Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 35. Professional Counseling
1/28/2022

Article 1.1. Licensed Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners.

§ 54.1-3507. Scope of practice of and qualifications for licensed substance abuse treatment practitioners.

A. A licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner shall be qualified to (i) perform on an independent basis the substance abuse treatment functions of screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, treatment, case management, substance abuse or dependence crisis intervention, client education, referral activities, recordkeeping, and consultation with other professionals; (ii) exercise independent professional judgment, based on observations and objective assessments of a client's behavior, to evaluate current functioning, to diagnose and select appropriate remedial treatment for identified problems, and to make appropriate referrals; and (iii) supervise, direct and instruct others who provide substance abuse treatment.

B. Pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, an applicant for a license as a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has (i) completed a specified number of hours of graduate studies, including a specified number of didactic substance abuse education courses at, and has received a master's degree in substance abuse or a substantially equivalent master's degree from, an institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board; and (ii) completed a specified number of hours of experience involving the practice of substance abuse treatment supervised by a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, or by any other mental health professional licensed by the Department, such number of hours being greater than the number of hours required of a certified substance abuse counseling assistant. The applicant shall also pass an examination, as required by the Board.

1997, c. 901; 2001, c. 460.

§ 54.1-3507.1. Scope of practice, supervision, and qualifications of certified substance abuse counselors.

A. A certified substance abuse counselor shall be (i) qualified to perform, under appropriate supervision or direction, the substance abuse treatment functions of screening, intake, orientation, the administration of substance abuse assessment instruments, recovery and relapse prevention planning, substance abuse treatment, case management, substance abuse or dependence crisis intervention, client education, referral activities, record keeping, and consultation with other professionals; (ii) qualified to be responsible for client care of persons with a primary diagnosis of substance abuse or dependence; and (iii) qualified to supervise, direct and instruct certified substance abuse counseling assistants. Certified substance abuse counselors shall not engage in independent or autonomous practice.

B. Such counselor shall also be clinically supervised or directed by a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, or any other mental health professional licensed by the Department, or, in an exempt setting as described in § 54.1-3501, another person with substantially equivalent education, training, and experience, or such counselor shall be in compliance with the supervision requirements of a licensed facility.

C. Pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, an applicant for certification as a substance abuse counselor shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has (i) completed a specified number of hours of didactic substance abuse education courses in a program or programs recognized or approved by the Board and received a bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the Board; and (ii) accumulated a specified number of hours of experience involving the practice of substance abuse treatment while supervised by a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, or by any other mental health professional licensed by the Department, or by a certified substance abuse counselor who shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Board of clinical supervision qualifications pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, such number of hours being greater than the number of hours required of a certified substance abuse counseling assistant. The applicant shall also pass an examination as required by the Board.

2001, c. 460.

§ 54.1-3507.2. Scope of practice, supervision, and qualifications of certified substance abuse counseling assistants.

A. A certified substance abuse counseling assistant shall be qualified to perform, under appropriate supervision or direction, the substance abuse treatment functions of orientation, implementation of substance abuse treatment plans, case management, substance abuse or dependence crisis intervention, record keeping, and consultation with other professionals. Certified substance abuse counseling assistants may participate in recovery group discussions, but shall not engage in counseling with either individuals or groups or engage in independent or autonomous practice.

B. Such certified substance abuse counseling assistant shall be supervised or directed either by a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, or by any other mental health professional licensed by the Department, or by a certified substance abuse counselor, or, in an exempt setting as described in § 54.1-3501, another person with substantially equivalent education, training, and experience, or such counseling assistant shall be in compliance with the supervision requirements of a licensed facility.

C. Pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, an applicant for certification as a certified substance abuse counseling assistant shall submit evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has (i) received a high school diploma or its equivalent, (ii) completed a specified number of hours of didactic substance abuse education in a program or programs recognized or approved by the Board, and (iii) accumulated a specified number of hours of experience and completed a practicum or an internship involving substance abuse treatment, supervised either by a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, or by any other mental health professional licensed by the Department, or by a certified substance abuse counselor. The applicant shall also pass an examination, as required by the Board.

2001, c. 460.

§ 54.1-3507.3. Use of titles.

No person shall claim to be, or use the title of, a substance abuse treatment practitioner, a substance abuse counselor, or a substance abuse counseling assistant unless he has been licensed or certified as such pursuant to §§ 54.1-3507, 54.1-3507.1 or § 54.1-3507.2.

2001, c. 460.

§ 54.1-3508. Licensure of certain persons possessing substantially equivalent qualifications, education or experience.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 54.1-3507, (i) the Board may issue a license as a licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner to a person who, after the effective date of the regulations promulgated pursuant to subdivision 7 of § 54.1-3505, has applied for such a license and who, in the judgment of the Board, possesses qualifications, education or experience substantially equivalent to the requirements of § 54.1-3507; however, any such applicant shall have completed at least one year of supervised clinical experience in substance abuse treatment, and (ii) for a period of time to be determined by the Board but not less than one year after the effective date of the regulations, the Board shall issue such a license to any such person who, in the judgment of the Board, possesses qualifications, education or experience acceptable to the Board and has completed at least one year of supervised clinical experience in substance abuse treatment.

1997, c. 901; 1999, c. 863.

§ 54.1-3509. Continued certification of certain certified substance abuse counselors.

On and after July 1, 2001, unless such certification is suspended or revoked by the Board, the Board shall continue to certify as a certified substance abuse counselor any person (i) who was certified by the Board as a certified substance abuse counselor prior to July 1, 2001, or (ii) who registered his supervisory contract with the Board or filed an application with the Board prior to July 1, 2001, for certification as a certified substance abuse counselor and was certified by the Board after July 1, 2001. The person's scope of practice shall be limited to that set forth in subsection A of § 54.1-3507.1.

2001, c. 460.