An issue which keeps coming up in discussions as addiction counselors become more active members of the mental health counseling arena focuses on whether or not addiction counselors should be held to a higher standard on behaviors relating substance use/abuse/dependence than professionals in other mental health disciplines. Many addiction professionals have experienced their own addiction problems and are now working as addiction professionals who counsel persons in addiction treatment. For many years, recovering persons were required to document five of more years of sobriety prior to working as addiction counselors. However, a psychologist who has a history of substance dependence might not be required to demonstrate abstinence from the substance of choice for more than a year prior to counseling substance abuse clients. As the qualifications of new persons entering the profession are reviewed, there has been discussion of certifying persons who have at least a year of sobriety prior to beginning work towards certification. During the time prior to working in an agency, an individual can complete the required training. Some treatment agencies mandate a specific period of sobriety (typically 3 years) before they allow a recovering person to work with clients and to obtain experiential hours towards state and/or national certification. Please use this site to discuss the pros and cons of establishing a specific number of years of sobriety to be eligible for certification.