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Learn the steps, requirements, and regulations for becoming a Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor.

Become an SUD Counselor

CADTP is one of three SUD counselor certifying organizations recognized by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS), Licensing and Certification Division (LCD).   As required in the regulations, all certifying agencies are currently accredited by the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE), a part of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Substance Use Disorder Counselor Certification is required by law for all those who provide counseling services in any program that is licensed or certified by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). (California Code of Regulations, Title 9, Section 13000, et seq., as effective on April 1, 2005). The regulations are available at

To be eligible for CADTP registration you must reside in California at least 51% of the time. If you provide an out-of-state license or out-of-state mailing address, we will require proof of state residency (effective 8/1/2023)

Before being employed as a counselor in a DHCS licensed or certified program an applicant must register as a Substance Use Disorder Registered Counselor (SUDRC) by completing the Registration Application along with the following:

All registrants are required to renew annually. For renewal requirements go here: Renewal Requirements.

Applicants will have five years from the date of being registered as a SUD counselor to complete the following:

  • 315 hours of formal SUD specific education
  • 255 hours of supervised SUD training as a substance use disorder counselor (effective for initial registration registrations on or after 11/1/2021)
  • 2,080 hours of SUD counseling work experience
  • Passing the IC&RC Exam (for more information on the exam click HERE)

View in-depth Exam and Certification Requirements HERE

Start Here

Preview and download all the forms, handbooks, and guidelines you need to get started on your career as an SUD Counselor.

Initial Registration Application

Complete the Registration Application as your first step to becoming a registered SUD Counselor.

Certification Candidate Handbook

The information you need to become a certified SUD Counselor.

Exam and Certification Application

Complete this application when you are ready to take the exam.

Practicum Verification Form

Practicum experience documentation for becoming a certified SUD Counselor.

Work Hours Verification Form

Work hours documentation for becoming a certified SUD Counselor.

Education Review

Complete this application if you would like to have your education reviewed prior to submitting your certification application.

Code of Ethics

Initial and sign the Code of Ethics document.

TAP 21

A SAMHSA technical assistance publication. Addiction counseling competency. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professional practice.

Exam Retake Application

If you have failed your exam you must wait a period of 90 days before you can apply to retake the exam.

"No-Show" Exam Application

If you have missed your scheduled exam date

Exam and Certification Requirements

Become a Certified SUD Counselor (SUDCC)

CADTP Certification Levels

Explore the Requirements for each Certification Levels below. View and Download the entire list here: CADTP Certification Levels.


  • In accordance with HSC Section 11833(b)(1), any individual who provides counseling services in a licensed or certified DHCS AOD program, except for licensed professionals, must be registered or certified with a DHCS approved certifying organization.
  • Registration is not equivalent to and is not an alternative to certification. Once registered the requirements for certification must be completed within five years, with an exception of a requested and approved personal hardship extension of an additional two (2) years.


SUDCC II-CS - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Clinical Supervisor

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ 315 hours of formal SUD education,
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience with at least 2 years of experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors

⇒ 40 hours of clinical supervisor education courses


SUDCC III-CS – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor (effective 1/1/19 all former CAODC-CS counselors will be transferred to the SUDCC III-CS upon renewal)

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Bachelor’s degree in SUD-related education
⇒ 5-years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience which includes 2 years’ experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors
⇒ Completed 40 hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education



SUDCC - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ 315 hours of formal SUD education

255 hours of supervised SUD training/practicum
⇒ 2080 hours of SUD related work experience


SUDCC III - Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Bachelor’s Level Education

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Bachelor’s degree in SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience.


SUDCC IV – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor – Advanced Experience and Master's Level Education

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Master’s degree in formal SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience


SUDCC IV-CS – Substance Use Disorder Certified Counselor Clinical Supervisor

⇒ Passed the IC&RC Exam
⇒ Master’s degree in formal SUD related education
⇒ 5 years or 10,000 hours of SUD work experience which includes 2 years’ experience in the direct supervision of SUD Counselors.
⇒ Completed 40-hours of Clinical Supervisor specific education

Registrants pathway to SUD Counselor Certificaiton

Learn About Pathways

CADTP is happy to introduce Pathways, a dynamic and empowering feature designed exclusively for you through our digital credential platform, Accredible. Welcome to a chapter in your professional journey as a CADTP counselor!

Approved SUD Education

Explore schools and universities that offer SUD education.

Dr. Jessica Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez was named the Executive Director of Gateway Corp in 2012.  Gateway Corp was developed as a non-profit, public charity and founded October 27, 2011. November 2014, she developed a clinical hub for Gateway Corp called OnSite Strategies. OnSite is also a United States Trademark.

She has held the position of CEO, Clinical Director, Lead Educator and Clinical Trainer as well as the Clinical Business Developer. She has fulfilled the roles of a clinical consultant, professional development consultant and has clinically supervised many SUD/addiction counselors, mental health professionals and addiction and family interventionists for over 12 years.

She has been active in the mental health field since 1995. She has also clinically trained throughout the US and provides clinical oversight for several organizations in California.

Dr. Rodriguez released her first book, “When the Rainbow Ends a Shadow from Heaven Appears” in 2017.” Her newest book, “The Cart, From Adversity to Collateral Beauty” is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2022.

Dr. Rodriguez is currently a writer for Rapporteur Magazine. Her focus is about Mental Wellness also covered topics to include ACE’s, trauma, anxiety, and Systemic Racism.

Adriana Popescu, Ph.D.

Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addictions and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Founder and CEO of Firebird Healing, a trauma healing program, and the Clinical Director at Avery Lane, an innovative and holistic treatment program for women with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders and trauma.

Adriana has contributed to a number of books, including TJ Woodward’s Conscious Being Workbook, the Conscious Recovery for Addiction and Conscious Recovery for Mental Health Workbooks, and the Conscious Creation Workbook, all of which she co-authored with him.

She has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world speaking, coaching, and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She also hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health.

Adriana loves to bring the most innovative and effective tools to her work, empowering people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.

Her first book, “What If You’re Not as F*cked Up As You Think”, was released in October.

Aven Armstrong-Sutton, Ph.D(c), RSW

Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services

Aven L. Armstrong-Sutton has been a practicing licensed social worker for over a decade. With diverse experience in settings such as health promotion, foster care, youth homelessness, outpatient mental health & addictions, and student support services, Aven currently serves as a Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services, managing a Live-In-Treatment Program and three outpatient treatment programs. Maintaining a part-time private practice, Aven’s multidisciplinary and integrative approach focuses on trauma and resilience among under-served communities.

June Price Tangney, Ph.D

Dr. Tangney received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA. She is currently University Professor and Professor of Psychology at George Mason. She is a Recipient of International Society for Self and Identity’s Distinguished Lifetime Career Award and Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science and of APA’s Division of Personality and Social Psychology.

Dr. Tangney is coauthor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame and Guilt, coeditor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame in the Therapy Hour, coeditor (with Jess Tracy and Richard Robins) of The self-conscious emotions: Theory and research, and coeditor (with Mark Leary) of the Handbook of Self and Identity. She has served as Associate Editor for Self and Identity, Consulting Editor for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Assessment, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Personality, and is currently Associate Editor of American Psychologist.

Her research on the development and implications of moral emotions has been funded by NIDA, NICHD, NSF, and the John Templeton Foundation. Currently, her work focuses on moral emotions among incarcerated offenders. She draws on theory and research in psychology and criminology to develop novel interventions that leverage inmates’ moral emotions and prosocial values. A recipient of GMU’s Teaching Excellence Award, Dr. Tangney strives to integrate service, teaching and clinically-relevant research in both the classroom and her lab.

Christina Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN

Founder and Director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition

Christina T. Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN, is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition, which teaches practitioners around the world how to use diet, along with amino acid and nutrient therapy, to help prevent cravings and recurrent drug use. She has been a licensed psychotherapist working in the SUD treatment field since 1985 and a certified nutritionist specializing in mental health and addiction recovery since 1993.

Sean Bezdek, LMFT, MBA

Sean is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience working in mental health and substance abuse settings, in inpatient, PHP, and private practice. He holds b a master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Philips Institute and an MBA from Baker College.

Sean’s clinical practice has specialized in working with Personality Disorders, Couples, Adolescents, and individual suffering from chronic mental illness. As a clinician Sean enjoys working with clients who can be resistant to traditional treatment and believes in the philosophy of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. BUT you can feed them saltines to make them thirsty!”

Sean is the Program Director for Akua Mind Body’s Sacramento inpatient mental health program. His prior leadership experience includes oversight of acute inpatient, utilization management, hospice/palliative care, home health and skilled nursing. Sean’s approach to management is to ensure the work that needs to get done gets done. “Our job is patient care. This include everything from making coffee to running groups. There is not one person who is more important that the other when it comes to providing exceptional care to the clients we serve.”