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Requirements to be a Substance Abuse Counselor in the State of Missouri

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There are five levels of substance abuse counselor certifications in the state of Missouri: Recognized Associate Substance Abuse Counselor I & II, Certified Substance Counselor I & II, and Certified Advanced Substance Abuse Counselor. Each certification level has increasing requirements for education and experience. All certification applications and documentation must be submitted to the Missouri Substance Abuse Counselors Certification Board, located in Jefferson, Missouri.

Prerequisites

Each level of certification for substance abuse counselors in the state of Missouri requires the applicant to fulfill a few identical prerequisites. Each applicant must have a high school diploma or GED equivalent; she must also complete a State of Missouri Caregiver Background Screening and submit three letters of recommendation.

Recognized Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (RASAC I)

Individuals seeking the RASAC I certification are required to submit a counselor development plan. They must have accrued at least 160 hours of employment within the 10 years prior to submitting their certification application, as well as completed three hours of live ethics courses. The ethics courses must have been completed in a face-to-face classroom setting; home study or online courses will not be accepted.

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Recognized Associate Substance Abuse Counselor (RASAC II)

Missouri state residents seeking the RASAC II certification need to have more education and experience than individuals seeking the RASAC I certification. They must have completed 2,000 hours of employment within the 10 years prior to seeking certification. They must submit a counselor development plan, as well as proof of completing 90 hours of contact education. Of the 90 hours, nine hours must be in the field of substance abuse ethics, 30 hours must be related to substance abuse and 30 hours must have been completed within the year prior to applying for certification. Applicants are also required to have completed 400 hours of supervised practicum.

Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC I)

Applicants for this level of certification are required to have completed at least 4,000 hours of work experience in the 10 years prior to applying. They must have 180 hours of education, including nine hours of ethics concerning substance abuse, 45 hours of training specifically relevant to substance abuse and 45 hours of education in the area of counseling. Of the 90-hour requirement, 60 hours must have been completed within the two years prior to applying for certification. Applicants must also pass a written examination, submit a written case study and present a case presentation method, as well as complete 1,000 hours of supervised practicum.

Certified Substance Abuse Counselor II (CSAC II)

Individuals applying to be certified abuse counselors at this level are required to have had 6,000 hours of employment within the 10 years prior to seeking certification. They must have 270 hours of education, including nine hours of substance abuse ethics, 45 hours of counseling training and 45 hours of training in substance abuse. Of the 270 hours, 60 must have been completed in the past two years. Applicants are also required to submit proof of completing 1,800 hours of supervised practicum; if not completed at the CSAC I level, CSAC II applicants must complete a written examination, a case presentation method and a written case study.

Certified Advance Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC)

Applicants for the advance substance abuse counselor certification in the state of Missouri must have a master's degree in one of the human services behavioral sciences. Applicants are also required to have completed 4,000 hours of employment prior to seeking certification. They must have a total of 180 hours of education, including 45 hours of counseling, 45 hours of substance abuse training and nine hours of substance abuse ethics. Of the 180 hours, 60 must have been completed within the past two years. Applicants must also have 300 hours of supervised practicum, and pass a written examination. If not previously completed, applicants have to submit a written case study and a written presentation method.

About the Author

Oubria Tronshaw specializes in topics related to parenting and business. She received a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Chicago State University. She currently teaches English at Harper Community College in the Chicago area.

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