Some students get clinically relevant, PAYING jobs early in their career at Southwestern College, even before they are in “practicum.”
They get their LSAA
What is an LSAA?
The LSAA (Licensed Substance Abuse Associate) is the first level of credentialing toward becoming an independently licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor (LADAC).
To qualify for the LSAA license, you need:
- A qualifying degree (from associate degree level to the graduate level, related to Psychology, Counseling, Art Therapy, etc., though the Board will consider other degrees on a case by case basis, and can be quite flexible when an applicant has the 90 hours of training discussed below)
- 90 clock hours of drug and alcohol education (formal coursework, in service presentations, seminars and the like are all potentially creditable)
- Supervision must be arranged with either a LADAC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor) with three years of experience, or another appropriately licensed person with experience in drug and alcohol counseling; this arrangement must include an “experience plan” and signed statement by the supervisor that the applicant will only participate in alcohol and drug abuse counseling sessions
What Can I Do With an LSAA?
With an LSAA, you are allowed to work in the addictions field under the supervision of a licensed professional (as defined above). This is not a license that allows you to work with other counseling issues—it is specifically for working with substance abuse issues. We all know that is an odd restriction, in a way, because no substance abuse problem shows up independently of other complex and inter-related life issues, but that is how the licensing literature reads. One of the advantages of combining an LSAA or LADAC with the Southwestern College Master’s degree is that you will be qualified and trained to work with BOTH substance/addictions issues AND the myriad of other life issues that are entangled in and intertwined with most substance abuse clinical presentations.
To see what kinds of jobs are available to the addictions counselor, click on this link: https://www.swc.edu/alumniservices/alcohol-and-substance-abuse-jobs-2/#.VZtRNU3bLIV
What Is the Next Step Beyond the LSAA?
The LSAA is NOT an independent license—you MUST be supervised for some amount of time (the length of time depends on your degree level). The next step is the LADAC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor).