Does Every Counselor at Recovery Centers in Florida Need a License to Practice?

When you check-in to a rehab in Florida, you want to know that you’re in good hands. Addiction treatment requires sensitive, compassionate counselors who understand the struggles people face and how to tackle the underlying causes of substance abuse.

In Florida, rehab counselors need a license to treat addiction. There are three different types of substance abuse counselors in Florida:

  • Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS)
  • Certified Addiction Counselors (CAC)
  • Certified Addiction Professionals (CAP)

Each “level” of addiction counseling has its own requirements, but every individual who has passed their licensing exam is qualified to offer treatment to people in rehab. In many cases, you will work with different types of counselors and mental health experts to come up with an effective treatment plan.

Some counselors have a college degree, while others may be a doctor. Every counselor has undergone different training and education, but they are all committed to helping people at rehab overcome addiction.

Different Types of Rehab Counselors

Counselors can come from a variety of different educational backgrounds. In Florida, a person can become a Certified Addiction Specialist without a college degree if they complete 150 hours of training in multiple areas of treatment including clinical evaluation, counseling, client and family therapy and case documentation. They must also provide three letters of professional recommendation, complete 2,000 hours of supervised treatment and pass the Florida A&D exam.

Certified Addiction Counselor

Like a CAS, a CAC must complete extensive training and supervised counseling before they can earn a license. Unlike a CAS, a person with a CAC license has earned at least an associate’s degree in a field of behavioral science like psychology or completed at least 4,000 hours of supervised counseling.

If someone has a high school diploma or GED, they will need to complete at least 300 hours of training. Someone with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree will need to complete 250 hours.

Certified Addiction Professional

The highest level of substance abuse counselor certification in Florida is the CAP. This person holds a bachelor’s in behavioral science and has completed at least 6,000 hours of supervised counseling.

Many CAP counselors also hold a master’s degree or PhD in psychology, counseling, social work or addiction treatment. They are highly skilled and trained in a variety of different types of therapy and treatment, and they are prepared to help people deal with substance abuse as well as mental illness, family problems, domestic abuse and more. They must pass the Florida A&D exam and the IC&RC/AODA exam.

Why You Need an Addiction Counselor

While any licensed social worker or counselor knows about addiction, rehab counselors have special training and knowledge that allows them to offer a higher level of care and more effective forms of therapy.

Addiction counseling is often broken down into different categories like personal talk therapy and group therapy. Many people who struggle with addiction also wrestle with mental health problems including depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide. Your addiction counselors may also have you work with a psychiatrist who can prescribe different medications like mood stabilizers and antidepressants.

If you have been struggling with addiction for a while, you may not even know how to make sense of your own feelings. Drugs or alcohol help numb thoughts you can’t even describe, but a counselor knows how to help you find the right words.

With the help of a professional addiction counselor, you’ll be able to learn about yourself and how addiction affects your mind and body. You’ll develop a greater sense of self-awareness that puts you in touch with your emotions and teaches you how to handle stress, sadness, anger and other uncomfortable feelings in healthier ways.

Finding the Right Rehab For You

Everyone has different needs when it comes to treatment. We want to hear your story and put you in touch with the facility that will help you change your life. From qualified medical professionals to caring counselors that will go out of their way to help you recover, we can connect you to the best Florida drug and alcohol recovery centers in your area.