A Certified Alcohol Drug Abuse Counselor is a support system for people with drug and alcohol problems, eating disorders and other behavioral issues. They teach individuals how to modify their behavior with the intention of full recovery. Because clients are susceptible to relapses, many substance abuse counselors work with clients on an on-going basis.

Other duties may include:

  • Meeting with clients to evaluate their health and substance problem

  • Identifying issues and create goals and treatment plans

  • Teaching clients coping mechanisms

  • Helping clients find jobs or reestablish their career

  • Leading group therapy sessions

  • Providing updates and progress reports to courts

  • Referring clients to support groups

  • Setting up aftercare plans

  • Meeting with family members and provide guidance and support


You must have a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate behavioral science or counseling field from an accredited university. Must have 45 hours of education that addresses co-occuring disorders and the referral process and 270 hours of education related to drug and alcohol counseling.   

To receive the CADC, you will complete 300 hours of supervised drug and alcohol counseling practicum. You must have a minimum of 2 years supervised work experience of which half must be spent in direct client contact. You must pass the certification examination.

  • Outpatient care centers

  • Schools

  • Hospitals

  • Substance abuse & addiction treatment centers

  • Social service agencies

  • Physician offices


$36,000 - $61,000

certified alcohol drug abuse counselor

For more information on this program, visit the Education page

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