- Who can apply
The Co-Occurring Disorder Specialist is an enhancement available to be added to the license of specific counselors under RCW 18.205.105 (1) which allows them to provide substance use disorder treatment with some limitations. It is not available as a stand-alone credential. Applicants must already possess one of these qualified credential types to be eligible to apply and maintain the credential to continue providing co-occurring disorder services.
License Type qualified for the Co-Occurring Enhancement
- Psychologist licensed under 18.83 RCW
- Independent Clinical Social Worker licensed under 18.225 RCW
- Marriage and Family Therapist licensed under 18.225 RCW
- Mental Health Counselor licensed under 18.225 RCW
- Agency Affiliated Counselor (AAC)* registered under 18.19 RCW
*AACs must meet additional requirements of a Master's degree in a counseling related field and have 2 years of supervised experience. RCW 18.205.105 (1)(e)
- Apply online
Online Application Instructions
See the online application video.
Online application instructions are on our website. Online applications are accessed through Secure Access Washington (SAW) security portal. You'll need to add the Department of Health Online Application Portal service to access the online applications. The first time you add the service, you'll be prompted to answer several questions to verify your identity. The questions will match the name and address you provide with the existing public record information. Because the questions come from public record, you need to provide a complete address and your full legal name as it appears on your driver's license or birth certificate. You may find you have to enter a former address, especially if your address has changed recently (within the past one or two years) to get the right questions that pertain to your identity. If don't have sufficient information in the public record to verify your identity and aren't currently credentialed by the Department of Health, then you'll need to submit a paper application, as you won't be able to access the Online Application Portal.
Once you have completed the process you will receive an email with your pending credential number, or you may look on Provider Credential Search. Refer to this credential number any time you contact Department of Health or submit paperwork.
- Apply on paper
- See fee schedule below
The enhancement is not a license, so it does not need to be renewed, however individuals must maintain their primary qualifying license to be able to work as a Co-Occurring Disorder Specialist.
Additionally, there are no continuing education requirements for the co-occurring enhancement, but you must maintain the continuing education requirements of your qualifying license.
Non-Refundable Fee Type Fee Amount Original application $100 Duplicate license $10 Verification of license $25 Examination Pay exam company Training course Pay training course company
- See exam information below
Applicants for the co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement must take and pass the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) Level 1 or higher exam after they complete the 60-hour training course specifically relating to substance use treatment which is approved by the department.
Applicants must complete and submit the full application to the department for review. Once we approve the applicant's education and supervised experience, we'll send notification via email to the applicant with instructions on registering for the exam.
If you completed the approved education course and are requesting approval to sit for the exam before completing the supervised hours, you'll need to contact the course provider for approval.
Education and Experience
To obtain the co-occurring specialist applicants must complete a 60-hour training course specifically relating to substance use treatment and approved by the department. Other training courses and college courses do not count toward the requirements. It is the completion of a specific individual course. Not an aggregate of courses.
The training course consists of 30 hours in understanding the disease pattern of addiction and the pharmacology of alcohol and other drugs; and 30 hours in understanding addiction placement, continuing care, and discharge criteria including the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria; treatment planning specific to substance abuse; relapse prevention; and confidentiality issues specific to substance use disorder treatment.
Supervised Experience Requirement
The experience requirement for a Co-Occurring Disorder Specialist enhancement consists of:
- 80 hours of supervised experience for an applicant with fewer than 5 years of experience under their primary license; or
- 40 hours of supervised experience for an applicant with more than 5 years of experience under their primary license.
To meet the educational component of the co-occurring specialist, the applicant must obtain experience hours under a licensed Substance Use Disorder Professional or someone who meets the requirements to become an SUDP and would be eligible to take the exam required for certification.
To obtain the co-occurring specialist enhancement, applicants must complete a department-approved 60-hour training course specifically relating to substance use treatment.
Currently this is the only approved provider for the co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement. The department is continuing to work with interested providers to develop the course content for the training and to activate the course..
Become an approved education provider (PDF)
- Eastern Washington University
Registration for the Spring quarter will begin March 15, 2021.