International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium

Alcohol & Drug Counselor (ADC) 

A Credential That Changes Lives & Your Career

“Counselors who treat people with substance use disorders do life-changing work on a daily basis. The diversity of backgrounds and types of preparation can be a strength, provided there is a common foundation from which counselors work. Workforce development is essential to the field of substance use disorder treatment.”

- U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

The Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) credential is IC&RC’s most widely recognized credential. It is the basis of the mandated credential or license in many jurisdictions.

The ADC credential is designed to be an entry-level credential and covers the basics of addiction counseling.

Earning the ADC:

The ADC is not available in all jurisdictions and requirements, application processes, and fees will vary.

Specific questions about pursuing an ADC credential should be directed to your local board.

You can find contact information for each IC&RC board, along with the IC&RC credentials offered, in our Member Board Directory. 

Examination information:

Number of questions: 150

Time to take exam: 3 hours

Content on exam:

  • Screening, Assessment, and Engagement
  • Treatment Planning, Collaboration, and Referral
  • Counseling
  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

More details about the ADC examination, administration, content, and reference materials can be found in the ADC Candidate Guide and on the Examination Preparation page. 

Exam Preparation

IC&RC has developed a Candidate Guide, practice exams, and endorsed study guide for professionals preparing for the Alcohol & Drug Counselor Examination.  More information is available on the Exam Preparation page.

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