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What are the education and credentials needed to become an addiction counselor in New Mexico?

Question:

What are the education and credentials needed to become an addiction counselor in New Mexico?

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Answer:

Substance abuse or addiction counselors in New Mexico must have the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC) credential. The education level required is an Associate's degree in addiction counseling or other related field. Education and training hours required total 276, composed of 90 hours of training in alcohol abuse, 90 hours of training in drug abuse, 90 of training in substance abuse counseling, and 6 hours of training in ethics. Field experience in alcohol and drug addiction counseling is also required.

Requirements for licensing depend on the degree held by the candidate:

  • Associate's degree: 3 years experience and 3,000 hours working directly with clients under supervision, including 200 hours of in-person supervision
  • Bachelor's degree: 2 years experience and 2,000 hours working directly with clients under supervision, including 100 hours of in-person supervision
  • Master's degree: 1 year of experience and 1,000 hours working directly with clients under supervision, including 50 hours of in-person supervision

All counselors applying for the LADAC need to pass the National Certified Addiction Counselor (NCAC) Level One examination, sign a code of ethics, and pass a criminal background check.

For more information on a career as a substance abuse counselor, check out this article: Substance Abuse Counselor Career Options and Employment Outlook

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