Careers in Addictions - CASAC

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There is a high demand for addictions professionals — an inspiring, rewarding and challenging career path — and the UB School of Social Work can help prepare you for that journey as you complete your MSW program.

Overview: Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor

To become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) with the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (NYS OASAS):

  1. Review the web page for NYS OASAS CASAC requirements
  2. For the  CASAC education and training requirement, you must have a minimum of 350 initial training hours that address the knowledge, skills and professional techniques related to addictions counseling. MSW students can acquire this through specific MSW course work. See sections below.
  3. You must also pass the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) Examination for Alcohol and Drug Counselors. This is not done through the UB School of Social Work as it is part of the NYS OASAS CASAC process.
  4. 6000 hours of applicable  addictions work experience are required. Your MSW degree will credit you with 4000 of these hours.

Meeting CASAC Initial Training Requirements During Our MSW Program

  1. As you plan your MSW coursework, use the course chart links in the next section to determine which courses apply toward the 350-hour CASAC initial training requirement.
  2. If you need assistance with questions that your faculty advisor cannot answer, contact faculty member Todd Sage.
  3. You will also want to consider an MSW field placement in an addictions services setting to enhance your experience and skills.
  4. Additionally, there is a requirement for 6,000 hours of applicable work experience when applying for CASAC certification. Your MSW may be substituted for 4,000 hours of work experience, provided that 2,000 hours of paid work experience occurred within five years prior to submitting the CASAC application.

Charts of Courses Needed for Initial MSW CASAC Training

  1. Course planning chart for MSW students starting the degree program after 1/1/19  (pdf)
  2. Course planning chart for MSW students starting the degree program after 8/1/13 (pdf)
  3. Course planning chart for MSW students starting the degree program after 1/1/11 (pdf)

Note: NYS OASAS counts a 3-credit MSW course as 45 training hours. This is how the hours for each MSW course listed is divided among the four CASAC content sections for a total of 45 hours for each credit course.

Steps to Obtain Your Certificate of Initial CASAC Training After Graduation

  1. Complete and mail the application to request review of your UB MSW transcript. Follow the instructions in the form to include:  a copy of the applicable MSW course charts with your application; your MSW transcript copy; and ca copy of your certificate of completion for the free, online course on Supporting Recovery with Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT). This  is the only training that will be accepted to satisfy the requirement. This free training is offered through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network’s portal at this link.  As of fall 2018, the MAT training is now part of SW560.
  2. If you have successfully completed the required 350 education and training hours, a certificate will be issued that you will need to begin the NYS OASAS CASAC application process. Please note that the completion of the 350 hours of initial CASAC education and training does not provide you with CASAC Trainee status. You must complete and submit the OASAS Credentialing application and the required fee to the OASAS Credentialing Unit to achieve this status. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis and will remain active for five years from the date of postmark. Upon receipt of the application, a review will be conducted to determine eligibility for the CASAC Trainee and CASAC Examination.
  3. If you have questions about the MSW coursework that applies to initial CASAC training hours, contact faculty member Todd Sage or email the office of continuing education that issues the certificates of CASAS initial training
  4. If you have questions that are not answered by the CASAC application links in the section below, you can contact the NYS OASAS CASAC Credentialing Unit staff at 800-482-9564.

Forms for the NYS OASAS CASAC/CASAC-T Application

CASAC/CASAC-Trainee application -  see the application section of this OASAS web page to obtain the application PDS-11- Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and CASAC Trainee Application Packet

CASAC Exam Study Resources

CASAC Exam Study Resources - In the examination section you will find resources to assist you with additional study prior to taking the CASAC exam.

CASAC Scopes of Practice Levels

Professional and Workforce Development information may be useful as you explore your career in addictions. Information includes scope of practice and how to determine where on the addiction career ladder you want to be. 

Fellowship Funding from NAADAC - Addictions and Behavioral Health

MSW students may apply for these merit-based fellowships from NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

The NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors (NMFP-AC) and the NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Behavioral Health Professionals (NMFP-BHP) are federally-funded programs administered by NAADAC in conjunction with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). The fellowships offer a large stipend to students applying through a merit based application process.

NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addictions Counselors: Eligibility and application information.

NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Behavioral Health Professionals: Eligibility and application information.

Tips on applying:

  • Prepare a well-written application that answers all questions and provides the requested information. This is a competitive, merit-based application process. 
  • Ensure that your application includes a list of applicable course work, and a copy of your transcript that will show completed coursework as well as coursework enrolled in the current semester.
  • As you do need a supervised clinical internship (field placement) that focuses on the required area for the fellowship, please provided the information needed on your current  and advanced year field placement. If you have not yet been assiged your advanced year placement, explain the process and  applicable agencies so that NAADAC understands how you will meet this reuirement. Include the number of field hours.
  • Our MSW degree offers a wide range of coursework including specific courses in addictions and behavioral health topics. A selection of coursework is approved by the NYS Office of Alcohol and Addiction Services (NYS OASAS) to fulfill the initial 350 hours of training required for the credential as a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC). NAADAC recognizes and values the work done by NYS OASAS in preparing addictions professionals. Details on our CASAC coursework and process are on this page.
  • As you are preparing your application, if you have questions, there is contact information listed at the bottom of each of the fellowship application pages.
  • Prior to submitting your application, review it from the perspective of an unfamiliar reader to be sure it answers questions clearly and thoroughly.
  • The School's office of continuing education had a discussion with NAADAC in 2018 about marketing this fellowship to students. If you have questions about explaining your MSW coursework for the fellowship application, you mail email us.

Contact Us

If you have CASAC MSW initial training questions not answered by the above information, please email us