Drug and Alcohol Counselors in California
The state of California licensed drug and alcohol counselors qualified to offer services to the public. The licensing process involves education, training, and testing. The education requirements begin with an Associates degree up to a Master’s degree for those handling complex cases like a dual diagnosis. The below-listed agencies are licensing agencies for California:
- Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California
- California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP)
There are several ways to become a counselor, and some do not require a license:
Recovering Addicts and Alcoholics
In the early days of drug and alcohol treatment, recovering addicts and alcoholics were primary resources. They used personal experience as well as shared information to help others overcome addiction and dependence. This is still a major route into the profession. Many self-help groups use recovering addicts as a primary resource for counseling and therapy. They can work as counselors within the structure of the agency, but not held out to the public.
College or School
The primary requirement for California licenses is formal education. This can be with a college or other certified school. Some accredited schools offer courses for drug and alcohol counseling. Some schools may give credit for life experience as counselors in agencies or charities, and this might reduce the need for classes and attendance. Schools and colleges require clinical coursework that requires working with recovering addicts and alcoholics.
The Experience Factor
Experience and supervised work experience are both needed to qualify for a California license. Supervised experience is that under the direction of a licensed practitioner. Experience also involves independent work and the number of years one has performed counseling duties.
Tests for California Licenses
California uses formal testing to qualify counselors, and this included the top tier of counselors with Master’s degrees. Many states permit a form of counseling without testing or licensing. These front line positions can involve intake, detoxification, and other basic services.
Call us for help when you, a family member, or a loved one needs help in getting treatment for alcohol or drug dependence. We can get the healing process off to a smooth start with the resources needed for long-term success. Call us when you or someone makes the decision to turn their life around. We can give you or your loved one the best chance for success.