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Exploration of the Substance Abuse Treatment Workforce: Education, Preparation and Certification.

Poster presented at the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, Quebec City, Canada, June 16-21, 2007.

Traci R. Rieckmann, PhD, Bret E. Fuller, PhD, Dennis McCarty, PhD, Christiane Farentinos, MD, CADC II (Oregon Health & Science University, OR/HI Node).

The NIDA Clinical Trials Network (CTN) is a national network of drug abuse treatment programs and research centers partnering to implement and test emerging behavioral and pharmacological therapies. High staff turnover rates, a lack of professional development pathways and increasing use of evidence-based practices highlight the need to understand the characteristics of substance abuse treatment counselors. As part of CTN-0008, a baseline survey of direct care staff in 344 treatment units participating in the CTN, the education, certification, and licensure of counselors and managers/supervisors was examined. Managers/supervisors were more likely to have a master's degree or higher (61% managers vs. 43% counselors). Counselors and managers with master's degrees were more common in outpatient (67%) and methadone (51%) programs than those in residential (40%) and detoxification (44%) programs. The majority of providers had state or national certification 849 (51%). Of the 700 (46%) managers and counselors who had professional licensure, the majority (68%; n = 337) were licensed as an alcohol and drug abuse counselor, 16% were licensed professional counselors, 6% were psychologists. Supervisors were significantly more likely to be credentialed and/or licensed (state: 53%, national 26%; professional licensure: 58%) than counselors (state: 46%, national 18%; professional licensure: 41%). Individuals without graduate degrees commonly provide substance abuse treatment services and remain an important component of the counseling workforce. Managers/supervisors have more education and experience and can provide guidance on implementation of evidence-based practices. (Poster, PowerPoint slides, English, 2007)

Keywords: Community health services | Counselors | Evidence-based treatment | Health services research | Staff turnover | Treatment | College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) annual meeting, 2007

Document No: 212

Submitted by the Traci Rieckmann, PhD, OR/HI Node (7/25/2007).

Farentinos, Christiane search mail
Fuller, Bret E. search mail
McCarty, Dennis search mail
Rieckmann, Traci R. search mail
NIDA-CTN-0008 search www
All Nodes and CTPs were asked to participate in this protocol.

Supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to the University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute.
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Updated 6/2009 --