Online CADC Training and Education Programs

Individuals who want to be Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselors (CADC) must meet educational and work experience requirements, pass an examination and maintain certification by earning 40 hours of continuing education credits every two years. CADC certification applies mostly to postgraduate education. Online options are available through professional associations, private accredited programs and 2- and 4-year colleges and universities.

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What CADC Training and Education Programs are Available Online?

The International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) represents 73 organizations and 40,000 professional alcohol and drug abuse counselors, law enforcement and criminal justice personnel, prevention specialists and clinical supervisors. It sets standards for reciprocal certification in these fields as they relate to drug and alcohol abuse. Its Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ICADC) certification is accepted by all of its member organizations (www.icrcaoda.org).

ICADC minimum certification standards for the ADC reciprocal credential include 6,000 hours of supervised work experience. A behavioral science master's degree may substitute for 4,000 hours, a bachelor's degree for 2,000 hours and an associate's degree for 1,000 hours.

If substituted, 270 credit hours of coursework must be completed specific to eight ADC domains. These include professional and ethical responsibility, clinical evaluation, client and community education, treatment planning, referral, service coordination and counseling. At least 300 hours of supervised practice providing specific hours of coverage from each of these domains is also required.

Professional Associations and their Providers

Online continuing education classes are provided through multiple organizations, including private distance learning centers, public health groups and pharmaceutical companies. Representative courses include:

  • substance abuse prevention
  • detoxification
  • cognitive behavioral therapy
  • pharmacology
  • effective intervention

The National Association of Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) offers a lifelong online learning series to its membership. It also provides a varied list of approved education programs on its website. Prospective students should check with their respective state licensing agencies to ensure their proposed coursework meets requirements (www.naadac.org).

Colleges and Universities

University programs in public health, behavioral health, psychology and/or social work frequently have courses and programs that address alcohol and drug dependency issues. Some courses are available online. Though uncommon, some bachelor's degrees and graduate certificates in addiction counseling that meet national certification requirements are available entirely online. However, programs may require clinical training in addition to online coursework.

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