In accordance with Hawaii Revised Statutes 321-193(10), the
Department of Health, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD), certifies
substance abuse counselors and program administrators.
Hawaii is a member board of the International Certification &
Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc.
(IC&RC/AODA). The IC&RC is a voluntary international
organization comprised of substance abuse credentialing boards
representing 41 states, the U.S. military, various Indian Health
Service Organizations, and a range of countries. As a member board,
Hawaii subscribes to the international standards prescribed by the
IC&RC and published in the IC&RC guidelines (website:
icrcaoda.org). Counselors certified in Hawaii have reciprocity with
other IC&RC member boards.
- The credential of Certified Substance Counselor (CSAC) fulfills two
purposes. First, and most important, the public has a means by which to
identify individuals who have met the minimum requirements as set forth
in Hawaii Administrative Rules 11-177.1. Second, individuals are
recognized for the time, education, and experience they have
accumulated in the profession of substance abuse counseling.
Certification is meant to recognize a counselor’s accomplishments
and competence in providing counseling, and not as an entry-level
- Criteria for Certified Substance Abuse Counselor (CSAC):
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
- High school diploma or its equivalent.
- 270 clock hours of ADAD-approved substance abuse specific education
within the performance domains of assessment, counseling, case
management, client education, and professional responsibility.
These courses may include:
- Counseling Theories and Techniques (one course)
- Group Counseling (one course)
- Family Counseling (one course)
- Professional Ethics and Issues (6 hours required)
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases, including HIV/AIDS (6 hours
- Confidentiality, including 42CFR, Part 2 (6 hours required)
- Multicultural Competency (one course)
- Any course with a specific substance abuse focus
- A supervised practical training that includes performing a minimum
of 400 hours in the "12 Core Functions" in a work setting where
alcohol/drug treatment counseling is provided. A minimum of 20 hours
must be performed in each core function. The supervisor must hold
Hawaii’s CSAC or a reciprocity level alcohol/drug counselor
credential from a jurisdiction that is a member of the IC&RC/AODA,
- 6000 hours (3 years) of clinically supervised work experience
(including the supervised practical training) providing alcohol/drug
abuse treatment counseling services to alcohol and other drug abuse
clients. The clinical supervisor must be a Qualified Health
Professional as specified in HAR 11-177.1, Subchapter 1, 11-177.1-2, in
order for the work experience to be applicable for certification
- A bachelor’s degree with a major in a human services field
may be substituted for 2000 hours of the work experience, or
- A master’s degree or higher in a human services field may be
substituted for 4000 hours of the work experience, or
- Completion of an alcohol/drug counseling certificate program in
conjunction with an Associates Degree may be substituted for 2000 hours
of the work experience.
- Agree to abide by the CSAC Code of Ethics included in the General
Application Packet and found in HAR 11-177.1, Subchapter 3,
- Successfully complete the International Written Certification
Examination for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors as developed by
Castle Worldwide, Inc.
- Successfully complete the Case Presentation Method Oral Examination
as developed by Castle Worldwide, Inc.
- The following information must be received by ADAD before an applicant is eligible to begin the
- A completed application for certification.
- 270 clock hours of substance abuse specific education documented on
the form provided.
- Work experience and supervised practical training experience
verified by the supervisor on the form provided.
- A signed Code of Ethics statement agreeing to abide by the CSAC
Code of Ethics.
- All signatures must be originals. Faxed signatures will not be
accepted. The originating supervisor or school must send supervisor
forms and transcripts. Supervisor forms received from the applicant
will not be accepted.
- All fees must be paid by money order only. Personal checks will not be accepted.
- Deadlines will not be extended.
- Applicants who successfully meet all of the requirements and pass
the examinations will be certified by the Department for two years.
Renewal is accomplished by submitting a completed application for
renewal, fee and documentation of 40 hours of ADAD-approved continuing
education to the Department prior to the expiration of the
counselor’s current certification.
- Refer to Chapter 11-177.1 HAR, entitled "Certification Standards
for Substance Abuse Counselors and Program Administrators," for more
specifics regarding certification criteria. Chapter 11-177.1 HAR can be
found on the Department of Health website:
For questions regarding the certification process and/or to request
a general application packet containing all pertinent instructions and
forms, please contact:
601 Kamokila Blvd., Room 360
Kapolei, Hawaii 96707
Phone (808) 692-7518
Hawaii Department of Health
Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division
601 Kamokila Blvd.
Kapolei, Hawaii, 96707
Phone (808) 692-7506