Human Services Guide

Substance Abuse Counseling Certification in Kentucky

Kentucky has two primary levels of certification for Substance Abuse Counseling and a number of specialization certifications as well. The certification is known as the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). Below you will find the requirements for certification.

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Requirements for CADC

  • You must pass a criminal background check.
  • You need a High School diploma or GED. However, a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a Behavioral Science is helpful in that it will reduce the amount of supervised experience you need (see below).
  • You will need to accumulate 6000 hours of supervised AODA work with clients.
  • A Bachelor’s degree requires 4000 hours.
  • A Master’s degree requires only 2000 hours.
  • This experience must be working within the 12 Core Functions: Screening; Intake; Orientation; Assessment; Treatment Planning; Counseling; Case Management; Crisis Intervention; Client Education; Referral; Reports and Record Keeping; Consultation.
  • You will need 300 hours of supervision from a qualified supervisor and this must include a minimum of 10 hours of supervision during work in each of the 12 Core Functions.
  • You must show 270 hours of education, with at least thirty hours each in the following areas: Professional Responsibility, Counseling, Case Management, Client education and Assessment.
  • You will need to pass the IC&RC/AODA Substance Abuse Exam.
  • You can find the application form here.