co occurring disorders professional

The Co Occurring Disorders Professional CCDP Designation

The Co Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP) is a great designation for someone who wants some very in depth education and experience in a growing and important part of the substance abuse treatment field.   Formerly known as dual diagnosis or dual disorder, co-occurring disorders refer to the presence of two or more disorders at the same time.  For example, a person may suffer from substance abuse and bipolar disorder.  The term “dual diagnosis” is no longer used as it suggested that there were only two disorders occurring at the same time, when this may not be the case at all.

Co Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP)

A recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) report on co-occurring disorders reported that seven to ten million people in the U.S. have at least one mental health disorder as well as an alcohol or drug use disorder.  Treating co-occurring disorders is considered to be a distinctive discipline, blending modalities of mental health and substance abuse treatment into a new regimen of treatment.

“All too often individuals are treated only for one of the two disorders – if they receive treatment at all,” explains SAMHSA Administrator Charles Curie. “If one of the co-occurring disorders goes untreated, both usually get worse, and additional complications arise, including the risk for other serious medical problems, suicide, unemployment, homelessness, incarceration and separation from families and friends. People with co-occurring disorders cannot separate their addiction from their mental illness, so they should not have to negotiate separate service delivery systems. Our goal is to create a system that allows any door to be the right door for the services an individual needs.”

The qualified professional in this field must demonstrate competency through education, experience, supervision and examination.  The Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Certification itself was adopted in 2007 and there are now 19 countries, U.S. States and Territories that offer a reciprocal co-occurring credential.

Co Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP) Requirementsco-occurring disorders professional

As with most designations, the requirements will vary depending on where you live as licensing is handled by individual States.  However, here is an example of what you may be asked to do to become a Co-Occurring Disorders Professional:

  • Education:  Bachelor’s Degree in Co-Occurring Disorder (COD) or Behavioral Science
  • Clinical: Up to 400 hours approved Co-Occurring Disorder Training, focusing on substance abuse and mental disorders and mental health specific training
  • Experience: 6,000 hours experience; 4,000 of Co-Occurring Disorders specific work experience, 2,000 hours of documented work experience in counseling
  • Ethics: Signed Code of Ethics
  • Examination: Written Examination

There are many programs through SAMSHA as well and a lot of information on their website about Credentials and Incentives for Certification in different States.  You can find more information on that here.

Co Occurring Disorders Professional Jobs

The outlook for these jobs is excellent as the addiction problem in this country has now been labeled and epidemic and this profession is one that has a higher barrier of entry due to the education requirements.  Currently there are over 1,200 open positions listed for these positions on and you can search all of them through our website as well.  The average salary for one of these positions is listed as about $40,000 but this will vary largely by location and type of employer.  If you are looking into addiction jobs and want a specialized area, a co-occurring disorders professional would be a great choice.

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