Addictions Specialist (Graduate Certificate)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have personal experience with chemical dependency or treatment to become an addiction counselor?

No. The science and practice of counseling individuals and groups who are affected by addiction requires advanced education and training in counseling and in understanding addiction and treatment. Personal experience with substance abuse, chemical addiction or treatment does not make a person more qualified to effectively counsel individuals affected by chemical addiction than a person without personal experience.

Can I work as an addiction counselor if I have been treated for chemical dependency?

Yes. Agencies and clinics require at least two year’s sobriety prior to placement in an internship and prior to hiring. All applicants seeking state licensure are required to sign a statement verifying a minimum of two year’s sobriety. The state of Minnesota may deny, suspend or revoke a license if an individual has “habitually overindulged in the use of or the dependence on alcohol within the past two years” and/or has engaged in the illegal use of any controlled substance within the past two years.

Applicants to St. Cloud State’s Addictions certificate program must provide written verification of one year of abstinence from drugs if chemically dependent and in recovery.

Does the certificate meet Minnesota Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC) requirements?

Yes. The certificate program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (MnBBHT), which is the state agency responsible for licensing addiction counselors. The program provides academic and supervised, experiential training intended to prepare individuals for the Minnesota LADC licensure examination.

Can my previous work or volunteer experience count toward certificate requirements?

No. Students are required to complete all prerequisite and core courses and the supervised internship.

Connect with SCSU