Ethical Code of Conduct

It is the policy of the West Virginia Certification Board for Addiction Professionals to promote and safeguard the quality, effectiveness and competence of professional addiction counselors through the insistence of adherence to its Code of Ethics by all WVCBAPP certified counselors.  

The ethics committee develops and recommends an ethical code of conduct for adoption by the Board of Directors. Currently, the Board has adopted the code of conduct adhered to by the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). The recently updated NAADAC code of ethics can be found here: A brief description of the ten principles is listed below.

The ethics committee has jurisdiction over all matters of violation and misconduct by certified addiction counselors in the state of West Virginia. It immediately and thoroughly investigates such charges and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors for appropriate action.


Principle One: The Counseling Relationship

It is the responsibility of the addiction profressional to safeguard the integrity of the counseling relationship and to ensure that the client is provided with beneficial services.

Principle Two: Evaluation, Assessment; Client Data

The addiction professional uses assessment instruments as one component of the counseling/treatment and referral process taking into account the client's personal and cultural background.

Principle Three: Confidentiality

Addiction professionals shall provide information to clients regarding confidentiality and any reasons for releasing information in adherence with confidentiality laws.

Principle Four:  Professional Responsibility

The addiction professional espouses objectivity and integrity and maintains the highest standards in the services provided.

Principle Five: Culturally Diverse World

An addiction professional understands the significance of the role that ethnicity and culture plays in an individual's perceptions and how he or she lives in the world.

Principle Six:  Workplace Standards

The addiction professional recognizes that the profession is founded on national standards of competency which promote the best interests of society, the client, the individual addiction professional and the profession as a whole.

Principle Seven: Supervision and Consultation

Addiction professionals who supervise others accept the obligation to facilitate further professional development of these individuals by providing accurate and current information, timely evaluations and constructive consultation.

Principle Eight: Resolving Ethical Issues

The addiction professional shall behave in accordance with legal, ethical and moral standards for his or her work.

Principle Nine: Communication and Published Works

The addiction professional who submits for publication or prepares handouts for clients, students or for general distribution shall be aware of and adheare to copyright laws.

Principle Ten: Policy and Political Involvement

The addiction professional is strongly encouraged to the best of his or her ability, to actively engage the legislative process, educational institutions and the general public to change public policy and legislation to make possible opportunities and choice of service for all human beings of any ethnic or social background whose lives are impaired by alcoholism and drug abuse.