In the US, around 20 million people have a substance use disorder. Out of this statistic, only around 2 million resolve their significant substance abuse issues.
If this information tugs at your heartstrings, and you want to do something to help, then you may thrive in a drug and alcohol counseling position. But to get such a career, you’ll need to go through some schooling and training first.
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about becoming a RADT.
What Is a RADT?
“RADT” stands for “Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician” and is a position that’s specific to the state of California. This is a professional who assists people with their journey in handling their drug and alcohol addictions.
If you wish to go into the field of drug and alcohol addiction counseling, then these credentials are a must. If you don’t have them, then you can only work as an entry-level staff member at licensed facilities.
The Duties of a RADT
As the position title suggests, you’re in the role of a technician. This means you’ll work with patients to collect samples for testing, such as urine, saliva, hair, blood, and more.
If you wish to be more on the counseling side of things, this is still possible through your RADT certification. We’ll tell you more in a section below. But for now, read on to find out what you need to do to get certified as a RADT.
Requirements for RADT
The good news is, if you want to become a RADT, you won’t have to spend much time getting your certification. This means if you’re busy with your current job, you can still handle it while adding studies to the mix.
To start off, you must find a curriculum that’s approved by the California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP). This step is crucial to starting your career; if you don’t do coursework that’s CCAPP-approved, then it’ll all be for nothing.
Once you’ve completed the coursework, you’ll have to go through a 9-hour orientation. Here, you’ll learn all about the addiction counseling industry. 3 hours are dedicated to ethics, 3 to confidentiality, and 3 to professional boundaries.
The next step after orientation is completing your CCAPP RADT application; this comes with a fee (usually around $40). In addition, you’ll have to sign these documents:
- CCAPP Code of Conduct for Credentialed Alcohol and Drug Professionals
- California’s AOD Counselor Code of Conduct (“AOD” stands for “alcohol and other drugs”)
- RADT Scope of Practice
Also, you’ll have to submit a copy of your driver’s license (or other government-issued ID) and proof of completion for orientation with your application.
Once the state of California has issued your RADT registration, you’ll have 5 years to become a certified counselor.
Before 2017, there was the position of RADT II. This required you to go through additional training, such as completing 25 total hours, and 20 hours of advanced education from a provider that’s approved by the CCAPP.
However, today, there is only one RADT position, which would be RADT I.
If you or someone you know is currently certified as a RADT II, you don’t need to worry about anything. California still recognizes this credential, meaning not only can you work with it still, but you can also get it renewed when your time’s up.
While your certification is good for 5 years, you’ll have to complete some yearly requirements to keep those credentials.
The requirements are:
- A fee
- 3 hours of ethics and confidentiality coursework
- 45 hours of primary education (not continuing education); this is a new requirement as of January 2018
Moving on From RADT to CADC
“CADC” stands for “Certified Alcohol/Drug Counselor.” When you become a RADT, you get to stay in this profession for 5 years. This means certification to become a RADT is only temporary; to stay in the industry, you have to become a CADC.
As a CADC, you’ll be able to work directly with the clients in a different way. You’ll guide them through their drug and alcohol struggles, providing them with effective therapy that’ll make coping with their addictions easier. You’ll also give them vital tools to stay sober and create a more fulfilling life once they’ve won their battle against addiction.
Requirements for Becoming a CADC
When your 5 years are up as a RADT, you’ll get to move upward in your career. To become a CADC, you’ll need:
- 315 hours of CCAPP-approved coursework (your yearly hours for RADT renewal do count toward this)
- 255 practicum hours at approved facilities
- Passing grade on the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam
To ensure your practicum hours are valid, you have to get the right supervisor for your work. This will depend on if you’re applying for CADC I, II, or III.
In general, a valid supervisor will be any person of the same CADC level. For example, if you’re going for CADC I, a supervisor can be of the CADC I level as well. However, if you’re going for CADC II, you cannot use a CADC I as a supervisor.
Other valid supervisors include CCAPP CCS, IC&RC ICCS, LAADC, and LAADC-S.
Become a RADT Today
After reading this article, you should now have a good grasp of what it takes to become a RADT.
Do you find this profession interesting? Do you want to help others starting now?
Then get started on your certification today. At InterCoast College, for over 35 years, we’ve been helping students like you get into the careers they’re truly passionate about.
Get in touch with us today to obtain more information about our Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies class.