Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 18. Professional And Occupational Licensing
Agency 115. Board of Counseling
Chapter 30. Regulations Governing the Certification of Substance Abuse Counselors and Substance Abuse Counseling Assistants

18VAC115-30-50. Educational requirements for substance abuse counselors.

A. An applicant for examination for certification as a substance abuse counselor shall:

1. Have a bachelor's or post-baccalaureate degree; and

2. Have completed 240 clock hours of didactic training in substance abuse education from one of the following programs:

a. A regionally accredited university or college; or

b. Seminars and workshops that meet the requirements of subsection B of this section and are offered or approved by one of the following:

(1) Federal, state, or local governmental agencies; public school systems; or licensed health facilities.

(2) The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and its state affiliates.

(3) The American Association of State Counseling Boards.

(4) The American Counseling Association and its state and local affiliates.

(5) The American Psychological Association and its state affiliates.

(6) The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.

(7) NAADAC and its state and local affiliates.

(8) National Association of Social Workers.

(9) National Board for Certified Counselors.

(10) A national behavioral health organization or certification body recognized by the board.

(11) Individuals or organizations that have been approved as continuing competency sponsors by the American Association of State Counseling Boards or a counseling board in another state.

B. Substance abuse education.

1. Of the 240 hours of didactic training in substance abuse counseling, a minimum of 120 hours shall be completed prior to registration of supervision.

2. Each applicant shall have received a minimum of 16 clock hours in each of the following 13 areas:

a. Dynamics of human behavior;

b. Signs and symptoms of substance abuse;

c. Counseling theories and techniques;

d. Continuum of care and case management skills;

e. Recovery process and relapse prevention methods;

f. Professional orientation and ethics;

g. Pharmacology of abused substances;

h. Trauma and crisis intervention;

i. Co-occurring disorders;

j. Cultural competency;

k. Substance abuse counseling approaches and treatment planning;

l. Group counseling; and

m. Prevention, screening, and assessment of substance use and abuse.

C. Groups and classes attended as a part of a therapy or treatment program will not be accepted as any part of the educational experience.

Statutory Authority

§§ 54.1-2400 and 54.1-3505 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR560-01-03 § 2.2, eff. May 8, 1991; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 14, eff. May 4, 1994; Volume 19, Issue 18, eff. June 18, 2003; Volume 25, Issue 26, eff. October 15, 2009; Volume 36, Issue 11, eff. February 19, 2020.

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