In the world of substance abuse counseling, there are many, many acronyms, and deciphering these acronyms can be quite a challenge. AOD certification, for instance, stands for Alcohol and Other Drug counseling, but sometimes this is called a CAODC, or Certified Alcohol & Other Drug Counseling.
However, these days, the acronyms that will be most important for you starting out may be SUDCC, or Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor, and CADC, or Certified Alcohol Drug Counselor. You also will hear about RADT (Registered Alcohol & Drug Technician) and LAADC (Licensed Advanced Alcohol & Drug Counselor).
Someone who is a CADC, LAADC or RADT is a SUDCC. That might sound like a bunch of alphabet soup. Basically, a SUDCC (Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor) is a person with the education and certification to provide some level of counseling services to those struggling with addiction.
The first level of certification will be RADT, and you may earn RADT I or RADT II certification, depending on the amount of training you receive. Becoming a RADT is usually your very first step into the world of addiction counseling, and we can help you attain RADT certification and also help you transition from RADT to CADC.
CADC is the next level and there are several categories of CADC, including CADC I, II and III. One of the great things about CADC certification is that CADC I certification does not require the applicant to have a college degree. This opens up the counseling field to a larger number of individuals.
If you do have a bachelor’s degree, CADC II certification might be the option you select, while those with a master’s degree might select CADC III certification. No matter which type of certification you acquire, you will be helping people fight addiction and that’s huge. A great CADC I can make just as big of a positive impact as a CADC III, so if you don’t have a college degree, don’t feel as though you are at a disadvantage as a counselor, although furthering your education is never a bad idea if you choose to do so in the future.
This is one of the higher levels you can attain in the addiction counseling world. An LAADC will have completed a master’s degree in a major such as Behavioral Science. This professional also have completed 300 hours of alcohol and drug counseling education as well as completing 4,000 hours of work experience.
How Sober College Can Help
For most of our Sober College students, the job of an LAADC might be something they will consider down the road, after they’ve spent a few years as a CADC. As a CCAPP-approved education provider, we can help you attain your AOD certification as a RADT or CADC. We also can help you become a Prevention Specialist (PS).
Our most popular option is our training for those wishing to become a CADC. This program includes 315 classroom hours as well as 255 supervised practicum hours or fieldwork.
Of course, most of our students already have part-time or full-time jobs, and we understand that fitting in classroom hours can be tricky. This is why we offer both in-class options and online learning options.
If you opt for in-class training, you will come to our campus one weekend a month for six months and take six courses. These courses include everything from an introduction to drug and alcohol addiction, learning about the law and ethics, and case management.
Opt for online training, and you will take the same six classes, but your coursework can be completed online and at your own pace. After completing the coursework, both online and in-class students will take two further classes – Supervised Practicum and Supervised Fieldwork Practicum.
The first class is meant to help you get your feet wet as a counselor. You will have direct supervision and will be able to consult with an instructor for additional support. The second class includes the 255 hours of practical experience. During these hours, you will spend at least 21 hours in each of 12 Core functions.
The Core Functions
1. Screening – During the screening process, a counselor evaluates individuals and determines whether or not they are suitable candidates for a specific program.
2. Intake – During intake, you will learn how to admit a patient to a facility and learn all of the steps involved in the process, which includes signing consent forms and other paperwork.
3. Orientation – During the orientation process, you will help a patient understand the goals of the program and provide information about rules and regulations, patient rights and much more.
4. Assessment – As you dive deeper into the world of counseling, you will spend time learning how to evaluate each patient, and this will help lead you to the next step of the process, Treatment Planning.
5. Treatment Planning – Here you work with the client to identify the best methods to help that person achieve success in the program as well as setting long-term goals for sobriety and self-care.
6. Counseling – During this segment of training, you will help with individual counseling as well as with group counseling family counseling. You will learn how to create an individualized counseling plan that meets the needs of each unique individual to whom you provide care.
7. Case Management – This includes creating a case file and planning, but also includes explaining the case management plan to the patient and ensuring that this person fully understands the details.
8. Crisis Intervention – Fighting addiction isn’t easy, and many patients come to a crisis point (or more than one crisis point) during treatment. In this area of study, you will learn how to identify signs that a patient is nearing a crisis point as well as how to quickly handle the situation and, hopefully, diffuse the crisis and then help the patient use this crisis as the basis for reflection and further treatment.
9. Client Education – While your clients may be fighting addiction, it’s likely that they don’t know much about the disease of addiction or about the resources available to them to help them maintain sobriety, which is why this a crucial part of the process.
10. Referral – Once a person completes an in-patient or out-patient program, they typically are referred to counselors and other support resources. In some cases a person in-treatment will need additional support, and you can identify those needs and find solutions.
11. Report & Record Keeping – This may not be as exciting as getting in there and helping clients, but this is an essential part of the counseling job and you need to learn how to chart and maintain all of the records relevant to patient care.
12. Consultation – Sometimes one of the best ways we can help a patient is by recognizing that we, as the counselors, don’t have all of the answers. Learning how to consult properly with other professionals can help us grow as counselors and expand our knowledge, which is why this will be part of your training. Of course, attaining AOD certification is the first step, and your coursework can be completed in as little as six months through Sober College. To get started, you can give us a call at (866) 325-3147 or click on the Get Started tab on our homepage and you can apply or learn more about our program and instructors.