substance use disorder or providing supervision of said counseling. They have primary responsibility for providing substance use disorder counseling in an individual and/or group setting, preparing treatment plans, documenting client progress and is clinically supervised. This is an international, reciprocal credential.


The CADC is an international, reciprocal credential that uses the IC&RC examination. While many employers accept this credential, they may also require professionals to obtain the state-specific credential from the Virginia Board of Counseling known as the CSAC. VCB cannot answer questions regarding the CSAC or specific questions regarding its applicability to reimbursement/acceptance of the CSAC versus the CADC. This is an employer/organization determination/preference. Professionals interested in the CSAC must contact the Virginia Board of Counseling directly.




For more in depth information on the requirements please review the downloadable application above.


Formal Education: Minimum bachelor's degree.


Clinical Work Experience: Two (2) years of full time or 4000 hours of part-time work experience as a drug and alcohol counselor with a relevant bachelor’s degree.


Current Job Description: Copy of current counselor job description, obtained from current employer, and which must be signed by both the applicant and their immediate clinical supervisor.  


On-The-Job Clinical Supervision: 200 hours of on-the-job supervision of qualifying work experience with a minimum of 10 hours of clinical supervision in each counselor domain. 


Education/Training: 300 hours of relevant education/training of which 6 hours must be in substance use disorders ethics.


Examination: Once application is approved, applicant must pass the IC&RC Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors (ADC Examination).