What is certification?
Certification is one of the credentialing methods required for addictions treatment and recovery services professionals who provide services in addictions programs. A certified addictions counselor (CAC) possesses a body of knowledge, skills, training and work experience in the area of addiction whcih distinguishes the addictions practitioner from other health care professionals.

Proficient addictions specialists encompass a spectrum of skills specific to care for substance abusing clients/patients. Counselor certification consists of several levels depending on the state in which the addictions counselor resides. No counselor is allowed to provide clinical services beyond his/her level of competence, certification or licensure.

Do I need to become certified?
Across the United States, certification is becoming a fundamental prerequisite, and many states are requiring certification in order practice. Certification indicates to others that you have the necessary education, training, skills and knowledge to work effectively in this role.

Other states also require a licensure or a combination of both licensure and certification. It is important to learn what the requirements are for your state.

Click on Certification Info to learn about your state's licensing and certification requirements.


Produced by the Northeast ATTC, NAADAC, Central East ATTC, and the ATTC National Office.
Funded in part by a grant from SAMHSA/CSAT and a variety of other sponsors.