Substitute House Bill No. 6981
          Substitute House Bill No. 6981

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 97-186


AN  ACT  CONCERNING  LICENSURE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUG
COUNSELORS.


    Be it enacted  by  the  Senate  and  House  of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section 1. (NEW) For purposes of this act:
    (1) "Commissioner" means  the  Commissioner of
Public Health;
    (2)  "Licensed  alcohol  and  drug  counselor"
means  a person  who  meets  the  requirements  of
subsection  (c)  of  section  2  of  this  act  or
subsection (a) of section 4 of this act;
    (3)  "Licensed  associate   alcohol  and  drug
counselor"   means  a   person   who   meets   the
requirements of subsection  (d)  of  section  2 of
this act or  subsection  (b)  of section 4 of this
act;
    (4) "Practice of  alcohol and drug counseling"
means the professional application of methods that
assist  an  individual  or  group  to  develop  an
understanding  of  alcohol   and  drug  dependency
problems, define goals, and plan action reflecting
the individual's or  group's  interest,  abilities
and  needs  as   affected   by  alcohol  and  drug
dependency problems;
    (5)  "Private practice  of  alcohol  and  drug
counseling"  means  the  independent  practice  of
alcohol and drug  counseling by a licensed alcohol
and  drug counselor  who  is  self-employed  on  a
full-time   or  part-time   basis   and   who   is
responsible for that independent practice;
    (6) "Self-help group"  means a voluntary group
of persons who offer peer support to each other in
recovering from an addiction; and
    (7) "Supervision" means the direct review of a
person  for the  purpose  of  teaching,  training,
administering, accountability or  clinical  review
by a supervisor  in  the  same area of specialized
practice.
    Sec.  2.  (NEW)  (a)  Except  as  provided  in
section 9 of  this  act, no person shall engage in
the practice of alcohol and drug counseling unless
licensed as either  a  licensed  alcohol  and drug
counselor  pursuant  to  subsection  (c)  of  this
section or a  licensed  associate alcohol and drug
counselor  pursuant  to  subsection  (d)  of  this
section.
    (b) Except as  provided  in  section 9 of this
act,  no  person   shall  engage  in  the  private
practice of alcohol  and drug counseling for a fee
unless (1) licensed as a licensed alcohol and drug
counselor  pursuant  to  subsection  (c)  of  this
section, or (2)  licensed  as an associate alcohol
and drug counselor  pursuant  to subsection (d) of
this  section  and  under  the  supervision  of  a
licensed alcohol and drug counselor.
    (c) To be eligible for licensure as a licensed
alcohol and drug counselor, an applicant shall (1)
have attained a master's degree from an accredited
institution of higher  education with a minimum of
eighteen graduate semester  hours in counseling or
counseling-related subjects, and  (2) be licensed,
or have met all the requirements for licensure, as
a licensed associate alcohol and drug counselor.
    (d) To be eligible for licensure as a licensed
associate alcohol and drug counselor, an applicant
shall have (1)  completed  three  hundred hours of
supervised practical training  in alcohol and drug
counseling that the commissioner deems acceptable;
(2) completed three  years of supervised paid work
experience   or   unpaid   internship   that   the
commissioner   deems  acceptable   that   entailed
working directly with  alcohol  and  drug clients,
except that a  master's  degree may be substituted
for one year  of  such  experience;  (3) completed
three hundred sixty hours of commissioner-approved
education, at least  two  hundred  forty  hours of
which relates to  the  knowledge  and  skill  base
associated with the  practice  of alcohol and drug
counseling;  (4) successfully  completed  an  oral
examination  on  the   applicant's   written  case
presentation;  and (5)  successfully  completed  a
written examination provided  by the commissioner,
which may be a written examination administered by
a   nationally   recognized   alcohol   and   drug
counseling certification organization.
    Sec. 3. (NEW) (a) The commissioner shall grant
a license as  a  alcohol and drug counselor to any
applicant who furnishes satisfactory evidence that
he has met  the  requirements of subsection (c) of
section  2  or   section   5   of  this  act.  The
commissioner shall develop and provide application
forms. The application  fee  shall  be two hundred
fifty dollars.
    (b)  Renewal  of   a   license   issued  under
subsection  (a)  of   this  section  may  be  made
annually pursuant to section 19a-88 of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  10 of this act,
for a fee  of  two  hundred fifty dollars and upon
presentation by the  renewal applicant of evidence
satisfactory to the  commissioner of completion of
any continuing education  requirements established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.
    (c) The commissioner  shall grant a license as
an associate alcohol  and  drug  counselor  to any
applicant who furnishes satisfactory evidence that
he has met  the  requirements of subsection (d) of
section  2  or   section   5   of  this  act.  The
commissioner shall develop and provide application
forms. The application  fee  shall  be two hundred
fifty dollars.
    (d)  Renewal  of   a   license   issued  under
subsection  (c)  of   this  section  may  be  made
annually pursuant to section 19a-88 of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  10 of this act,
for a fee  of  two  hundred fifty dollars and upon
presentation by the  renewal applicant of evidence
satisfactory to the  commissioner of completion of
any continuing education  requirements established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.
    (e)  The  commissioner  may  contract  with  a
qualified private organization  for  services that
include (1) providing verification that applicants
for licensure have met the education, training and
work experience requirements  under  this act; and
(2) any other  services  that the commissioner may
deem necessary.
    Sec. 4. (NEW)  (a) Any person who has attained
a master's level  degree  and  is certified by the
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
as a substance abuse counselor on October 1, 1997,
shall  be  deemed  a  licensed  alcohol  and  drug
counselor.  Any  person   so   deemed   shall   be
considered licensed until  October  1,  1998,  and
shall, in order  to  remain  licensed,  renew  his
license pursuant to  section 19a-88 of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  10 of this act,
for a fee  of  two  hundred fifty dollars and upon
presentation by the  renewal applicant of evidence
satisfactory to the  commissioner of completion of
any continuing education  requirements established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.
    (b) Any person who has not attained a master's
level degree and is certified by the Department of
Mental Health and Addition Services as a substance
abuse  counselor on  October  1,  1997,  shall  be
deemed  a  licensed  associate  alcohol  and  drug
counselor.  Any  person   so   deemed   shall   be
considered licensed until  October  1,  1998,  and
shall, in order  to  remain  licensed,  renew  his
license pursuant to  section 19a-88 of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  10 of this act,
for a fee  of  two  hundred fifty dollars and upon
presentation by the  renewal applicant of evidence
satisfactory to the  commissioner of completion of
any continuing education  requirements established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.
    (c) Any person  who  is  not  certified by the
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
as a substance abuse counselor on October 1, 1997,
who (1) documents  to the department that he has a
minimum of five  years  full-time  or  eight years
part-time paid work experience, under supervision,
as  an  alcohol   and   drug  counselor,  and  (2)
successfully   passes   a    commissioner-approved
written examination no later than October 1, 1998,
shall be deemed  a  licensed associate alcohol and
drug counselor. Any  person  so  deemed  shall  be
considered licensed until  October  1,  1999,  and
shall, in order  to  remain  licensed,  renew  his
license pursuant to  section 19a-88 of the general
statutes, as amended  by  section  10 of this act,
for a fee  of  two  hundred fifty dollars and upon
presentation by the  renewal applicant of evidence
satisfactory to the  commissioner of completion of
any continuing education  requirements established
pursuant to section 7 of this act.
    Sec. 5. (NEW)  The  commissioner  may  grant a
license without examination  to any applicant who,
at  the  time   of  application,  is  licensed  or
certified  by a  governmental  agency  or  private
organization located in  another  state, territory
or jurisdiction whose standards, in the opinion of
the commissioner, are substantially similar to, or
higher than, those of this state.
    Sec.  6.  (NEW)   No   person   shall  assume,
represent  himself  as,   or   use  the  title  or
designation   "alcoholism   counselor",   "alcohol
counselor",   "alcohol   and    drug   counselor",
"alcoholism   and   drug   counselor",   "licensed
clinical alcohol and  drug  counselor",  "licensed
alcohol and drug  counselor",  "licensed associate
alcohol and drug  counselor",  "certified  alcohol
and   drug   counselor",    "chemical   dependency
counselor",  "chemical dependency  supervisor"  or
any of the  abbreviations  for such titles, unless
licensed under section  3  or  4  of  this act and
unless the title or designation corresponds to the
license held.
    Sec. 7. (NEW) (a) The commissioner shall:
    (1) Examine and  pass on the qualifications of
all licensure applicants;
    (2) Establish professional  practice standards
for  licensed  alcohol  and  drug  counselors  and
licensed associate alcohol and drug counselors;
    (3)  Establish standards  for  the  continuing
education of licensed  alcohol and drug counselors
and   licensed   associate    alcohol   and   drug
counselors, which shall  not  exceed  forty  hours
every two years;
    (4)  Examine,  evaluate   and   supervise  all
examinations and procedures  as  to whether or not
the examinations and  procedures  are  as  free as
possible from cultural and linguistic bias; and
    (5)  Annually publish  a  list  of  names  and
addresses  of  all   licensed   alcohol  and  drug
counselors and licensed associate alcohol and drug
counselors who are  licensed  by  the commissioner
under this act.
    (b) The commissioner  shall adopt regulations,
in  accordance with  chapter  54  of  the  general
statutes, to implement provisions of this act.
    Sec. 8. (NEW) (a) The commissioner may conduct
investigations and take  disciplinary  action  for
any of the following reasons: (1) Violation of any
of the provisions of this act or of any regulation
adopted thereunder or  refusal  to comply with any
such  provision  or   regulation;   (2)  fraud  or
material deception in  obtaining  a  license;  (3)
conviction  of  a   felony;   or   (4)  negligent,
incompetent or wrongful conduct in the practice of
alcohol and drug counseling.
    (b)  The commissioner  may  take  any  of  the
following  actions  for  cause  as  set  forth  in
subsection  (a)  of   this  section:  (1)  License
revocation; (2) license  suspension;  (3) issuance
of a letter  of  reprimand;  or (4) placement of a
licensee on probationary status.
    Sec. 9. (NEW) (a) Nothing in this act shall be
construed to apply  to the activities and services
of a rabbi,  priest,  minister,  Christian Science
practitioner  or  clergyman   of   any   religious
denomination or sect,  when engaging in activities
that are within  the  scope  of the performance of
the person's regular  or  specialized  ministerial
duties and for  which  no separate charge is made,
or when these  activities  are  performed, with or
without  charge, for  or  under  the  auspices  or
sponsorship, individually or  in  conjunction with
others, of an  established  and legally cognizable
church, denomination or  sect, and when the person
rendering  services  remains  accountable  to  the
established authority thereof.
    (b) Nothing in  this act shall be construed to
apply to the  activities  and services of a person
licensed or certified  in  this  state to practice
medicine   and   surgery,   psychology,   marriage
counseling,  social work,  clinical  social  work,
chiropractic,   acupuncture,   physical   therapy,
occupational   therapy,   speech   pathology   and
audiology,  nursing  or   any   other   profession
licensed or certified  by  the  state, when acting
within the scope  of  the  person's  profession or
occupation and doing  work  of a nature consistent
with a person's training, provided the person does
not hold himself out to the public as possessing a
license issued pursuant to this act.
    (c) Nothing in  this act shall be construed to
apply to the  activities and services of a student
intern or trainee  in  alcohol and drug counseling
who is pursuing a course of study in an accredited
institution     of     higher     education     or
commissioner-approved  training  course,  provided
these activities are  performed  under supervision
and constitute a  part  of a commissioner-approved
course of study.
    (d) Nothing in  this act shall be construed to
apply  to the  activities  and  services  of  paid
alcohol and drug  counselors who are working under
supervision.
    (e) Nothing in  this act shall be construed to
prevent a person  from  engaging  in  or  offering
self-help or other  uncompensated alcohol and drug
counseling assistance.
    Sec. 10. Subsection  (e)  of section 19a-88 of
the general statutes is repealed and the following
is substituted in lieu thereof:
    (e)  Each  person   holding   a   license   or
certificate issued under THIS ACT, section 19a-514
and chapters 370  to  373,  inclusive, 375, 378 to
381a, inclusive, 383 to 388, inclusive, 393a, 395,
398, 399 or  400a  and  section 20-206n or 20-206o
shall, annually, during  the  month  of his birth,
apply for renewal  of  such license or certificate
to the Department  of  Public  Health,  giving his
name in full,  his  residence and business address
and  such  other  information  as  the  department
requests.  Each  person   holding   a  license  or
certificate issued pursuant  to  section 20-475 or
20-476 shall, annually,  during  the  month of his
birth  apply  for   renewal  of  such  license  or
certificate to the department. Each entity holding
a license issued pursuant to section 20-475 shall,
annually, during the  anniversary month of initial
licensure, apply for  renewal  of  such license or
certificate to the department.
    Sec. 11. Subsection  (c)  of section 19a-14 of
the  general  statutes   is   amended   by  adding
subdivision (18) as follows:
    (NEW)  (18)  Licensed  or  associate  licensed
alcohol and drug counselor.

Approved June 26, 1997