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Online Addiction Counselor Certification Training

Addiction Counselor Certification Training

The leading online addictions academy providing AFFORDABLE online, self-paced addiction counselor certification training to help you start your new career!

  • Over 400 hours of addiction specific training available
  • We offer online certificate training for recovery support specialists through master addiction counselors
  • Our addictions counselor institute has students in 48 countries
  • Courses in multiple formats (video, text, live webinar and podcast) to meet your learning preferences
  • Instructors available 7 days a week via email
  • $249 to $399 depending on the track you choose
Online Education

Steps to Becoming an Addiction Counselor

  • Find out about the requirements for addiction specific training in your state by clicking here
  • Register at our institute for addictions counselor training and start taking your addiction-specific training (ranges from 180 hours to 360 hours depending on your state requirements) AllCEUs offers training tracks for
    • Addiction Counselors of all levels
    • Peer Support Specialists
    • Recovery Specialists
  • Begin getting your clinical hours and supervision.  In most states you can be working on these while you are taking the addiction-specific training classes.
  • Take (and pass) the test required by your state
  • Voila!  You are certified

Addictions Counselor Training Academy Program Overview

  • Over 400 hours of online, multimedia training designed for the adult learner for less than $1/hour
  • Prepares you for the state licensure/certification exam
  • Many states accept distance learning for precertification training
  • Work at your own pace 24/7/365
  • Multimedia resources at our addictions counselor academy include quizzes and certificates are included (You can even take the courses on your mobile device with our app!)
  • Instructors are available by email and text chat 7 days a week
  • Covers the core functions of the addiction counselor identified in TAP 21 and content is updated regularly

*Note:  Regulations regarding approvals regularly change.  Please see our approvals page and check your state regulations for current rules.

Online learning
Get certified

Which Track to Choose

Our Addiction Counselor Certification Training provides more than enough hours in each domain, however, some states offer certifications with fewer hours.  We have added multiple tracks ranging from 100 to 400 hours to meet the needs of your state.

Find out about the requirements in your state by clicking here

This online addiction counselor certification training program provides specific education to prepare you for licensure or certification in your state (MCAP, LADAC, LADC, CAC etc.).   AllCEUs is an approved continuing education and training provider for NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals; the Florida Certification Board, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor Certification Board of Georgia (ADACB-GA), and the Connecticut Certification Board. In addition to our courses being acceptable in those states, most other states including Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia will accept our training because of those approvals.*  See our counseling CEU approvals page for detailed information.  If you have questions about this training, feel free to reach out to support.

Addiction Specific Training Domains

Part of it depends on your track.  Our full 400 hour track provides training in all of the following areas.

  • Clinical Evaluation: 35+ hours
  • Treatment Planning: 30+ hours
  • Counseling: 50+ hours
  • Case Management and Referral: 10+ hours
  • Client, Family and Community Education: 15+ hours
  • Documentation: 15 hours
  • Ethical and Professional Responsibilities: 30 hours
  • Administrative Supervision: 15 hours
  • Clinical Supervision: 16 Hours
  • Understanding Addiction/Treatment Knowledge: 80+ hours
  • Application to Practice/Professional Readiness: 80+ hours*
    *Must include at least 4 hours of HIV/AIDS and 2 hours of Domestic Violence


Training Domains

Screening Objectives

  • Establish rapport, including management of crisis situation and determination of need for additional professional assistance.
  • Gather data systematically from the client and other available collateral sources, using screening instruments and other methods that are sensitive to age, developmental level, culture, and gender. At a minimum, data should include current and historic substance use; health, mental health, and substance related treatment history; mental status; and current social, environmental, and/or economic constraints.
  • Screen for psychoactive substance toxicity, intoxication, and withdrawal symptoms; aggression or danger to others; potential for self-inflicted harm or suicide; and coexisting mental health problems.
  • Assist the client in identifying the impact of substance use on his or her current life problems and the effects of continued harmful use or abuse.
  • Determine the client's readiness for treatment and change as well as the needs of others involved in the current situation.
  • Review the treatment options that are appropriate for the client's needs, characteristics, goals, and financial resources
  • Apply accepted criteria for diagnosis of substance use disorders in making treatment recommendations.
  • Construct with client and appropriate others an initial action plan based on client needs, preferences, and resources available.
  • Based on initial action plan, take specific steps to initiate an admission or referral and ensure follow-through.

Assessment Objectives

  • An ongoing process through which the counselor collaborates with the client and others to gather and interpret information necessary for planning treatment and evaluating client progress.
  • Select and use a comprehensive assessment process that is sensitive to age, gender, racial and ethnic cultural issues, and disabilities
  • Analyze and interpret the data to determine treatment recommendations.
  • Seek appropriate supervision and consultation.
  • Document assessment findings and treatment recommendations.

Referral & Service Coordination Objectives

  • Initiate collaboration with referral source.
  • Obtain, review, and interpret all relevant screening, assessment, and initial treatment-planning information.
  • Confirm the client's eligibility for admission and continued readiness for treatment and change.
  • Complete necessary administrative procedures for admission to treatment.
  • Establish accurate treatment and recovery expectations with the client and involved significant others
  • Coordinate all treatment activities with services provided to the client by other resources.
  • Summarize client's personal and cultural background, treatment plan, recovery progress, and problems inhibiting progress for purpose of assuring quality of care, gaining feedback, and planning changes in the course of treatment.
  • Understand terminology, procedures, and roles of other disciplines related to the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Contribute as part of a multidisciplinary treatment team.
  • Apply confidentiality regulations appropriately.
  • Demonstrate respect and non-judgmental attitudes toward clients in all contacts with community professionals and agencies.
  • Maintain ongoing contact with client and involved significant others to ensure adherence to the treatment plan.
  • Understand and recognize stages of change and other signs of treatment progress.
  • Assess treatment and recovery progress and, in consultation with the client and significant others, make appropriate changes to the treatment plan to ensure progress toward treatment goals.
  • Describe and document treatment process, progress, and outcome.
  • Use accepted treatment outcome measures.
  • Conduct continuing care, relapse prevention, and discharge planning with the client and involved significant others.
  • Document service coordination activities throughout the continuum of care.
  • Apply placement, continued stay, and discharge criteria for each modality on the continuum of care.

Documentation Objectives

  • Demonstrate knowledge of accepted principles of client record management.
  • Protect client rights to privacy and confidentiality in the preparation and handling of records, especially in relation to the communication of client information with third parties.
  • Prepare accurate and concise screening, intake, and assessment reports.
  • Record treatment and continuing care plans that are consistent with agency standards and comply with applicable administrative rules.
  • Record progress of client in relation to treatment goals and objectives.
  • Prepare accurate and concise discharge summaries.
  • Document treatment outcome, using accepted methods and instruments.

Counseling Individuals and Families Objectives

  • Establish a helping relationship with the client characterized by warmth, respect, genuineness, concreteness, and empathy.
  • Facilitate the client's engagement in the treatment and recovery process.
  • Work with the client to establish realistic, achievable goals consistent with achieving and maintaining recovery.
  • Promote client knowledge, skills, and attitudes that contribute to a positive change in substance use behaviors.
  • Encourage and reinforce client actions determined to be beneficial in progressing toward treatment goals.
  • Work appropriately with the client to recognize and discourage all behaviors inconsistent with progress toward treatment goals.
  • Recognize how, when, and why to involve the client's significant others in enhancing or supporting the treatment plan.
  • Promote client knowledge, skills, and attitudes consistent with the maintenance of health and prevention of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), tuberculosis (TB), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and other infectious diseases
  • Facilitate the development of basic and life skills associated with recovery.
  • Adapt counseling strategies to the individual characteristics of the client, including but not limited to, disability, gender, sexual orientation, developmental level, culture, ethnicity, age, and health status
  • Make constructive therapeutic responses when client's behavior is inconsistent with stated recovery goals.
  • Apply crisis management skills.
  • Facilitate the client's identification, selection, and practice of strategies that help sustain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed for maintaining treatment progress and preventing relapse.
  • Understand the characteristics and dynamics of families, couples, and significant others affected by substance use.
  • Be familiar with and appropriately use models of diagnosis and intervention for families, couples, and significant others, including extended, kinship, or tribal family structures.
  • Facilitate the engagement of selected members of the family, couple, or significant others in the treatment and recovery process.
  • Assist families, couples, and significant others to adopt strategies and behaviors that sustain recovery and maintain healthy relationships.

Group Counseling Objectives

  • Facilitate the entry of new members and the transition of exiting members
  • Facilitate group growth within the established ground rules and movement toward group and individual goals by using methods consistent with group type.
  • Understand the concepts of process and content, and shift the focus of the group when such an intervention will help the group move toward its goals.
  • Describe and summarize client behavior within the group for the purpose of documenting the client's progress and identifying needs and issues that may require a modification in the treatment plan.

Ethics and Professional Responsibilities Objectives

  • Understand diverse cultures and incorporate the relevant needs of culturally diverse groups, as well as people with disabilities, into clinical practice.
  • Understand the importance of self-awareness in one's personal, professional, and cultural life.
  • Understand the addiction professional's obligations to adhere to ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the helping relationship.
  • Understand the importance of ongoing supervision and continuing education in the delivery of client services.
  • Understand the obligation of the addiction professional to participate in prevention as well as treatment.

Client and Community Education Objectives

  • Provide culturally relevant formal and informal education programs that raise awareness and support substance abuse prevention and/or the recovery process.
  • Describe factors that increase the likelihood for an individual, community, or group to be at-risk for, or resilient to, psychoactive substance use disorders.
  • Sensitize others to issues of cultural identity, ethnic background, age, and gender in prevention, treatment, and recovery.
  • Describe warning signs, symptoms, and the course of substance use disorders.
  • Describe how substance use disorders affect families and concerned others.
  • Describe the continuum of care and resources available to family and concerned others.
  • Describe principles and philosophy of prevention, treatment, and recovery.
  • Understand and describe the health and behavior problems related to substance use, including transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS, TB, STDs, and other infectious diseases.
  • Teach life skills, including but not limited to, stress management, relaxation, communication, assertiveness, and refusal skills.

Treatment Planning Objectives

  • Obtain and interpret all relevant assessment information.
  • Explain assessment findings to the client and significant others involved in potential treatment.
  • Provide the client and significant others with clarification and further information as needed.
  • Examine treatment implications in collaboration with the client and significant others.
  • Confirm the readiness of the client and significant others to participate in treatment.
  • Prioritize client needs in the order they will be addressed.
  • Formulate mutually agreed upon and measurable treatment outcome statements for each need.
  • Identify appropriate strategies for each outcome.
  • Coordinate treatment activities and community resources with prioritized client needs in a manner consistent with the client's diagnosis and existing placement criteria.
  • Develop with the client a mutually acceptable plan of action and method for monitoring and evaluating progress.
  • Inform client of confidentiality rights, program procedures that safeguard them, and the exceptions imposed by regulations.
  • Reassess the treatment plan at regular intervals and/or when indicated by changing circumstances.


Understanding Addiction Objectives

  • Understand a variety of models and theories of addiction and other problems related to substance use.
  • Recognize the social, political, economic, and cultural context within which addiction and substance abuse exist, including risk and resiliency factors that characterize individuals and groups and their living environments.
  • Describe the behavioral, psychological, physical health, and social effects of psychoactive substances on the user and significant others.
  • Recognize the potential for substance use disorders to mimic a variety of medical and psychological disorders and the potential for medical and psychological disorders to co-exist with addiction and substance abuse.

Treatment Knowledge Objectives

  • Describe the philosophies, practices, policies, and outcomes of the most generally accepted and scientifically supported models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for addiction and other substance-related problems.
  • Recognize the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the treatment and recovery process.
  • Understand the importance of research and outcome data and their application in clinical practice.
  • Understand the value of an interdisciplinary approach to addiction treatment.

Application to Practice Objectives

  • Understand the established diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders and describe treatment modalities and placement criteria within the continuum of care.
  • Describe a variety of helping strategies for reducing the negative effects of substance use, abuse, and dependence.
  • Tailor helping strategies and treatment modalities to the client’s stage of dependence, change, or recovery.
  • Provide treatment services appropriate to the personal and cultural identity and language of the client.
  • Adapt practice to the range of treatment settings and modalities.
  • Be familiar with medical and pharmacological resources in the treatment of substance use disorders.
  • Understand the variety of insurance and health maintenance options available and the importance of helping clients access those benefits.
  • Recognize that crisis may indicate an underlying substance use disorder and may be a window of opportunity for change.
  • Understand the need for and the use of methods for measuring treatment outcome.

Professional Readiness Objectives

  • Understand diverse cultures and incorporate the relevant needs of culturally diverse groups, as well as people with disabilities, into clinical practice.
  • Understand the importance of self-awareness in one’s personal, professional, and cultural life.
  • Understand the addiction professional’s obligations to adhere to ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the helping relationship.
  • Understand the importance of ongoing supervision and continuing education in the delivery of client services.
  • Understand the obligation of the addiction professional to participate in prevention as well as treatment.
  • Understand and apply setting-specific policies and procedures for handling crisis or dangerous situations, including safety
  • measures for clients and staff.

Addiction Evidence Based Practices

These texts can be downloaded for FREE,  and form the foundation for the addiction counselor certification training. If you are ordering them, plan on it taking 4-6 weeks to receive your texts.

FREE SAMHSA Publications

TAP Series


TIP Series

59. Improving Cultural Competence
57. Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services
56. Addressing the Specific Behavioral Health Needs of Men
55. Behavioral Health Services for People Who Are Homeless
54. Managing Chronic Pain in Adults With or in Recovery From Substance Use Disorders
53. Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People With Substance Use Disorders
52. Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the Substance Abuse Counselor
51. Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women
50. Addressing Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in Substance Abuse Treatment
49s. Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice: A Review of the Literature
49. Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice
48. Managing Depressive Symptoms in Substance Abuse Clients During Early Recovery
47. Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment
46. Substance Abuse: Administrative Issues in Outpatient Treatment
45. Detoxification and Substance Abuse Treatment
44. Substance Abuse Treatment for Adults in the Criminal Justice System
43. Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs
42. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons With Co-Occurring Disorders
41. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy
40. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction
39. Substance Abuse Treatment and Family Therapy
38. Integrating Substance Abuse Treatment and Vocational Services
37. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with HIV/AIDS
36. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Child Abuse and Neglect Issues
35. Enhancing Motivation for Change in Substance Abuse Treatment
34. Brief Interventions and Brief Therapies for Substance Abuse
33. Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders
32. Treatment of Adolescents with Substance Use Disorders
30. Continuity of Offender Treatment for Substance Use Disorders from Institution to Community
29. Substance Use Disorder Treatment For People With Physical and Cognitive Disabilities
27. Comprehensive Case Management for Substance Abuse Treatment
26. Substance Abuse Among Older Adults

NIDA and Other Texts

These texts are also freely available and will be used throughout the course.

Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents (In Brief)

Published January 1997. Revised October 2003. Presents research-based drug abuse prevention principles, an overview of program planning, and critical first steps for those learning about prevention.

Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations – A Research-Based Guide

Published September 2006. Revised April 2014. Presents research-based principles of addiction treatment that can inform drug treatment programs and services in the criminal justice setting.

Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)

Published October 1999. Revised December 2012. Presents research-based principles of addiction treatment for a variety of drugs, including nicotine, alcohol, and illicit and prescription drugs, that can inform drug treatment programs and services.

Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment for People With Stimulant Use Disorders: Clinical Series