The first key difference between the Licensed Alcohol Drug Abuse Counselor (LADC) and the Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (CADC) exams is the required formal education level required for exam eligibility. For the LADC, an advanced degree may be required, while CADC certification applicants can submit for eligibility with a High School Diploma/GED and coursework that satisfies eligibility.
The second and more important difference is national reciprocity. While the CADC has achieved national certification and international accreditation, the LADC does not have interstate recognition due to a lack of a universal definition. The result is no LADC reciprocity between interstate providers, employers, and service recipients. In contrast, a counselor with a CADC is eligible to be employed and provide services within any state, and in most cases, meets a global standard of competency.
In summary, both provide access to professional employment within the field of substance recovery services. This includes eligibility to gain employment through third part reimbursement while working under the scope and supervision of a Department of Public Health Licensed Detoxification or Outpatient Program. Employment can be found throughout the continuum of care, including residential, inpatient, hospital, detoxification unit, outreach center, sober living, and clinical case management.
The disparities lie in the reduced education requirements and the state and national reciprocity of the certifications, both of which favor the CADC.
Fall 1986: CAADAC is granted reciprocity with 24 other states for certified counselors by the Certification Reciprocity Consortium.
Spring 1986: Federal standards are finalized and the National Commission begins accrediting credentialing bodies. A roster of accredited state credentialing bodies begins to secure third party reimbursement.
CAADAC lobbies and initiates legislation for recognition of certified alcohol counselors. CAADAC’s membership has increased to 1200 members.
CAADAC separates the certification process to the autonomous CCBADC and establishes new standards which meet national standards.
Fall 1987: CCBADC granted full charter accreditation by NCAADAACB.
October, 1987: ICRC/AODA approved combined alcohol and other drug credential. ICRC membership now totals 30 states.
November, 1999: ICRC/AODA now totals 60 member boards, including 7 countries, 7 Indian Health Services, 5 branches of US Armed Services, 41 States, the Administrative Office of the Courts of the United States and the World Federation of Therapeutic Communities.
April 1, 2005: CAADAC is named as one of 10 certifying organizations recognized by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs for the purpose of conferring certificates to professionals working in ADP licensed or certified facilities.
Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification/CADC:
Massachusetts LADC Licensing Requirements:
Certificate in Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counseling (ONLINE PROGRAM) through CCE at Assumption College