New Mexico  Credentialing Board for Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc. 

Alcohol and drug counselors provide counseling people who experience addiction as well as other related behavioral problems.  They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addition or modify problems behaviors.

Alcohol and drug counselors, also called substance abuse counselor, chemical dependency counselors, and addiction counselors, work with clients both one-on-one and in group settings.  Many incorporate the principles of Twelve Step Facilitation, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Motivation Interviewing, and other evidence-based practices to guide their practice. They teach clients how to manage their addiction and provide them strategies to help with their recovery.

Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and if necessary, reestablish their career.  They also help clients to improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problems with family and friends.

The CADC is a reciprocal level credential with the IC&RC.  This means that you may transfer the credential to other IC&RC states that offer this credential.

Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor requirements

Applicant must live and/or work at least 51% of the time within the state of New Mexico.  Minimum education required is a high school diploma or equivalent.  Verification must be submitted.

  • Experience:  3 years/6000 hours of supervised work experience specific to the AODA domains
    • An associate's degree in behavioral science may substitute for 1000 hours;
    • A bachelor's degree in behavioral science may substitute for 2000 hours;
    • A master's degree in behavioral science may substitute for 4000 hours

Five (5) years:  all addiction specific training/workshops/education must be completed within 5 years of application submission.

  • Education:  270 hours specific to the domains (see below).
    • Six hours must be specific to counselor ethics. 
    • Remaining hours must be addiction/counseling/behavioral health trainings.

College/university credits from an applicable addiction-related course may be applied.

  • One semester hour of relevant college course - 15 contact hours
  • Three semester credits are equivalent to 45 clock hours.  
  • One quarter credit is equivalent to 10 clock hours.  
  • An official transcript from the college/university is required. 
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure their trainings align with the certification requirements and IC&RC Domains as well as which specific domains are applicable to their trainings.

  • Supervision:  Verification of 300 hours of supervision specific to the domains; to include the 12 core functions with a minimum of ten hours in each core function area.  The domains are as follows:
    • Screening, Assessment, and Engagement
    • Treatment Planning, Collaboration, and Referral
    • Counseling
    • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities 

  • Reference:  Three (3) letter of recommendation from supervisors, colleagues/peer and an outside agency.  These letters must be sent with the application.  The letter should document the character, professionalism and competency of the applicant.


  • Code of Ethics:  Applicants must sign a code of ethics statement & statement of understanding.


  • Testing:  Applicants will demonstrate knowledge and skills based on the domains and the twelve core functions of counseling by passing the IC&RC CBT exam.  Computer-based testing is available in the state of New Mexico.

  • Fees:  $55 for Application Review      $160 for ADC Exam        $160 for retesting.  Fees are non-refundable

  • Re-certification: Forty (40) hours of continuing education earned every two years, including 6 hours must be in Professional Ethics and Responsibility.

You can download the CADC application for review and gather all document before applying online using Certemy. 

​Practice exams were developed to mimic IC&RC Computer Base Testing platform to enhance a candidate's preparation experience.  Candidates have 60 minutes to complete the 50 question practice exam.  At the completion of each practice exam, candidates are provided with a score report detailing their performance based on the various content areas of the examination.  See practice exams here.  

IC&RC ADC Candidate Guide


Alcohol and Drug Counselor