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Become a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and embark on a fulfilling career path helping others. Learn the steps to certification, education requirements, and the rewarding impact you can make in your community. Start your journey with our comprehensive guide to becoming a CASAC

How to Become a CASAC: Your Guide to a Rewarding Career in Addiction Counseling


Becoming a Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) is a fulfilling and impactful career choice.

Suppose you are passionate about helping individuals struggling with addiction and want to make a difference in your community.

In that case, this guide will provide you with a step-by-step roadmap on how to become a CASAC.

We’ll explore the necessary qualifications, training requirements, and the path to obtaining your CASAC certification.

Let’s embark on this journey together and empower you to become a trusted counselor in addiction recovery.

Understanding the Role of a CASAC

Addiction counselors play a crucial role in helping individuals overcome alcohol and substance abuse issues.

As a CASAC, you will provide mental health counseling services to patients struggling with addiction.

Your responsibilities will include assessing, diagnosing, evaluating, and providing substance abuse counseling to individuals and groups.

You will also learn how to intervene and refer appropriately, ensuring your patients receive the necessary support and resources for their recovery.

Obtaining Professional Credentials


To practice as a substance abuse counselor in New York, you must obtain professional credentials through the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).

OASAS ensures that all substance abuse counselors in the state are competent, ethical, and capable of meeting societal needs.

The primary certification for drug and alcohol abuse counseling in New York is the Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) credential.

However, it’s important to note that CASACs cannot engage in private practice without legal permission.

To become a  CASAC (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor), you must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be 18 years of age or older
  2. Have a High School Diploma or General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
  3. Reside in New York State at least 51% of the time
  4. Sign an affidavit agreeing to abide by the Cannon of Ethical Principles
  5. Complete an Evaluation of Competency and Ethical Conduct by three individuals, including a current or most recent clinical supervisor, a current New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) or an individual with a current reciprocal-level credential, and a Qualified Health Professional (QHP) as defined by OASAS.
  6. Document a minimum of 6,000 hours (three years) of full-time work as a provider or supervisor of direct patient services in an approved work setting, as defined by OASAS.
  7. Pass the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors.

CASAC Trainee Certification


If you are working towards becoming a Substance Abuse Counselor, you may apply for a CASAC Trainee certificate in New York.

This certificate is official documentation that you are actively working towards becoming a CASAC.

To be considered for a CASAC Trainee certificate, you must complete  350 hours of education and training or have 6,000 hours of work experience.

The CASAC Trainee certificate remains effective for five years and is not renewable.

However, if you are an exam candidate when your CASAC Trainee certificate expires, you can apply for a three-year extension with an additional fee.


Education Requirements


Aspiring CASACs must complete at least 350 clock hours of education and training focusing on chemical dependence counseling knowledge, skills, and professional techniques.

These clock hours can be obtained through various methods, including accredited colleges and universities, sponsors approved by the National Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and OASAS-Certified Education and Training Providers.

The education requirements for CASACs include the following areas of study:

  1. Knowledge of alcoholism and substance abuse (85 clock hours)
  2. Alcoholism and substance abuse counseling (150 clock hours)
  3. Assessment, clinical evaluation, treatment planning, case management, and patient, family, and community education (70 clock hours)
  4. Professional and ethical responsibilities (45 clock hours)

It’s important to note that OASAS accepts distance learning courses completed through approved institutions for CASAC education and training. Additionally, certain academic degrees in approved human services fields may satisfy a portion of the 6,000-hour work experience requirement.


A black background highlights the words , How to become a CASAC.

How to Become A CASAC: Jumpstart Your Career in Addiction Counseling with Our 350-Hour CASAC Training Program

Ready to make a difference?

EECOs 350-hour OASAS-approved CASAC training program is your gateway to becoming a champion in the fight against addiction.

With a curriculum designed by experts, this program is tailored for those who have a passion for helping others and a commitment to professional excellence.


Why Choose Our CASAC Training Program?

  • Expert-designed curriculum: Dive into a wide range of critical topics, from the fundamentals of addiction counseling to advanced techniques in treatment and recovery.
  • Flexible Learning Options: Our program accommodates your busy schedule, offering flexible hours so you can balance your education with your personal and professional life.
  • Dynamic Learning Environment: Engage with interactive sessions and real-world scenarios that prepare you for the challenges and rewards of addiction counseling.
  • Dedicated Support: Benefit from ongoing support and guidance from seasoned professionals dedicated to your success in the program and beyond.

Educational Enhancement has an easier way for you to be working in the field in as little as 6 months. OASAS approves our addiction counselor certificate programs in NYS, GACA, the ADACBGA in Georgia, and NAADAC for drug counselor credential renewal in 50 states.

This new drug counseloris glad he learned how to become a CASAC because he enjoys working with clients and helping them learn about harm reduction and recovery.

Clinical Supervision Explained


As part of the CASAC certification process, you must complete at least 300 hours of Supervised Practical Training.

This training involves working under the supervision of a Qualified Health Professional (QHP) and covers the 12 Core Functions of addiction counseling.


These core functions include

  • screening,
  • intake,
  • orientation,
  • assessment,
  • evaluation,
  • intervention,
  • referral,
  • treatment planning,
  • counseling,
  • crisis intervention,
  • patient education,
  • case management,
  • reporting and record-keeping, and
  • consultation with other professionals.

Choosing a CACREP-Accredited Program


When pursuing a career in addiction counseling, choosing a program accredited by OASAS is beneficial.

OASAS accreditation ensures that the program meets the highest quality standards and focuses on professional counseling rather than psychology or education.

OASAS-accredited programs in addiction counseling prepare individuals to work with those affected by various addictive behaviors.

These programs cover treatment models, prevention strategies, and the phases of addiction, including recovery and relapse prevention.

The OASAS-accredited program can enhance your chances of field success and meet the licensure requirements.


CASAC Examination and Continuing Education


To become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor, you must pass the IC&RC Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors.

This computer-based exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and is offered every week. Adequate preparation is essential, and OASAS recommends familiarizing yourself with various aspects of addiction counseling, including different models and theories, treatment options, and ethical considerations.

Once you obtain your CASAC certification, you must renew it every three years. As part of the renewal process, you must complete at least 60 clock hours of continuing professional education from approved providers.

These education hours can be obtained through accredited colleges, universities, government authorities, and nationally recognized professional organizations.

Career Path Options and Associations


As a CASAC, you have various career paths in addiction counseling.

Some potential job titles include

  • Addiction Counselor,
  • Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor,
  • Behavioral Health Specialist,
  • Certified Addiction Drug and Alcohol Counselor,
  • Chemical Dependency Counselor and
  • Substance Abuse Counselor.


These roles can be found in various settings, including mental health centers, detox centers, hospitals, halfway houses, probation and parole agencies, juvenile detention facilities, and prisons.

Associations such as the Association for Addiction Professionals of New York (AAPNY) provide support and resources for addiction counselors.

AAPNY is the state affiliate of NAADAC and represents over 100,000 addiction professionals in the United States.

Joining professional associations can offer networking opportunities, continuing education resources, and a sense of community within the field.


Embracing the Journey Towards Becoming a CASAC


Embarking on the journey to becoming a CASAC is a significant commitment and a rewarding and fulfilling path.

By completing the necessary education, training, and certification requirements, you can make a real difference in the lives of individuals struggling with addiction.

Remember, the road may have challenges, but you can become a trusted and effective addiction counselor with dedication, compassion, and the right resources.

Banner for our CASAC Online 350-hour OASAS approved addiction counselor course.

Embrace Effective Change! 

Why Choose Our CASAC Training Program?

  • Expert-designed curriculum: Dive into a wide range of critical topics, from the fundamentals of addiction counseling to advanced techniques in treatment and recovery.
  • Flexible Learning Options: Our program accommodates your busy schedule, offering flexible hours so you can balance your education with your personal and professional life.
  • Dynamic Learning Environment: Engage with interactive sessions and real-world scenarios that prepare you for the challenges and rewards of addiction counseling.
  • Dedicated Support: Benefit from ongoing support and guidance from seasoned professionals dedicated to your success in the program and beyond.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Fundamentals of Addiction Counseling: Gain a solid foundation in the principles and practices of effective addiction counseling.
  • Ethical Standards and Professionalism: Uphold the highest ethical standards and foster a professional demeanor that commands respect and trust.
  • Comprehensive Treatment Planning: Develop personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of individuals on their road to recovery.
  • Crisis Intervention Techniques: Learn to navigate critical situations and provide immediate, life-saving interventions confidently.

Empower Your Career and Your Community:

  • Make a Tangible Impact: Use your skills to transform lives and create positive change in your community.
  • Fulfill a Growing Need: Step into a field where demand for qualified professionals continues to rise, ensuring your expertise is both valued and vital.
  • Join a Network of Professionals: Connect with like-minded individuals and professionals who share your passion for making a difference.

Take the First Step Today: Don’t let another day pass without taking action.

Enroll in our CASAC training program and take the first step toward a rewarding career as an addiction counseling professional.

Your journey to becoming a beacon of hope and a pillar of support in the fight against addiction starts here.


Additional Resources and Support


Throughout your journey towards becoming a CASAC, seeking additional resources and support is crucial.

The field of addiction counseling is ever-evolving, and staying up-to-date with the latest research, treatment approaches, and best practices is essential.

Consider attending conferences, workshops, and seminars related to addiction counseling to expand your knowledge and connect with fellow professionals.

Additionally, contacting experienced addiction counselors, mentors, and supervisors can provide valuable guidance and support.

Learning from those who have already navigated the path to becoming a CASAC can offer insights, advice, and encouragement when facing challenges.

Taking the First Steps


Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of becoming a CASAC, it’s time to take the first steps toward your rewarding career in addiction counseling.

You can start by researching accredited programs, training opportunities, and certification requirements in your area.

Contact local counseling organizations and professionals to gain insights into the field and learn about their experiences.

Becoming a CASAC requires dedication, ongoing learning, and a genuine passion for helping others.

Embrace the journey, stay committed to your professional development, and never underestimate the positive impact you can make in the lives of individuals struggling with addiction.

You have the potential to be a guiding light on their path to recovery.

We believe in you and your ability to become a compassionate and effective CASAC.


Your Future Awaits

With our comprehensive training program, you’re not just pursuing a certificate; you’re unlocking a lifetime of opportunities to foster healing and hope.

By enrolling today, take charge of your future and prepare to become a certified addiction counseling professional.

Become a CASAC Today

Transform lives, including your own. 

You can become a CASAC-T in 4-6 months with our 350-hour CASAC training program now and start your journey toward a meaningful and impactful career in addiction counseling.

Your skills are needed more than ever.

Join us and become the change you wish to see in the world.

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