SB 1226 Revises the regulation and licensing of professional addiction counselors
LR Number:4908S.01I Fiscal Note:4908-01
Committee:Public Health and Welfare
Last Action:03/04/02 - Second Read and Referred S Public Health & Welfare Journal page:S435
Effective Date:August 28, 2002
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Current Bill Summary

SB 1226 - This act provides for the regulation and licensing of professional addiction counselors.

New definitions are provided relating to addiction counseling (Section 337.800). Any person is prohibited from using certain titles related to addiction counseling without a license. These provisions do not apply to certain practitioners who have specialty training in addiction counseling. As of August 28, 2004, every person practicing as an addiction counselor must be licensed under these sections. Licensed addiction counselors must maintain professional liability insurance coverage (Section 337.803).

This act should not be construed to require persons to employ a licensed addiction counselor if not otherwise required to do so by law. This act does, however, require addiction counselors in private practice to be licensed (Section 337.806). Applicants for licensure must follow procedures outlined by the Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors for initial licensure and renewal (Section 337.809).

Applicants must provide evidence to the Board that all licensure, education, and training requirements have been met and must successfully pass a licensure examination adopted by the Board. Any person licensed as an addiction counselor in another state with substantially the same requirements shall receive reciprocity. Temporary licenses may also be issued for up to 18 months. Limited licenses under supervision may be issued to those who do not meet the licensure requirements. All applicants must authorize the Board to complete criminal background checks (Section 337.812).

The Board is authorized to develop rules regarding application, fees, examination, levels of licensure, grievances and appeals, reciprocity, and ethical standards (Section 337.815). The Board may refuse to issue or renew a license and outlines allowable causes for the Board to file a complaint. Administrative hearing procedures will apply. Persons reporting violations in good faith will not be subject to liability (Section 337.818).

Any person violating the requirements of this act will be guilty of a Class B misdemeanor. Upon conviction, all compensation received for services must be refunded. The Division of Professional Registration may sue and the Attorney General may request an injunction against a violator (Section 337.821). Confidentiality requirements of addiction counselors are outlined, with certain exceptions (Section 337.824).

The State Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors is established to advise the Division of Professional Registration. The Board will consist of eleven members, four of which will be public members and seven of which will be licensed addiction counselors. The seven addiction counselor members must be eligible for licensure within twelve months of appointment and may not be licensed in any other behavioral health profession. Members may receive up to a $150 per diem. The State Board of Licensed Addiction Counselors Fund is also created (Sections 337.827 and 337.830).