Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Professions & Occupations

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What you need to know


Governor Ricketts Ends Coronavirus State of Emergency

Governor Pete Ricketts announced the end of Nebraska's coronavirus state of emergency. The Governor issued the state of emergency declaration on March 13, 2020. It officially ended at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, June 30, 2021.  The Governor issued Executive Order (EO) 21-09 to rescind pandemic-related executive orders.  With a few exceptions, the coronavirus executive orders will expire on July 30, 2021, which is thirty days after the state of emergency ends. Full text of EO 21-09 is available by clicking here.

Continuing Competency Waiver Information

Executive Order: Provisional License Information

New regulations effective June 15, 2021

View the Alcohol and Drug Counselor regulations, 172 NAC 15, in the Regulations & Statutes box on the right side of this page.​

Types of credentials issued by Nebraska:

  • Alcohol and Drug Counselor: a person who provides the 12 core functions of: screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling (individual, group and significant others), case management, crisis intervention, client education, referral, reports and recordkeeping and consultation with other professionals in regard to client treatment and services. These core functions are in accordance with the IC&RC/AODA, Inc.
  • Provisional Alcohol and Drug Counselor: a person working towards full Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor status. He or she is working to obtain the required 6,000 hours of supervised paid clinical work experience in alcohol and drug counseling.

12 Core Functions and 46 Global Criteria - these further define the practice areas.


270 Hours - Initial Education Approval Process

This relates to education providers, i.e. colleges, universities, and training institutions. 

The Board will review coursework from education providers to determine if 270 clock hours of education for initial licensure have been earned. Approval will be valid for a maximum of 5 years with the first 5-year period beginning January 1, 2008, and ending December 31, 2012.  Education providers desiring to obtain approval for subsequent periods must reapply.   


Applications & Fees

Please review the application instructions carefully. They provide additional information relating to the requirements to obtain a license.






Reciprocal Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor

Approved List of Initial Education


Continuing Education

Each licensee must complete 40 hours of continuing education during the preceding 24-month period.  At least 20 hours of continuing education per biennial renewal period must be alcohol and drug specific. See the regulations at 172 NAC 15-012.

Approved Continuing Education

    Examination Information

    IC&RC Examination Eligibility

    In order to take the examination, you must:

    • Have an active Provisional License
    • Complete the Examination Application and submit to the Department. (Your e-mail address is required.)

    Next Steps:

    1. The Department will pre‐approve you to take computer-based testing.
    2. Once you have met the eligibility requirements, the Department will pre-register you for the examination through IC&RC's on-line test database.
    3. You will receive an e-mail from SMT with further instructions on scheduling your exam date, time, and location. You may test in any state where there is a SMT/IQT approved testing site.
    4. DHHS will mail you the official score report upon receipt from IC&RC.


    Candidate Guide is available on the IC&RC's website. Candidates are encouraged to read this document.

    Reinstatement and Renewal Information


    Reinstatement Application

    To reinstate from either inactive or expired status, you must meet the continuing education requirement (40 hours).

    Submit a complete reinstatement application and renewal/reinstatement fees as listed on the reinstatement application. Hours taken to reinstate your license can also be used to renew your license at the end of that renewal period so you are not required to have additional hours for renewal.   

    Renewal - All licenses expire September 1 of each even-numbered year regardless of when issued.



    Office of Behavioral Health & Consumer Services
    Department of Health & Human Services/Division of Public Health/Licensure Unit
    Phone Number
    (402) 471-2117
    Fax Number
    (402) 742-1106
    Mailing & Physical Addresses
    DHHS Licensure Unit
    Attn: Alcohol & Drug Counselors
    PO Box 94986

    Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-4986


    Nebraska State Office Building
    301 Centennial Mall South
    14th & M Streets, 1st Floor
    Lincoln NE 68508
    Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Closed federal holidays.