Substance abuse counselors in Texas play an important role in helping people overcome drug or alcohol addiction. These professionals provide support, guidance, and counseling to individuals battling addiction and help them achieve long-term recovery. To become a substance abuse counselor in Texas, you must meet certain requirements and obtain certain certifications. This article describes the requirements to become a substance abuse counselor in Texas, including education, certification, and licensure.
To become a substance abuse counselor in Texas, you must first obtain a high school diploma or GED equivalent. There, higher education in counseling or related fields is required. Generally, you will need a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a related field to become a substance abuse counselor. Some employers may require a master’s degree in consulting or related fields.
After completing your studies, the next step to becoming a substance abuse counselor in Texas is to become certified. The state of Texas offers several certifications to help prepare you for a career in substance abuse counseling. These include:
- Certified Chemical Dependence Consultant (LCD)
- Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CADC)
- Certified Criminal Justice Professional (CCJP)
The LCDC credential is the most recognized substance abuse counselor credential in the state of Texas. To become an LCDC, you must complete 270 hours of training in specific areas such as counseling theory, pharmacology, and ethics. You must also complete 300 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling and pass a written exam.
CADC accreditation is provided by the Texas Board of Accreditation of Addiction Professionals (TCBAP). To become a CADC, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent GED, complete 300 hours of training in specific areas, including counseling skills and professional responsibilities, and have 4,000 hours of work experience in supervised substance abuse counseling.
CCJP certification is provided by the Texas Correctional Association (TCA). To become a CCJP, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent GED and have completed 300 hours of education in specific areas, including criminal justice, addiction, and occupational responsibility.
In addition to certification, substance abuse counselors in Texas must also be licensed to practice. To be licensed as a substance abuse counselor in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent GED
- Completion of at least 300 hours of training in specific fields such as counseling theory and techniques, ethics, and pharmacology
- Complete a minimum of 4,000 hours of supervised work experience in substance abuse counseling
- Pass the written test
If you meet these requirements, you can apply for a license through the Texas Department of Health Services (DSHS). DSHS is responsible for overseeing the licensing of substance abuse counselors in Texas and ensuring that professionals in the field meet the requirements necessary to provide quality care to their clients.
Continuing education requirements
Continuing education courses are required to maintain certification and license as a substance abuse counselor in Texas. The time required depends on your certificate or license. In case of LCDC, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years. For CADC, you must complete 40 hours of continuing education every two years. For CCJP, you must complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years.
Continuing education courses must be approved by the appropriate accreditation or licensing board. This course may cover a variety of topics related to substance abuse counseling, including new counseling techniques, new substances of abuse, and ethical issues in counseling.
Becoming a substance abuse counselor in Texas requires a high school diploma or GED equivalent, postsecondary education, certification, licensing, and continuing education in counseling or a related field. Although this process requires great effort in education and training, it can be a rewarding career for those dedicated to helping others overcome addiction.