Independent Substance Abuse CounselorIndependent Substance Abuse Counselors treat clients for addiction to alcohol and drugs. Most states have a multi-tiered system for Substance Abuse Counselor licenses. The difference between the license levels is a reflection of the professional's education, training and work experience. Independent Substance Abuse Counselor would be the highest level ("Independent" meaning the professional can provide counseling services without the supervision of another counselor). In addition to providing substance abuse counseling services, these professionals are also charged with training and supervising the lower license levels. States use several different titles for the same profession including Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Addiction Counselor.
Licensure as an Independent Substance Abuse Counselor requires a Master's degree or higher in substance abuse counseling or a related field, passage of a licensure exam and supervised work experience of between 2000 and 3000 hours. This work experience is above and beyond the work experience required for licensure at lower levels (often 1000 to 3000 hours).