The Colorado Counseling Association is the state division of the 60,000-member American Counseling Association. The CCA represents mental health professionals throughout Colorado as students, throughout their careers as Certified Addiction Counselors, and later as they transition into retirement.

The organization is comprised of students and mental health professionals. They work in healthcare, private practice, business settings, community agencies, residential settings, education, and government agencies. 

Interstate Licensed Professional Counselors Compact  

Colorado Bill SB22-077 allows licensed professional counselors to provide counseling services a privilege to practice in states that join the Interstate Licensed Professional Counselors Compact. SB22-077 allows Substance Abuse Counselors to provide clients with Telehealth services in each member state. The state board of professionals put the laws into effect. The bill was introduced in the Colorado Legislature to improve Colorado residents’ access to professional counseling services. The Colorado Counseling Association monitors services provided by mental health professionals and advocates to improve mental health services for residents of Colorado.  

Role of the Substance Abuse Counselor 

A Substance Abuse Counselor supports and counsels patients suffering from dependency on alcohol or drugs. The counselor evaluates the client’s substance abuse problem and health. Identifying the client’s issues helps to create an effective treatment plan. Clients learn mechanisms to cope and re-establish their lives. The counselor supports families by educating them about how to help their family members during the recovery process. A counselor works with inpatient clients and those participating in outpatient programs.  

Training For Substance Abuse Counselors 

The Certified Addiction Counselor Clinical Training Program trains counselors to treat addictions in inpatient or outpatient settings. Through their training, skills, and work experience, counselors learn addictive behaviors and their causes. The training courses teach students the skills necessary to treat substance abuse issues.  

A Certified Addiction Technician (CAT) provides various counseling services that include working in group counseling and identifying and solving problems. A CAT coordinates services and plans referrals and discharges.  

A Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS) may provide a wider range of services in addition to the treatment of addiction. A CAS may work in a supervisory capacity for students working toward CAS or CAT certification. 

A Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC) requires a clinical master’s degree. A LAC gathers a client’s medical and personal history and consults with other professionals. The LAC plans treatment and rehabilitation based on treatment and counseling needs and the client’s drug or alcohol dependency. The counselor may use individual and group counseling and educate family members about their role in the recovery process. Treatment may be modified as the need arises. The LAC educates clients about organizations in the community that provide services and assist with family issues.  

Colorado Counselor Training is available through the Colorado Office of Behavioral Health. The courses meet state regulations and are developed by the OBH and professionals in the substance abuse health field.