This classification is viewed as the title for the addiction counselor primarily involved in providing direct alcohol and other drug abuse treatment services. This is an international credential (ADC) that is recognized throughout the world via reciprocity.


The Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC) credential is IC&RC’s most widely recognized credential. It is the basis of the mandated credential or license in many jurisdictions.

The ADC credential is designed to be an entry-level credential and covers the basics of addiction counseling.

Earning the ADC:

The ADC is not available in all jurisdictions and requirements, application processes, and fees will vary.

You can find contact information for each IC&RC board, along with the IC&RC credentials offered, in our Member Board Directory

Examination information:

Number of questions: 150

Time to take exam: 3 hours

Content on exam:

  • Screening, Assessment, and Engagement
  • Treatment Planning, Collaboration, and Referral
  • Counseling
  • Professional and Ethical Responsibilities 

Experience Requirements

Six thousand (6,000) hours (3 years fulltime) supervised work experience providing direct counseling services to addicted or alcoholic clients in a clinical setting (inpatient, outpatient, residential or private practice) is required. It must be specific to the four performance domains or the Twelve Core Functions. Such a client is a person with a diagnosis of alcohol and/or other drug abuse or dependency. Unsupervised work experience may NOT be substituted for the experience requirement. All experience must be documented.

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.

General Education Requirements

CCDC will only be available at the Bachelor's level or above.

Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor (CCDC) credentials require the minimum academic education plus minimums of specialized training in specific topics (see Addendum for acceptable topics).

Academic Requirements

  • A Bachelor's or above in counseling, health education, social work, human services, psychology or applicable field of study. MABPCB will review any exceptions.

Specialized Training and Education

Specialized training may take place in any approved setting.

  • For CCDC the minimum is 300 clock hours specific to the domains. Six of those hours must be in counselor-specific ethics.
  • In-service training is defined as "training provided within an agency by an agency employee, which has been approved by MABPCB". Training provided within an agency by an outside consultant or professional is not considered as in-service, and is measured by the same standards as other general training hours. 

In-service training maximum hours

  • For CCDC the maximum is 75 hours

Hours of education are measured at 60 minutes = 1 clock hour. College credits are measured by their hours described in official college catalogs or transcripts with a typical 3-credit course = 36 clock hours. Exceptions are evaluated on an individual basis. Education must be specifically related to the knowledge and skills necessary to perform the tasks within the IC&RC performance domains. The performance domains are assessment, counseling, case management, education and professional responsibility. Six hours of education must be in professional ethics and responsibilities. All education must be documented. Submitting course certificates, transcripts, diplomas and other documents ascertaining your professional qualifications that have been falsified (i.e., name inserted, dates changed, supervision requirements falsely reported) will render your application invalid.

Supervised Practical Training Requirements

The supervised training requirement is a minimum of 300 performance hours specific to the IC&RC domains or twelve core functions with a minimum of 10 hours in each domain or core function. Training is defined as a formal, systematic process that focuses on skill development and integration of knowledge. The training must take place in a setting where alcohol and drug counseling is being provided. The training may occur as part of eligible work experience and may be completed under more than one supervisor or agency. All training hours must be documented. The twelve core functions are screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, referral, reports and record keeping, and consultation with other professionals.

International Written Examination

The certification board must require all applicants to pass the IC&RC ADC written examination.

Code of Ethics

The applicant must sign a code of ethics or a statement of affirmation that the applicant has read, understood, and will abide by a counselor-specific code of ethics. The certification board maintains a written enforcement and appeals mechanism to maintain ethical standards.


The recertification requirement is 40 hours of continuing education must be earned every two years.

Residency Requirement

To be certified in Maryland, one must live or work in Maryland 51 % of the time. A valid certification from an adjacent IC&RC member board will be honored in Maryland, if the counselor lives in that other state, and commutes to work in Maryland

More details about the ADC examination, administration, content, and reference materials can be found in the ADC Candidate Guide and on the Examination Preparation page. 


Recertification Letter

Your recertification has been approved.