Overview of Substance Abuse Counseling in Oregon
Back in 2020, faced with a growing number of people with substance use disorders (SUDs), Oregon adopted a controversial initiative. It legalized the possession of small amounts of various drugs with the intention of encouraging people suffering from SUDs to seek treatment instead of going to jail. While drug arrests decreased, substance misuse and drug overdose deaths did not.
Most experts now agree that Measure 110 did little to help address the state's public health issue. Lawmakers and officials are looking for alternative solutions, and many feel that providing more long-term rehabilitation and other treatment services may be the answer. The state recognizes that substance use counseling, in conjunction with other approaches, has produced positive long-term results. This evolving perspective may generate more job opportunities for licensed addiction counselors in the future.
Not enough options for you here? You'll find even more choices 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 Oregon
What Can You Do With a Substance Use Counselor Degree in Oregon?
Of the many job opportunities available to Oregon graduates of traditional and online substance abuse counseling degree programs, perhaps the most common career goal is to work as a licensed addiction counselor. Depending on the level of college education you've completed, you may qualify for one of the three levels of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) licensure.
To provide more context for this career path, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a mean annual salary of $60,980 for the combined 7,080 substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health therapists currently working in Oregon. ProjectionsCentral predicts a significant 26.8% increase in substance abuse counseling jobs in the state between 2020 and 2030.
A bachelor's degree in substance abuse counseling also qualifies you for nonclinical roles, such as community health worker or health education specialist. With these jobs, you will most likely work in a state or local government agency or a nonprofit organization. Over time, your experience may allow you to move into management, which may feature a higher salary.
How Do I Become a Substance Use Counselor in Oregon?
The Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO) oversees substance abuse counseling certification in this state. This agency has established the steps for becoming a substance use counselor in Oregon, and it issues and monitors the three levels of certification:
- For the Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor I (CADC I) credential, you'll need an associate degree, and your program must have included at least 150 hours, or 10 courses, in the primary functions of an addiction counselor. You'll also need documentation of 1,000 hours of supervised work experience and a passing score on the NCAC I Exam administered by the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC).
- To qualify as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II (CADC II), you need to have earned a bachelor's degree. Your transcripts must show that you've completed at least 300 hours, or 20 courses, in addiction counseling. You'll also need documentation of 4,000 hours of supervised work experience and passing scores on two exams — the NCAC II Exam and the state's jurisprudence ethics exam.
- To become a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor III (CADC III), you'll need a master's degree or doctorate in addiction counseling or a similar clinical subject. Your transcripts must show that you've completed at least 300 hours, or 20 courses, in addiction counseling. You'll also need documentation of 6,000 hours of supervised work experience and passing scores on two exams — the MAC Exam and the state's jurisprudence ethics exam.
Oregon requires all associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees to be earned at institutionally accredited schools. If you're considering earning a master's degree, you may be interested in our ranked lists of the best online substance abuse counseling master's programs and the most affordable online substance abuse counseling master's programs. All of the schools listed on our website have earned institutional accreditation.
All three levels of certification must be renewed every two years, which requires the completion of 40 hours of continuing education. Of these, three hours must be spent on ethics training and two hours on tobacco dependence.
Does Oregon Have Reciprocity for Substance Use Counselors?
Yes, Oregon offers reciprocity for certified addiction professionals from other states. If you're interested in offering face-to-face, telephone, and online substance abuse counseling in Oregon and you've met similar NAADAC or IC&RC licensing requirements in other states, you may be able to transfer your credential to Oregon without any additional education or training. However, you will probably need to pass Oregon's written jurisprudence ethics exam.
How Long Does It Take to Become A Drug and Alcohol Counselor in Oregon?
The amount of time it takes to become a drug and alcohol counselor in Oregon can vary significantly due to several factors. First, it depends on which level of substance abuse counseling certification you hope to achieve and how many years you need to complete your education. Accounting for both full-time and part-time studies, this may take anywhere from two to eight years. You may also need as many as three additional years of full-time employment to fulfill the requirement for supervised work experience.