The Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor


The Certified Addictions Treatment Counselor (CATC)
credential qualifies for RECIPROCITY in all states and 

is the only ladder in California that follows the SAMHSA Career Ladder/Model Scopes of Practice

Because the CATC exam is NOCA/ICE approved it qualifies for reciprocity in all states that have certification and/or licensure. CAADE accredited colleges are regionally accredited, too, so that means the coursework can be transferred to accredited universities and is portable to other states. That's especially important in states where college degrees are required for certified or licensed addiction counselors.

The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California only confers the CATC credential on individuals who have completed CAADE accredited Addiction Studies programs (or equivalent), have passed our nationally approved examination and have completed 2,240 supervised internship hours. Therefore, the CATC credential is only awarded to those counselors who have far exceeded the minimum educational requirements in California. Having the CATC credential lets potential employers know that you have met the highest standards in the state. The CATC tiered ranking system identifies individuals who have completed college degrees ranging from the A.A./A.S. to the Ph.D.

Promoting and Supporting Quality Higher Education in Addiction Studies
CAADE is on the front lines working to establish addiction counseling as a recognized discipline nationwide. The CAADE college curriculum was the model for the standardized national curriculum that has been developed and already implemented in some states. Healthcare reform will require the addiction counselor of the future to have an AA degree or higher from an accredited program that offers the nationally recognized curriculum. Faculty who teach in CAADE accredited Addiction Studies programs are preparing students to earn the only credential which will guarantee that they can be part of that future. No other certifying organization in our state can make that claim. 

The CATC is a credential which identifies the academically trained specialist who is able to facilitate behavioral change for persons affected by alcohol and other drug addictions. It signifies to employers, clients or colleagues that the person possessing this credential has completed the academic and experiential requirements for a certificate in Alcohol & Drug Studies, in a regionally accredited, CAADE approved program (or equivalent). The CATC Credential also identifies a person who has practical experience in the area of evaluation and assessment, treatment planning, pharmacology of alcohol and other drugs, cultural issues and their relevance, models of intervention, family issues, legal and ethical issues, referrals and record keeping. (All of these are the knowledge, skills, and attitudes outlined in the TAP 21). To download the new and revised TAP 21 document in Adobe Acrobat PDF format click here. You may also order a free hard copy at The CATC Tiered system now identifies CATC counselors by the degree they hold. CAADE is one of the credentialing organizations included in the State of California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs directory meeting the minimum criteria for Alcohol and Drug Counseling. Click here to see an overview of counselor certification in California.






Per the California Code of Regulations (California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 9, Division 4, Chapter 8), official registrant/counselor status must be listed on the certifying organization's searchable database for verification by employers (