Who Is a Certified Associate Addiction Counselor?

Who Is a Certified Associate Addiction Counselor?Many licensed addiction counselors possess a degree to work, but becoming certified as an associate addiction counselor is possible without graduating from college. While this lack of education may discourage some addicts, these counselors must have considerable experience working with addiction before they can work as counselors.

Working with Addiction Counseling

Addiction counseling is a growing industry, which serves as evidence that the public is becoming more aware of the problem creating more treatment options for it. Therefore, many rehab facilities will welcome any help that comes their way. They may hire associate addiction counselors to work directly with patients by counseling them and their families on matters related to addiction. The work can be challenging, difficult and frustrating, but it can also be profoundly rewarding. They will be there to help patients through difficult times and to share joys as patients overcome dependency. Addicts can live in healthy, productive ways as they quit addiction, and an addiction counselor may be an integral part of the process.

Requirements for Certification as an Associate Addiction Counselor

Becoming a certified associate addiction counselor (CAAC) does not require a college degree, but it does require substantial experience in the field of addiction counseling. Having a CAAC is an internationally recognized certification that is valid for two years, after which it must be renewed. Certifications are administered by the states, and specific requirements may vary by state. However, the certification maintains minimum standards to ensure that those who receive certification have both training and experience in treating addicts.

The basic requirements for certification as a CAAC are as follows:

  • A minimum of two years or 4,000 hours of experience gained in the previous seven years working as a drug and alcohol addiction counselor or supervisor of counselors. In other words, the applicant must spend at least 51% of his last seven years involved in addiction counseling.
  • Must have possessed the AAC II for at least two years prior to application and must possess an active AAC II at the time of application
  • Must have verifiable experience in the eight domains of alcohol and drug counseling, including counseling, client, family and community education, clinical evaluation, documentation, professional and ethical responsibility, referral, service coordination and treatment planning
  • Must be currently employed as an addiction counselor
  • Must have completed 300 hours of education in the field of addiction, of which at least 100 is specific to alcohol and other drugs of abuse, 6 is in professional ethics and responsibilities and 6 is in communicable diseases
  • Must have at least 300 hours of work experience under supervision

Before you think that a CAAC is not as well trained without a college degree, reconsider these criteria and trust that these professionals can help you overcome addiction.

Help Finding a CAAC

If you think that a career in addiction counseling might interest you, if you would like information on certification in your state or if you have any other questions about CAACs, call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline right now to speak with one of our counselors.