Welcome to the North Dakota Addiction Counselor Association!


The North Dakota Addiction Counselor Association is the state affiliate of NAADAC, The National Association for Addiction Professionals. The North Dakota Addiction Counselor Association seeks to promote the advancement of Addiction Professionals by uniting addiction counseling professionals throughout North Dakota. United we have voice in critical matters relating to our profession, as well as those we serve. The North Dakota Addiction Counselor Association promotes awareness of chemical dependency issues in North Dakota and advocates for standards for licensure and certification of qualified counselors to ensure the competency basis of those who provide chemical dependency counseling.

May 30, 2014

Greetings from your new ND ACA President,

I thought you might like to know who you elected to serve for the next couple years. I am a third generation rancher living on my grandfather’s ranch their Gladstone North Dakota. I’ve been involved in ranching my entire life and still have a herd of Angus cattle. The drought years and low grain and cattle prices in the 80s encouraged me to go back to college. I graduated in 1990 and completed my practicum at the North Dakota State Hospital and at Badlands Human Service Center. I completed a year of internship at Badlands just in time for St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson to close their addiction program and leave me jobless. My wife Marsha had also been recruited by St. Joe’s and she had been encouraged by John Allen to open a private practice. I joined her following my year of internship and we have been operating Heart River Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services since that time.

I’ve been fortunate to have served on the North Dakota Board of Addiction Counselor Examiners in the ethics committee and as the president. I have also been a charter member and secretary treasurer of the North Dakota Treatment Providers Coalition. I was also the president of the Dickinson Area Addiction Counselor Training program. I have always been a firm believer in supporting and contributing towards this profession. Although service has taken up time it has also given back to me in personal growth and in great mentors.

My sobriety date is over 26th 1982. I’ve been fortunate to have been involved in recovery for several years before choosing to go into this field as it has allowed me to separate my personal recovery from my professional work.

As you can see I truly love recovery and the field of addiction counseling. To me it is much more of a vocation rather than a job. I truly hope that I might encourage our members to become more involved and more united so as to give us a real voice. There are many proposed insurance changes and legislative changes coming up that we need to address with professionalism. The oil boom in North Dakota is bringing more and more people requiring more and more services. The services that we provide need to be do-able to those folks who work unusual shifts. We certainly are the need of attracting new counselors to the field and retaining those we have.

One thing I would like to see us establish is a forum where we can exchange resources, techniques and experiences within our membership. I believe we have many folks who have websites, databases and other Internet connections that would help us better do our work. I certainly would be interested in seeing more written testing instruments that others feel are valid and reliable.

I hope to be hearing more from you in the upcoming year.


John Wieglenda LAC