Human Services Guide
       
 

Substance Abuse Counseling Certification in Arizona

Arizona has three levels of certification. They are known as the Licensed Substance Abuse Technician (LSAT), the Licensed Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (LASAC) and the Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor (LISAC). All three levels require certain course work and supervised experience. The two higher levels also require that you have degrees from a regionally accredited institution.

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There are a number of steps you will need to follow in the process towards becoming certified in Arizona:

  1. Earn an Associate’s, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Chemical Dependency or an equivalent degree depending on the level of certification you want to have.
  2. Complete a practicum.
  3. Earn sufficient supervised work experience.
  4. Pass a written examination.
  5. Apply for certification with the Arizona Substance Abuse Certification Board.

Educational Requirements

You will need to have a certain amount of education in order to become certified at either level in Arizona.

  • To become a LSAT you will need an Associate’s degree in Chemical Dependency from a regionally accredited university or college.
  • If you are graduating from a regionally accredited program you will have all required coursework. If your degree is from another institution you will need specific coursework as outlined here.
  • You can also substitute a Bachelor’s degree in a Behavioral Science if it meets the coursework as outlined above for the LSAT requirements.
  • If you want to become a LASAC you will need a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Dependency from a regionally accredited university or college.
  • For the LISAC level of certification you will need a Bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science with a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of counseling related coursework OR a Master’s degree in a behavioral science with a minimum of 24 semester hours of counseling related course work as determined by the credentialing committee.
  • For the LASAC level of certification you will need a Master’s degree in a behavioral science with a minimum of 24 semester hours of counseling related course work as determined by the credentialing committee.

Supervised Experience

Each level of certification requires a different amount of related work experience.

  • For the LASAC and LISAC levels you will need to complete 3200 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling in the course of two or more years of work.
  • This work experience must include a minimum of 1600 hours of direct client contact.
  • You will need a minimum of 100 hours of direct supervision from a licensed substance abuse counselor of equivalent or higher level of certification to the certification you are pursuing.

Written Examination

Arizona requires a written examination as part of the certification process.

  • Pass the IC&RC Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) written examination.
  • Alternately you can take the Level II or higher examinations offered by the NAADA.
  • You must pass the test within two tries.

Apply for Your Certification

The final step is to apply with the board for certification.

  • You now need to apply with the board. You can find the application here.
  • There is a supplemental section you must also complete which you can find here.