Loyola University Chicago

School of Social Work

Advanced Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor Training Program

CADC License Application Instructions

Loyola University Chicago‚Äôs School of Social Work is accredited by the Illinois Certification Board (ICB) as an Advanced Accredited Training Program, preparing social work students and practitioners to become Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Counselors (CADC). Upon completion of the training program, (see below for program requirements) students are eligible to submit their application to ICB to take the CADC exam. A passing grade on the ICB-administered exam is required for official CADC certification.

  • Through the classroom and the field, students will attain the essential knowledge base of the alcohol and other drug abuse counselor.
  • Students will have an understanding of the pharmacology of psychoactive drugs, including routes of administration, methods of ingestion, tolerance and withdrawal, and interactions of these drugs with other psychoactive and non-psychoactive drugs.
  • Students will be prepared to perform the core functions of alcohol and other drug abuse counselor, including screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, referral, and reports and record keeping.
  • Students will know the rules and regulations, and the professional ethics that guide the substance use treatment field, and know how to apply these ideas in practice.
  • Students will be familiar with the differences in attitude and behavior patterns of significant cultures and special needs groups within the population of Illinois in order to provide meaningful quality care.

Training Program Requirements

The Training Program is designed for students in the Loyola School of Social Work. Below are the timeframes to apply and the eligibility criteria.

  • Five-Year BSW/MSW Students: Five-year MSW students must apply for the program during their senior year.
  • Advanced Standing MSW Students: Advanced Standing MSW students are eligible to complete the CADC program during their MSW program and can apply after admission. They are eligible to apply to the CADC program as post-graduate students as well.
  • MSW Students: MSW students apply during their first year in the MSW program as they begin the process of securing their second-level internship.
  • External Students, Non-Degree Seeking: Students will need to schedule an interview with the CADC director to discuss their eligibility. (see admission requirements)   

Students interested in the CADC program should contact the CADC program director, Dr. Marcy Wilroy, via email at CADC@luc.edu to express interest and schedule an in-person/zoom interview to discuss program requirements and eligibility.

SOWK 722: Introduction to Alcohol and Other Drug Disorders (3 credit hours)

Foundation/prerequisite course covering history, pharmacology, etiology, addiction, and recovery; the prerequisite for two subsequent clinical courses. Students must receive a grade of B or better in this course in order to continue in the program.

SOWK 621: Clinical Practice in Addictions (3 credit hours)

Restricted to students within the program. This is an advanced practice course covering screening, biopsychosocial assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, individual & family practice, client education, and case management and referral. Students must receive a grade of B or better in this course in order to continue in the program.

SOWK 622: Group Practice with Substance Use (3 credit hours)

Restricted to students within the Training Program. An advanced practice course focused on group practice, the signature clinical intervention in SUD treatment. Students must receive a grade of B or better in this course in order to continue in the program.


Students in the Micro-CADC track complete a specific 600-hour, second-level internship for the CADC program that incorporates curriculum content with practice in the field. Please refer to the Fieldwork Page for the application process. Post-graduate students will complete 500 internship hours and will discuss field requirements during the interview process.

MSW students enroll in SWFI 632 and SWFI 633; post-graduate students enroll in SWFI 730.

Admission Requirements

  • Students who wish to earn their CADC will need to e-mail CADC@luc.edu to schedule an interview -in-person or via zoom- with the program director, Dr. Marcy Wilroy, to discuss the following topics:
    • Why are you interested in earning the CADC?
    • How do you intend to apply this knowledge in your social work career?
    • Where are you in your MSW/post-graduate journey?
    • Which semester would you like to begin the program? (please note that changes may need to be made depending on circumstances related to the program)
  • Post-graduate and external applicants must submit proof of the completion of 125 hours of generalist theory and practice training in the mental health field, completion of an advanced degree, as well as a current resume.