Alcohol and Drug Counselor Specialization (ADCS)
Alcohol and Drug Counselor Specialization (ADCS) for MSSWs
...preparing social work students for careers and certification in chemical dependency counseling
Substance abuse is widely recognized as one of the top health and economic problems in the USA—attracting widespread attention. While there are many specialized treatment methods that are known to reduce or eliminate substance abuse, there is an identified shortage of qualified addiction counselors to skillfully implement these treatments.
(1) are among the most common of all mental disorders;
(2) are the most prevalent of all disorders among males;
(3) affect over half of all adult mental health, child welfare, and criminal justice populations;
(4) are a primary factor contributing to the spread of violence, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted diseases, and incarceration;
(5) are present in over 20% of all families and cost the family over $6,000 per year;
(6) account for over 50% of all felonies and prison sentences; and
(7) cost the US public over $248 billion per year.
Need for Specialized Knowledge and Skills:
Fortunately, there is a large body of addiction treatment research evidence spanning several decades that has identified certain treatment and case-management methods that work, and others that do not. Thus, effective treatment of substance abuse requires specialized clinical and case management knowledge and skills. In Kentucky, the burgeoning cost of incarcerating addicted felons has led to the realization that the use of research supported treatment and case management practices are much more cost effective than incarceration, the latter demonstrating no effect on abstinence. Passed into law in 2011, Kentucky House Bill 463, for the first time, moves criminal justice funding to treatment of substance-use disorders.
ADCS student benefits:
Students who prepare themselves for a career in addiction counseling have a better chance of employment in the field and satisfy some requirements of the CADC. Past students have reported that the ADCS provides a competitive advantage when applying for substance abuse jobs, and that it is viewed as a plus in all counseling interviews, given that substance abuse is a major factor adversely affecting most social work populations.
Some of the Kentucky CADC requirements are satisfied while completing requirements of the ADCS and ADCT programs.
Requirements of the KY CADC certification:
Students interested in the CADC certification program are responsible for understanding all requirements of the CADC program in your state (see disclaimer). The ADCS program was designed to fit with KY CADC requirements published on the Alcohol and Drug Counselors web site at http://adc.ky.gov/. For a summary of current KY state CADC requirements, we recommend that you locate and review the current application for a CADC. Note: The ADCS does not satisfy all requirements of the CADC. Students are responsible for verifying the current requirements and remaining current on changes in the CADC requirements (see disclaimer).
Enrollment: The ADCS is awarded to Kent School students, concurrent with the award of their MSSW degree. Kent graduates or other post bachelor students who wish to take ADCS courses, should contact the Kent School student enrollment staff or the program Director listed at the bottom of this page about current status of enrollment in classes. There are three requirements for completing the ADCS program:
Required classes and availability:
In addition to the normal requirements of the MSSW program, students must receive a grade of a “B” or better on the three ADCS core classes taken in any order (no prerequisites).
Class hour requirements for the CADC:
These classes satisfy 180 classroom hours towards completion of the CADC substance abuse specific classroom hours. In recent years, the Kentucky CADC board has accepted practice and HBSW classes that will complete the total of 270 class hour requirement. Also, SW661 includes CADC training requirements for Ethics (6 hours) and HIV (2 hours) as well as KY licensing requirements for 12 hours of case management training.
Notification of anticipated completion and graduation:
Students who are completing the requirements of the ADCS are required to notify the student services offices when they file for graduation. This allows us to verify completion of ADCS requirements and insures award if certificates.
Related contact information and links
Rick Cloud, Ph.D., Director of ADCS and ADCT programs: Phone 502-299-1385 or email Rick
Patrick McKiernan, CADC, PhD, Co-Director of ADCT and ADCT programs: Email Patrick
Martha Fuller, Director of MSSW Field Education: Email Martha
The University is not affiliated with any CADC board, and cannot be held responsible for errors or inaccuracies that may exist in this document. The student is responsible for working with their respective CADC state board in completing requirements and applying for this credential. In Kentucky, the student must verify any information related to the process of obtaining a CADC at http://adc.ky.gov/. Approval for hours of supervision, and classroom hours are based upon prior board member statements and approvals. However, the CADC laws and regulations are subject to interpretation and change without notice. For these and other reasons, the Kent School of Social Work nor the University of Louisville can warrant or guarantee accuracy of this CADC information or approval of their requirements.