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LADC Requirements and Application

The Minnesota Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy (BBHT) has three license application methods. Listed below are the methods to apply for an alcohol and drug counseling license. For each application method, you will find a brief description of the requirements you need to meet in order to apply. 

Please make sure that you have met all of the requirements listed for that application method before submitting it to BBHT. The application fee is non-refundable. Please fill the application out completely before sending it to the Board office. Incomplete applications will be returned to you to provide the missing documentation. 

For copies of the Minnesota Statutes Chapter 148F and Minnesota Rules Chapter 4747, please go to


***Fingerprint based background checks will begin August 1, 2017. If you submit this application after January 1, 2019, you will be required to include the $33.25 non-refundable criminal background check fee in addition to the $295 license application fee.

Application Methods and Requirements


Method D-Standard Method (Minnesota Statutes section 148F.025, subd. 1, 2, 3(1) and 2(i))

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 18 semester credits (270 clock hours) of specific alcohol and drug counseling course work
  • 880 hour alcohol and drug counseling practicum
  • Passing score on written comprehensive exam OR
  • Passing score on written and oral exam

Method I-Supervision Alternative (Minnesota Statutes section 148F.025, subd. 1, 2, 3(1) and 2(ii))

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • 18 semester credits (270 clock hours) of specific alcohol and drug counseling course work
  • 880 hour alcohol and drug counseling practicum
  • Passing score on written exam (not comprehensive exam)
  • 2,000 hours of supervised professional practice acceptable to the board
*All of the educational requirements (degree, course work, and practicum) listed in Methods D and I must be completed through an accredited school*

Method F-Reciprocity (Minnesota Stautes section 148F.030)

The board shall issue a license if the board finds that the requirements which the applicant met to obtain the credential from the other jurisdiction were substantially similar to the current requirements for licensure in this chapter and that the applicant is not otherwise disqualified under section 148F.090.
  • Active license or certification an alcohol and drug counselor from another jurisdiction
  • Applicants must submit:
  • Copy of the jurisdiction's credentialing laws and rules that were in effect at the time the applicant obtained the credential
  • Verification that the license or certification is active and in good standing. The verification must be sent directly to the Board office from the licensing board/credentialing agency
Because states have different requirements at different times, reciprocity applications are reviewed on a case by case basis by the Application and Licensure Committee of the Board. Before submitting an application under the reciprocity method, we encourage people to review the requirements they had to meet to obtain their licensure/cerification and compare them to Minnesota's current licensure requirements.

Specific Course Work Requirements

(i) an overview of the transdisciplinary foundations of alcohol and drug counseling, including theories of chemical dependency, the continuum of care, and the process of change;
(ii) pharmacology of substance abuse disorders and the dynamics of addiction, including medication-assisted therapy;
(iii) professional and ethical responsibilities;
(iv) multicultural aspects of chemical dependency;
(v) co-occurring disorders; and
(vi) the core functions defined in section 148F.01, subdivision 10:
Subd. 10. Core functions. Core functions means the following services provided in alcohol and drug treatment:
(1) screening means the process by which a client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program;
(2) intake means the administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a program;
(3) orientation means describing to the client the general nature and goals of the program; rules governing client conduct and infractions that can lead to disciplinary action or discharge from the program; in a nonresidential program, the hours during which services are available; treatment costs to be borne by the client, if any; and client's rights;
(4) assessment means those procedures by which a counselor identifies and evaluates an individual's strengths, weaknesses, problems, and needs to develop a treatment plan or make recommendations for level of care placement;
(5) treatment planning means the process by which the counselor and the client identify and rank problems needing resolution; establish agreed upon immediate and long-term goals; and decide on a treatment process and the sources to be utilized;
(6) counseling means the utilization of special skills to assist individuals, families, or groups in achieving objectives through exploration of a problem and its ramifications; examination of attitudes and feelings; consideration of alternative solutions; and decision making;
(7) case management means activities that bring services, agencies, resources, or people together within a planned framework of action toward the achievement of established goals;
(8) crisis intervention means those services which respond to an alcohol or other drug user's needs during acute emotional or physical distress;
(9) client education means the provision of information to clients who are receiving or seeking counseling concerning alcohol and other drug abuse and the available services and resources;
(10) referral means identifying the needs of the client which cannot be met by the counselor or agency and assisting the client to utilize the support systems and available community resources;
(11) reports and record keeping means charting the results of the assessment and treatment plan and writing reports, progress notes, discharge summaries, and other client-related data; and
(12) consultation with other professionals regarding client treatment and services means communicating with other professionals in regard to client treatment and services to assure comprehensive, quality care for the client.
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