International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium

IC&RC News

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  • May 02, 2011 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    President Rhonda Messamore opened the Spring 2011 meeting of the IC&RC Board of Directors with the bang of a gavel – and a heartfelt speech about the 30th anniversary.

    “With this meeting, we kick off IC&RC’s anniversary, ‘Celebrating 30 Years of Setting Standards for Addiction Professionals.’ According to some traditions, the 30th wedding anniversary is the pearl anniversary. We’ve taken the pearl as a symbol for this year. Think about it: a pearl begins as a grain of sand, but oh-so-slowly, over time, the oyster turns this irritation into a beautiful treasure. A pearl represents healing from imperfection, creating beauty and meaning from pain.”

    “This imagery resonated strongly for me, and I hope it does for you too. Our very work has at its foundation a world of hurt – the pain that drives addiction, and the pain that it causes, in individuals, in families and in communities. But slowly, with persistence, through the long, hard effort of counselors and prevention specialists, many of these wounds have been healed – and miraculous beauty has come from them. Through the long, patient work of certification boards, clients and their families can rest easy knowing they are working with competent, ethical professionals. Funders and employers know they are working from the latest, evidence-based practices.”

    The Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse, Inc. adopted bylaws and articles of incorporation in South Bend, Indiana in 1981. At that time, the first office of the consortium was located in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

    After three decades, IC&RC is stronger than ever. It represents 76 certification boards and more than 43,000 reciprocal-level certified professionals. The organization now administers more than 8,000 examinations a year.

    Keynote by Coulson

    Anthony Coulson, Director of ADAPTE International, gave a keynote presentation on the situation between the U.S. and Mexico, including statistics on drug seizures and images of the violence along the border. Coulson discussed the U.S. foreign policy dilemma and advocated treatment and recovery efforts as an effective solution.

    In 2010, Anthony Coulson retired from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA's Tucson District Office and directed the Federal Government's drug enforcement strategy in Southern Arizona. He began his career with the DEA in 1982 and has served in Washington, D.C.; Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona; Los Angeles, California; and Songkhla, Thailand. In 1996 and 2002, he received the DEA’s highest award, the Administrator's Award for Exceptional Service.

    Coulson explained that 90 percent of drugs in this country enter through the southwest border, and he emphasized that, at 2,000 miles long, the U.S. southern border can never be secured. “I’m a big proponent of putting people in jail,” summarized Coulson. “If they have a problem, give them treatment. But I don’t want to see them again.” He argued that dealers and traffickers need to be removed from communities, so that the communities have time to heal. He added that there must be strategies in place to facilitate that recovery.

    Based on seizures, Coulson asserted that marijuana trafficking creates the channels that all other drugs – cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine – use. In 2009, 3.5 million pounds of marijuana was seized, at a value of $3.5 billion dollars. Coulson asserted that amount likely represents 20 percent of the total marijuana trade, but that drug cartels plan for this loss as a part of their business strategy.

    In addition to drugs, the U.S. seizes billions of dollars in cash and assets each year. A percentage of that amount goes back to law enforcement agencies, but Coulson encouraged treatment and prevention organizations to advocate for a share of these funds. “You need to be a voice. Get $2 billion of seized assets, and turn it into treatment and prevention. Law enforcement will fight you on it, but they don’t do anything with it.”

    From Coulson’s perspective, all law enforcement efforts should have the goal of raising prices of drugs high enough to drive people to treatment. He claims that the U.S. government doesn’t value treatment and prevention as the true solution to drug trafficking. It doesn’t recognize that, without addressing the underlying problem of addiction, the costs of enforcement and corrections will continue.

    Colorado Becomes a New Member State

    More than 75 delegates from Member Boards gathered to set the direction for the future of the international organization. One new board – Colorado Prevention Certification Board - was joyfully welcomed into the organization. Carmelita Muniz, Mary Anne Burdick, and Cheryl Reid represented the new board at the meeting.

    IC&RC was also proud to welcome new delegates from member boards:

    • Judith Burgess, Bermuda
    • Carla Scott, Bermuda
    • Richard Olivarez, California
    • Mary Christy, Idaho
    • Chris Daniel, Idaho
    • Christopher Cohen, New Jersey
    • Sigurlina Davidsdottir, Nordic/Baltic
    • Amy Woods, U.S. Air Force

    Special guests included:

    • Irv Williams, Florida
    • Robyn McCarty, Illinois
    • Dianne McFarling, Kentucky

    Additional News

    Tammi Lewis, LPC, AADC, ALPS, Therapist at CAMC Family Resource Center in Charleston, West Virginia, is the new co-chair of the Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC) Committee.

    The Peer Recovery Support Specialist credential is continuing toward adoption. Based on three states that already offer a peer recovery credential, minimum standards have been developed, and the credential will undergo IC&RC’s evaluation process over the next six months.

    IC&RC protects the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals. Today, IC&RC represents 76 member boards, including 45 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and three branches of the U.S. military. Members also include 22 countries and six Native American territories. IC&RC credentials include Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ADC), Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (AADC), Clinical Supervisor (CS), Prevention Specialist (PS), Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJP), Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional (CCDP), and Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate (CCDPD).

  • April 21, 2010 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    On March 12, IC&RC joined an expert panel, convened by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), to discuss “Scopes of Practice in the field of Substance Use Disorder.”  The meeting was facilitated by Senior Public Health Advisor Linda Kaplan.

    “As you are all aware, the field of addiction services is facing a workforce crisis,” stated Beth Fraster, LICSW, Senior Program Associate for Advocates for Human Potential and organizer of the meeting.  “Yet, with the passage of the new Parity legislation and the hope of health care reform, it is also facing real opportunities for new business development and potential growth.  SAMHSA and other leaders in the field are focusing on strengthening and supporting the professional identity of the addiction workforce.  

    Mary Jo Mather, Executive Director of International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium, joined a panel of experts, including:
    • Joseph D. (Jody) Biscoe, III – Associate Professor of Psychology & Addiction Studies at Northwestern State University and Louisiana Coordinator, Gulf Coast ATTC

    • Kirk Bowden, Ph.D., LPC, LISAC, NCC, MAC, ACS – Chair of the Chemical Dependency Counseling Department at Rio Salado College
    • Donna DeAngelis, LICSW, ACSW – Executive Director of the Association of Social Work Boards
    • Phyllis Gardner, Ph.D. – Professor of Psychology, Sociology & Addiction Studies at Texarkana College and Chair of the IC&RC Credentialing Services Committee
    • Rick Harwood – Research and Program Applications Director for National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc.
    • Deann Jepson – Program Manager and Workforce Development Specialist for ATTC University of Missouri-National Office in Kansas City
    • Mary McCann, M.S.W., LCSW, CAC III – Director of Community Treatment and Recovery Programs at the Colorado Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health
    • Neal A. McGarry – Executive Director of the Florida Certification Board
    • Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC III, SAP – Executive Director of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals
    • Doug Rosenberry, M.B.A. – Bureau Director of Workforce Development and Fiscal Evaluation for the NY State OASAS
    • Rosemary Shannon – Clinical Services Unit Administrator at the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services
    • Becky Vaughn, M.S.Ed. – Chief Executive Officer of the State Associations of Addiction Services
    • Quinetta Rowley Womack, M.A., LAC, CCGC, CCS – Executive Director of Workforce Development in the Office for Addictive Disorders, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

    Working in small groups, the panel discussed recommendations for the development of a Model Scopes of Practice. The group identified elements of existing Scopes of Practice for the addictions profession, as well as criteria for levels of education and experience. 

    IC&RC supported the concept of moving toward a uniform national model for Scopes of Practice. “We believe that, in addition to educational degrees, competence should be determined by a nationally accepted competency-based testing process,” explained Mather.

    SAMHSA staffers present at the meeting indicated that they would develop a Summary Document outlining the experts’ recommendations for Scopes of Practice for alcohol and drug counselors at the HS/GED, associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s levels of education. SAMHSA will also circulate the report nationwide, with the hope that states will give serious consideration to aligning their local scopes of practice with the recommendations contained in the report.    

    IC&RC sets the international standards for competency-based certification programs in addiction counseling, prevention, criminal justice, co-occurring disorders and clinical supervision through testing and credentialing of addiction professionals. It is comprised of 73 credentialing boards that represent over 40,000 certified addiction professionals, located in 42 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and 13 countries worldwide, as well as affiliations with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Marines.

  • April 12, 2010 9:00 AM | Deleted user

    IC&RC presented its Presidential Leadership Award to Stefán Jóhannsson, in recognition of outstanding contributions and support given to IC&RC and the substance abuse profession. On behalf of the organization, Vice President Doug Rosenberry lauded Jóhannsson as “a man of action, who founded the Icelandic School of Addictions after a long and illustrious career. IC&RC would be poorer without his influences and bulldog persistence.”  Jóhannsson has promoted IC&RC throughout Europe, at conferences for ICAA, UKESAD, and NORDAN.

    Jóhannsson accepted the award with grace: “This is a surprise, I’m overwhelmed. I’m committed to doing this work, and my dream is to create the first regional board of IC&RC, with members from the Nordic and Baltic countries. There is so much for Europeans to learn from how you do things differently in the U.S., and vice versa. I wish more Americans would go to Europe for training and learn how they do things.”

    Rosenberry closed by calling Jóhannsson a “shining example” and reading remarks by Past President Jeff Wilbee, who said he was “proud to call Stefan a colleague and more pleased to call him a friend.”

    Key Votes

    More than 100 delegates met in the gorgeous weather, at a conference center graciously provided by the U.S. Navy.  The Board of Directors approved new credentials for two boards:

    • Puerto Rico’s Certification Board for Professionals in Addiction & Alcoholism was accepted for Prevention Specialist.
    • The Association of Professionals Specializing in Addiction Counseling in Singapore was approved for Co-Occurring Disorders Professional and Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate.

    A number of important votes also took place:

    • International & Cultural Affairs became a standing committee, with the purpose of developing and implementing a strategic plan for the advancement of IC&RC products globally, assisting and supporting groups globally that are interested in joining IC&RC, and assisting the organization’s efforts to work effectively across different cultures and jurisdictions.
    • The name of the Products Committee was changed to Credentialing Services, reflecting its focus on credentials and related activities.
    • Revised Mission and Vision Statements were approved.

    On behalf of President Rhonda Messamore, Rosenberry addressed the membership:

    “We have a number of accomplishments to report:  a strategic plan, a marketing plan, a business plan, all working together. We are a financially viable organization, with exciting new developments on the international front. The hiring of marketing director and retaining of our advocate in Washington, D.C. means we are making connections that this organization hasn’t been able to make for many years.  The arrival of computer-based testing is one of the most important developments, and we anticipate its continued growth in coming years.”

    IC&RC sets the international standards for competency-based certification programs in addiction counseling, prevention, criminal justice, co-occurring disorders and clinical supervision through testing and credentialing of addiction professionals. It is comprised of 73 credentialing boards that represent over 40,000 certified addiction professionals, located in 44 states, the District of Columbia, two U.S. territories, and 12 countries worldwide, as well as affiliations with the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy and Marines.

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