California SUD Career Track


Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Counselor Certification in California

California law requires individuals providing alcohol and other drug (AOD) counseling services in a State-licensed program to be registered and hold entry-level certification with a State-approved agency.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO CALIFORNIA COUNSELORS: The State of California recently issued a notice that CAADE is not, as of December 1, 2017, a State-approved AOD counselor certification agency. (MHSUDS Info Notice No. 17-067)

This means that if you were registered with or certified by CAADE as of November 30, 2017, you will need to transfer your registration or AOD counselor certification to another State-approved agency such as CADTP or CCAPP, or both, by your next renewal date or June 15, 2018 (whichever is sooner).

CADTP is providing free transfer of your registration or certification as a State of California-approved alcohol and other drug (AOD) counselor to CADTP for no cost, and maintaining your certification with CADTP is less than half the cost of remaining certified with CCAPP. The free transfer applies to counselors wishing to transfer from either CAADE or CCAPP.

CADTP accepts all Breining Institute formal education and continuing education courses toward the initial and renewal award of its State-approved CAODC Certification. 

To transfer your registration and/or certification to CADTP, you may visit its website at this link: www.cadtp.org

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers regarding this recent State of California notice are provided at the bottom of this page.


  • STATE REQUIRED ENTRY-LEVEL CERTIFICATION:

    – Satisfy the entry-level State requirement by earning the Certified Alcohol & Other Drug Counselor (CAODC) certification from California Association of DUI Treatment Programs (CADTP).
    – You may complete the formal education for the CAODC Certification through Breining Institute’s State of California-approved, CADTP-recognized and CAADE-Accredited distance learning 450-hour Addiction Studies Certificate (ASC) Course, which may be completed in about eleven months entirely through distance learning. More information about the ASC Course is available at this link: ASC Course
    Newly registering counselors will need to first complete a 9-hour Orientation Course, approved by CADTP. The Breining Institute online “9-hour Basics Bundle” is approved by CADTP (CEU Provider No. 161), and is available online at this link: Online CE Courses
    Renewal of certification every two years is required by State law, as is completion of a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education (CE) courses. Breining Institute is a CADTP-approved CE provider (CEU Provider No. 161), and online courses, including discounted 40-hour Bundles, are available at this link: Online CE Courses

  • RECIPROCITY FOR NATIONAL / INTERNATIONAL RAS CREDENTIAL:

    After you’ve earned the CAODC certification, you will be eligible for the nationally and internationally-issued Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS) Credential from Breining Institute, without taking another exam. And, once you hold the RAS, you may upgrade to advanced levels RAS II, RAS III and the Masters Level M-RAS Credentials, without a fee. Select this link for more information about earning the RAS Credential: RAS Credential Career Track

  • SPECIALTY CREDENTIALS:

    After you’ve earned the CAODC or RAS Credentials, you may then be eligible to earn specialty credentials in supervision, co-occurring disorders, medication-assisted treatment, and other specialties. Select the following links for information about how to earn these nationally-awarded specialty credentials:

    Clinical Supervisor Credential (CSC)

    Master Counselor in Addictions (MCA)

    Certified Women’s Treatment Specialist (CWTS)

    Medication-Assisted Treatment Counselor (MATC)

    Forensic Addictions Counselor (FAC)

    Certified Co-occurring Disorders Specialist (CCDS)

    Certified Case Manager Interventionist (CCMI)

 


  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    Here are some Frequently Asked Questions, and Answers, relating to the recent State of California CAADE notice. (MHSUDS Info Notice No. 17-067)

    Q: Which counselors are affected by the State of California notice?

    A: The just announced changes to counselor certification only affect California counselors with the CAADE-issued CATC Certification, or who were registered with CAADE, as of November 30, 2017. If an individual providing alcohol and other drug (AOD) counseling services in a State of California-licensed program needs to be certified by a State-approved agency, the State notice requires only these counselors transfer their State-approved certification to CADTP or CCAPP by June 15, 2018, or their next renewal date, whichever is sooner.

    Q: A couple of years ago I was awarded the CATC because I have the RAS. Does this affect my RAS Credential?

    A: No. For a short period in 2014/16, Breining Institute worked with CAADE to concurrently award international RAS Credential holders, located in California, the California CATC certification. This did not replace your RAS Credentials, but was issued to make sure that RAS Credential holders remained in compliance with the California law for registration / certification by a State-approved agency, which at the time included CAADE. The internationally awarded Registered Addiction Specialist (RAS) Breining Institute professional credentials continue to be awarded to and are held by healthcare professionals in 47 U.S. States and 18 countries. Eligible healthcare professionals will continue to earn and renew these credentials exclusively through Breining Institute.

    Q: Does CADTP recognize courses I’ve completed through Breining Institute?

    A: Yes. CADTP fully recognizes ALL formal education and continuing education (CE) courses of Breining Institute. Therefore, CADTP accepts all of the following:
    – The Breining 450 hour (45 unit) Addiction Studies Certificate (ASC) Course to prepare for initial CAODC certification;
    – The Breining CE courses preparing for renewal of your CATC or CAODC certifications; and
    – The Breining 9-hour Orientation Course (Breining’s “9-hour Basics Bundle”), for newly registering counselors in California.

    Breining Institute courses are all recognized by CADTP for initial and renewal award of its State-approved Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor (CAODC) certification. Breining’s approved CE provider number with CADTP is CEU Prov. No. 161.

    Q: Does CCAPP recognize courses I’ve completed through Breining Institute?

    A: According to the CAADE and CCAPP websites, CCAPP recognizes formal education courses provided by CAADE-accredited institutions, for those students enrolled in those programs before January 1, 2018. Breining Institute is a CAADE-accredited institution, and the Breining Institute 45 unit (450 hour) Addiction Studies Certificate (ASC) Course is accredited by CAADE. Breining is working with CCAPP to extend that recognition to include prospectively-enrolling students, also. According to CAADE, because Breining is also a CAADE-approved continuing education (CE) provider (Prov. No. CP20 956 P 0000), CCAPP is accepting Breining CE courses completed prior to December 10, 2017, including the Breining 9-hour Orientation Course for newly-registering counselors. Breining is working with CCAPP to extend this recognition as well. If you have questions about the CCAPP recognition of any Breining education programs, you should contact CCAPP directly for its confirmation of this information.

    Q: Will CAADE be reaccredited or approved by the State at a later time?

    A: CAADE has stated it “fully intends to apply and be granted that status” from the State, but, at the same time, is encouraging CAADE-registered and/or certified counselors to register with either CADTP or CCAPP in the meantime, in order to remain in compliance with State law.

    Q: Is CAADE out of business, or merged with another organization?

    A: No. CAADE remains a widely respected institution that, for over 30 years, has accredited and will continue to accredit quality college and career track programs throughout California, including Breining Institute and many community colleges and universities.

    Q: Does the State of California notice affect any of my other certifications or credentials?

    A: No. The only certification affected is the CATC certification from CAADE. None of the Breining Institute nationally and internationally-awarded credentials are affected by the State of California notice. The internationally awarded Breining Institute professional credentials, including the RAS, RAS II, RAS III, M-RAS and other advanced specialty credentials (CSC, MCA, CWTS, MATC, FAC, CCDS and CCMI), continue to be awarded to and are held by healthcare professionals in 47 U.S. States and 18 countries. Eligible healthcare professionals will continue to earn and renew these credentials exclusively through Breining Institute.

    Q: Does this mean my CATC certification is now worthless?

    A: No. All levels of the CATC certification career ladder – CATC I, II, III, IV, and V – remain widely respected certifications. Obtaining a CAODC from CADTP or a CADC from CCAPP does not invalidate your CATC certification. 

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    CADTP
    Renewal fee for accredited and State-approved Certified Alcohol & Other Drug Counselor (CAODC) certification is $125 every two years, and no membership is required. More information about the CADTP certification program is available at this link: www.cadtp.org

    CCAPP
    Renewal fee for accredited and State-approved Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (CADC II) certification is $400 every two years. If you are a CCAPP member, the cost is $350 ($100 membership fee every year, plus a $150 certification renewal fee). Information about the CCAPP certification program is at this link: www.ccapp.us

    CAADE
    CAADE is working on reapplying for recognition from the State, but encourages counselors to consider transferring to another State-approved agency in the meantime as a precaution. More info may be found at the CAADE website: www.caade.org