The Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) network just released its long-awaited report, “Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of the Addiction Treatment Profession,” prepared for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
ATTC writes, “In the national Vital Signs report, the ATTC Network provides a unique picture of the state of the SUD treatment field and taps into the considerable experience and expertise of clinical directors and thought leaders from across the country to illustrate the challenges that lay ahead for the field as well as the ways that the workforce will change to remain viable in the future. The potential impact of this report is significant.”
IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, has prepared several responses to the report:
- IC&RC has long been concerned about the shortage of professionals entering the workforce and we do everything we can to promote the profession.
- We certainly support the recommendations - improving reimbursement rates, healthcare benefits, access to continuing education - that will increase the number of professionals entering and staying in the field.
- IC&RC supports a career ladder for prevention, treatment and recovery professionals, but it must include all levels of education and clinical practice. It is for this reason that our credentials offer a pathway for advancement, from entry-level to advanced practitioners.
- Our first concern is protecting the public. As always, IC&RC credentials demonstrate that professionals - regardless of background, degree, or license - have adequate training in evidence-based and recovery-oriented methods of treatment and prevention.
- A final caution: In this climate of integrating substance use disorders into the larger mental health field, it is very important to remember that treating co-occurring disorders is a distinct discipline and requires specific training. While professionals may have mental health-specific or addiction-specific training, any professional treating clients with co-occurring disorders should have competency in the interaction of substance use disorder and mental illness. IC&RC has the right credentials - the CCDP and AADC - to allow professionals to demonstrate competency in this area.
Since 1981, IC&RC has protected the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals. IC&RC represents 76 member boards and 45,000 professionals from 22 countries and 53 U.S. states and territories. IC&RC’s seven credentials include counselors, clinical supervisors, prevention specialists, criminal justice, and co-occurring disorders professionals. The organization is in the process of developing a Peer Mentor credential.