Today Governor Fallin signed a bill into law that changes the educational requirements for licensed alcohol and drug counselors.
SB 1277 defines licensed alcohol and drug counselor/mental health (LADC/MH) to mean an LADC who meets the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors requirements related to treatment within the counselor’s scope of practice of mental health disorders regardless if they are co-occurring.
The measure modifies the existing requirements for a license to practice as an LADC by expanding the degree requirements to include a master’s degree in other recognized clinical counseling fields and defines required graduate level courses. For licensure, the measure requires a master’s degree and at least one year (2,000 hours) of full-time supervised work experience providing behavioral health services, 1,000 hours of which must consist of direct client contact. Licensure as a mental health professional with at least 15 hours in master’s level substance abuse specific coursework also qualifies an individual to apply for licensure as an LADC.
The measure defines the scope of practice of an LADC to include the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders if the individual meets the specified educational requirements. It prohibits LADCs licensed prior to the effective date of the act from including in their scope of practice the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders unless the LADC holds a master’s degree that meets the educational requirements for licensure as a licensed professional counselor, a licensed clinical social worker, a licensed marital and family therapist or a licensed behavioral practitioner or has a co-occurring disorders certification.
This law will take effect on November 1, 2012.