Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling in Nevada
While most states in the nation have seen dramatic increases in the number of substance use disorder cases and drug-related deaths in recent years, Nevada actually saw a slight decline in these statistics in 2021 and 2022. However, that doesn't mean the Silver State is free of problems. Marijuana, methamphetamines, opioids, and cocaine are widely available, and a growing number of these drugs contain the deadly additive called fentanyl.
Community leaders from all parts of the state have started holding annual summit meetings to discuss issues, propose solutions, and share best practices. Together, they're exploring the most effective options for prevention and treatment. One of the state's most important initiatives is to ensure that all substance abuse program staff are licensed drug and alcohol counselors, which means more job opportunities for trained professionals.
Is earning an online bachelor's degree the next step for you? Discover your options on our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling programs, the most affordable online substance abuse counseling programs, and the best online counseling programs.
FAQs About Substance Use Counseling Degrees in Nevada
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Nevada?
Whether you've elected to earn a traditional or online substance abuse counseling degree, you'll be prepared for several different career opportunities in Nevada.
If providing substance abuse counseling in Nevada is your career goal, you'll need a bachelor's degree to qualify as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC). This credential will allow you to provide counseling services in the state. However, if you want to advance to higher-paying roles in this field, you'll need a master's degree to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) or a Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC).
However, you may be more interested in nonclinical roles that don't require licensure. For example, you could work in a government agency or nonprofit organization as a community health worker or health education specialist. These jobs allow you to help people in your community by overseeing various kinds of educational or treatment programs. As you gain experience over time, you may decide to move into management, which is likely to offer a higher salary.
How Much Does a Substance Abuse Counselor Make in Nevada?
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide a mean salary specifically for addiction counselors in this state, it does report a mean annual salary of $64,890 for all substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health therapists in Nevada. As of May 2022, there were 1,220 of these professionals at work in the state, and ProjectionsCentral predicts a substantial 26.3% increase in substance abuse and mental health counseling jobs between 2020 and 2030.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Nevada?
In Nevada, the State Board of Examiners for Alcohol, Drug, and Gambling Counselors is the agency that determines the steps for becoming a substance use counselor and issues the appropriate licenses.
Nevada's substance abuse counseling credentialing system offers four levels of counseling licensure and certification. In each case, you'll need to apply and then complete an internship before you're granted full certification or licensure. You have a maximum of five years from the date of application to serve your internship and fulfill the remaining requirements.
The following is a brief explanation of the requirements for each level:
- To become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor Intern (CADC-I), you must have completed at least 60 credits toward a bachelor's degree in counseling or a similar behavioral science. You'll also need to complete 1,500-4,000 hours of supervised work experience, depending on how many college credits you've earned. CADC-Is are only permitted to provide counseling services and treatment under the supervision of an approved supervisor.
- If you'd like to become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), you'll need a bachelor's degree in addiction counseling or a related field. Depending on how many practicum hours you accumulated during your studies, you may need to accumulate an additional 1,500-4,000 hours of supervised work experience. After completing your internship, you can then sit for the AADC Exam offered by the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), as well as an oral exam with the state licensing board.
- To qualify as a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC), you'll need to meet all of the same requirements as those listed for a CADC, except that you'll need a master's degree in counseling or a similar behavioral science.
- Finally, to obtain the highest level of licensure, which is the Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC), you need a master's degree or doctorate in a clinical behavioral science, such as counseling. You'll also need to complete 2,000 hours of supervised clinical work experience. For final approval, you'll need to pass three exams: the IC&RC AADC Exam, the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, and an oral exam with the state licensing board. LCADCs are permitted to provide counseling for all types of mental illness in addition to treating substance use disorders.
Nevada requires all undergraduate and graduate degrees to be earned at institutionally accredited colleges and universities. If you have not yet earned your master's degree, you may be interested in our lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's degrees and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's degrees. All of the schools listed on our website have earned institutional accreditation.
CADC, LADC, and LCADC certificates and licenses must be renewed every two years. To renew your credential, you'll need documentation showing that you've completed 40 hours of continuing education. Of these, three hours must be spent on ethics training.
Does Nevada Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Nevada offers reciprocity for some addiction professionals who provide in-person, telephone, and online substance abuse counseling in other states. Certified counselors who've met licensing requirements similar to those in Nevada may qualify for CADC or LADC certification without any further training or testing.