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The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 26: Professions and Occupations

Chapter 062: ALCOHOL AND DRUG ABUSE COUNSELORS

  • § 3231. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Alcohol and drug abuse counselor" means a person who engages in the practice of alcohol and drug abuse counseling for compensation.

    (2) "Director" means the Director of the Office of Professional Regulation.

    (3) "Office" means the Office of Professional Regulation.

    (4) [Repealed.]

    (5) "Practice of alcohol and drug abuse counseling" means the application of methods, including psychotherapy, that assist an individual or group to develop an understanding of alcohol and drug abuse dependency problems or process disorders, and to define goals and plan actions reflecting the individual's or group's interests, abilities, and needs as affected by alcohol and drug abuse dependency problems and comorbid conditions.

    (6) "Supervision" means the oversight of a person for the purposes of teaching, training, or clinical review by a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor or a qualified supervisor as determined by the Director by rule. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016; 2019, No. 30, § 20.)

  • § 3232. Prohibition; penalties

    (a) A person shall not perform either of the following acts:

    (1) practice or attempt to practice alcohol and drug abuse counseling without a valid license issued in accordance with this chapter, except as otherwise provided in section 3233 of this chapter; or

    (2) use in connection with the person's name any letters, words, or insignia indicating or implying that the person is an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, unless the person is licensed or certified in accordance with this chapter.

    (b) A person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be subject to the penalties provided in 3 V.S.A. § 127. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3233. Exemptions

    The provisions of subdivision 3232(a)(1) of this chapter, relating to the practice of alcohol and drug abuse counseling, shall not apply to:

    (1) the activities and services of a rabbi, priest, minister, Christian Science practitioner, or clergy 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 recognizable church, denomination, or sect and when the person rendering services remains accountable to the established authority of that church, denomination, or sect;

    (2) the activities and services of a person licensed, certified, or registered under other laws of this State while acting within the scope of his or her profession or occupation, provided the person does not hold himself or herself out to the public as possessing a license issued pursuant to this chapter;

    (3) the activities and services of a student intern or trainee in alcohol and drug abuse counseling who is pursuing a course of study in an accredited institution of higher education or a training course approved by the Director, provided these activities are performed under supervision of and constitute a part of an approved course of study;

    (4) the activities and services of an individual certified under this chapter who is working in a preferred provider program under the supervision of a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor; or

    (5) a person acting as a member of a voluntary group of individuals who offer peer support to each other in recovering from an addiction. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3234. Coordination of practice acts

    Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person may practice psychotherapy when acting within the scope of a license or certification granted under this chapter, provided he or she does not hold himself or herself out as a practitioner of a profession for which he or she is not licensed or certified. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3235. Director; duties

    (a) In addition to the authority granted under 3 V.S.A. chapter 5, the Director shall:

    (1) provide general information to applicants for licensure or certification under this chapter;

    (2) administer fees collected under this chapter;

    (3) refer complaints and disciplinary matters to an administrative law officer established under 3 V.S.A. § 129(j);

    (4) explain appeal procedures to licensees, certified individuals, and applicants for licensure or certification under this chapter; and

    (5) receive applications for licensure or certification under this chapter; issue and renew licenses or certifications; and revoke, suspend, reinstate, or condition licenses or certifications as ordered by an administrative law officer.

    (b) The Director may adopt rules necessary to perform the Director's duties under this section, including rules:

    (1) Specifying acceptable master's degree requirements.

    (2) Setting standards for certifying apprentice addiction professionals and alcohol and drug abuse counselors.

    (3) Requiring completion and documentation of not more than 40 hours of acceptable continuing education every two years as a condition for license or certification renewal.

    (4) Requiring licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselors to disclose to each client the licensee's professional qualifications and experience, those actions that constitute unprofessional conduct, the method for filing a complaint or making a consumer inquiry, and provisions relating to the manner in which the information shall be displayed and signed by both the licensee and the client. The rules may include provisions for applying or modifying these requirements in cases involving clients of preferred providers, institutionalized clients, minors, and adults under the supervision of a guardian.

    (5) Regarding ethical standards for individuals licensed or certified under this chapter.

    (6) Regarding display of license or certification.

    (7) Regarding reinstatement of a license or certification that has lapsed for more than five years.

    (8) Regarding supervised practice toward licensure or certification. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3235a. Advisor appointees

    (a) The Secretary of State shall appoint three individuals licensed under this chapter to serve as advisors in matters relating to alcohol and drug abuse counselors. Advisors shall be appointed as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129b. Two of the initial appointments may be for less than a full term.

    (b) Appointees shall not have less than three years' licensed experience as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor in Vermont.

    (c) The Director shall seek the advice of the advisors appointed under this section in carrying out the provisions of this chapter. (Added 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3236. Licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor eligibility

    (a) To be eligible for licensure as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, an applicant shall:

    (1) have received a master's degree or doctorate in a human services field from an accredited educational institution, including a degree in counseling, social work, psychology, or an allied mental health field, or a master's degree or higher in a health care profession regulated under this title or Title 33, after having successfully completed a course of study with course work including theories of human development, diagnostic and counseling techniques, professional ethics, and a supervised clinical practicum;

    (2)(A) hold or be qualified to hold a current alcohol and drug counselor certification from the Office; or

    (B) hold an International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium certification from another U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction or a U.S. or Canadian national certification organization approved by the Director;

    (3) successfully pass the examination approved by the Director; and

    (4) complete 2,000 hours of supervised practice as set forth in rule.

    (b) A person who is engaged in supervised practice toward licensure who is not within the preferred provider network shall be registered on the roster of nonlicensed and noncertified psychotherapists. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3236a. Certification of apprentice addiction professionals and alcohol and drug abuse counselors

    (a) The Director may certify an individual who has met requirements set by the Director by rule as:

    (1) an apprentice addiction professional; or

    (2) an alcohol and drug abuse counselor.

    (b) The Director may seek cooperation with the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium or other recognized alcohol and drug abuse provider credentialing organizations as a resource for examinations and rulemaking. (Added 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3236b. Licensure or certification by endorsement

    The Director may issue a license or certification to an individual under this chapter if the individual holds a license or certification from a U.S. or Canadian jurisdiction that the Director finds has requirements for licensure or certification that are substantially equivalent to those required under this chapter. (Added 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3237. Repealed. 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. September 1, 2016.

  • § 3238. Biennial renewals

    (a) Licenses and certifications shall be renewed every two years on a schedule set by the Office upon:

    (1) payment of the required fee; and

    (2) documentation that the applicant has completed at least 40 hours of continuing education, approved by the Director.

    (b) [Repealed.]

    (c) Any application for reinstatement of a license or certification that has expired shall be accompanied by the appropriate fees. A person shall not be required to pay renewal fees for years during which the license or certification was lapsed.

    (d) [Repealed.]  (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3239. Unprofessional conduct

    The following conduct and the conduct set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 129a, by a person authorized to provide alcohol and drug abuse services under this chapter or an applicant for licensure or certification, constitutes unprofessional conduct:

    (1) violation of any provision of this chapter or rule adopted under this chapter;

    (2) failing to use a complete title in professional activity;

    (3) conduct that evidences moral unfitness to practice alcohol and drug abuse counseling;

    (4) negligent, incompetent, or wrongful conduct in the practice of alcohol and drug abuse counseling; or

    (5) harassing, intimidating, or abusing a client.

    (6) [Repealed.]  (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3240. Repealed. 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. September 1, 2016.

  • § 3241. Fees

    In addition to the fees otherwise authorized by law, the Director may charge the fees for professions regulated by the Director as set forth in 3 V.S.A. § 125. (Added 2013, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), § 129, eff. May 20, 2014; amended 2015, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. Sept. 1, 2016.)

  • § 3242. Medicaid participating providers

    (a) The Department of Vermont Health Access shall grant authorization to a licensed alcohol and drug abuse counselor acting within the scope of his or her practice to participate as a Medicaid provider to deliver clinical and case coordination services to Medicaid beneficiaries consistent with federal law, regardless of whether the counselor works for a preferred provider.

    (b) The Department shall amend Vermont's Medicaid State Plan as necessary to comply with subsection (a) of this section. (Added 2015, No. 59, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2015.)