The mental health field is a profession with many acronyms. Why are MAC, NAADAC, and NCC AP important to you? If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol, drugs, or other process addictions like gambling, gaming, overeating, or sex, you want your therapist to know what they are and to hold the MAC which stands for Master Addiction Counselor Certification. NAADAC The Association for Addiction Professionals, formerly named the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, represents more than 85,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NAADAC professionals specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support, and education. Their goal is to create healthier individuals, families, and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment, and recovery support. They understand that addiction is the number one public health issue in the United States today with 22 million people—10% of the United States’ population—needing treatment for a substance use disorder. NCC AP is the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals. They function under the umbrella of NAADAC and are an independent body that issues NAADAC’s national credentials. The NCC AP develops the national standards of knowledge in substance use disorder counseling, provides formal recognition to individuals who meet the national standards, and establishes policies for earning and maintaining credentials. The MAC is a national certification for professionals who provide substance use disorder and addiction-related treatment. In order to earn the Master Addiction Counselor certification, a clinician must:
- Hold a Master’s Degree in the field of Substance Use Disorders/Addiction and/or related counseling subjects (social work, mental health counseling, psychology) from a regionally accredited institution of higher learning.
- Maintain a current credential or license as a Substance Use Disorder/Addiction counselor or Professional Counselor (social worker, mental health, marriage & family, professional counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist, medical doctor) issued by a state or credentialing authority.
- Have at least three years full-time or 6,000 hours of supervised experience as a Substance Use Disorder/Addiction counselor and at least 500 contact hours of education and training in Substance Use Disorder/Addiction
- Adhere to the NAADAC/NCC AP Code of Ethics.
In order to maintain the MAC certification, therapists must continue to hold a valid license, work in the substance use disorder and addiction-related treatment, and participate in 40 hours of continuing education every two years. Congratulations to Craig, James, Amber June, Tara Soligan, and Cyndi Turner who took the steps to earn their Master Addiction Counselor certifications this fall. All four therapists provide treatment for adolescents, young adults, and adults in Insight Into Action Therapy’s Dual Diagnosis Recovery Program©. The DDRP focuses on four main areas: recovery, physical and mental Health, education/employment, and family. If you are someone you love is struggling with alcohol, drugs, or other addictions, please reach out. There are many different types of treatments available. One size does not fit all. Effective treatment for substance use disorders, dual diagnoses, and addictions require specialized training and individualized treatment. One way of ensuring that you get the best help is to make sure that your provider is licensed and credentialed. There are many paths to recovery. There is help and there is hope.