This article originally appeared in the Winter 2019 issue of Advances in Addiction & Recovery.
By Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, NAADAC Executive Director
Over the past year, NAADAC worked hard toward the vision set by its Board of Directors and recognized many accomplishments. I am excited to share the following highlights in the areas of advocacy and influence, education and professional development, certification, and membership and affiliates. For a full list of NAADAC’s 2018 accomplishments, please visit www.naadac.org/2018YearinReview.
Advocacy & Influence
- In mid-2018, NAADAC entered into a consulting contract with Polsinelli, a top-rated government relations firm in D.C. Through this partnership, we have increased our voice and presence on Capitol Hill, visited key legislators, written testimony, and hosted a successful Advocacy in Action Conference, Hill Day, and briefing on the Hill.
- NAADAC has given testimony, supported national bills, and submitted recommendations to SAMHSA, ONDCP, NIDA, and Congressional offices and committees this past year, including providing input on numerous provisions of the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Specifically, we contributed to provisions that (1) incentivize individuals to pursue substance use disorder treatment professions by offering student loan relief; (2) protect against the erosion of privacy rights of individuals with substance use disorders; and (3) remove the IMD exclusion for all substance use disorder treatment and allow Medicaid payment for eligible individuals for up to 30 days annually, among others.
- NAADAC is often contacted by journalists to give our views on issues relating to the opioid crisis, addiction in the United States, treatment and recovery issues, and other topics related to addiction. In the past year, NAADAC leadership has been interviewed many news outlets, including National Public Radio, Fox News (Local DC), Circa News, Drug Topics, Nexstar Media Group, Health.com, ADAW, ModernHealthcare, Reuters, and The Boston Globe. We even supported HBO and John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show with background for a segment on the opioid crisis.
- NAADAC works at the Federal level with ONDCP, SAMHSA, NIDA, HRSA, NIAAA, HHS, INL and other Federal agencies to ensure that your agenda items are being addressed, especially in the workforce arenas. NAADAC also participates in other Washington, D.C. groups such as the Addiction Leadership Group to pull more funds into treatment and recovery. NAADAC continues to build your voice and recognition at the state, national and international levels.
- NAADAC is also on the Optum Advisory Council, where it serves to to inform on national issues affecting addiction services and the way in which our professionals can assist in the prevention, education, intervention, treatment and recovery of the millions of lives those services cover across the United States. NAADAC continues to work with other MCOs, PPOs, BHOs and CMS to assist in seeking funding or other regulations to support the work of our providers and counselors.
- NAADAC’s social media strategy has led to increased followers and reach throughout its three main platforms: Facebook, LinkinedIn, and Twitter. Since 2013, we have increased our followers by 294% (Facebook), 339% (Twitter), and 6409% (LinkedIn). In April 2018, our Facebook messages were seen over 170,000 times!
Education & Professional Development
Education and training stand at the center of NAADAC’s efforts to ensure professional development for all addiction professionals at every stage in their careers. NAADAC is continuously working to update and improve the educational offerings that it provides, and 2018 was no exception.
- NAADAC added 39 webinars to its on-demand webinar library to now provide over 145 Continuing Education (CE) hours of free addiction-specific education. In addition to its regular 2018 Webinar Series, NAADAC launched a new Advocacy Webinar Series, an Ethics Webinar Series, and a HIV/Bloodborne Pathogens Webinar Series. All of the CEs earned through webinars are free for NAADAC members, while non-members can receive the education for free or pay for CEs per webinar.
- Our most popular products received content updates and cover redesigns, including Integrating Treatment for Co-Occurring Disorders and all three modules of The Basics of Addiction Counseling Desk Reference: Pharmacology of Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders; Addiction Counseling Theories, Practices, and Skills; and Ethical and Professional Issues in Addiction Counseling. Our new manual on Clinical Supervision is in its final stages and will be released in the Spring. We are also working with William White to update our popular The History of Addiction Counseling in the United States book.
- Our 2018 Annual Conference was a big success, with over 950 participants, over 80 exhibitors, and over 90 presentations. Attendees were able to earn up to 43 CEs across the five day conference!
- In coordination with Single State Agency (SSA) offices and other partners, NAADAC implemented SAMHSA-funded Workforce Forums at colleges/universities in Mississippi, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Illinois. These were held to build awareness of the discipline of addiction and mental health professionals, inform students of the career ladder and resources to achieve the education necessary to become an addictions and/or mental health professional, and provide resources and other connections.
- The NAADAC Minority Fellowship Program for Addiction Counselors (NMFP-AC) program recognized 42 Fellows in 2018. The program is a major SAMHSA-funded initiative to build the addiction specific workforce that provides tuition stipends and professional development opportunities, including education and mentorship, to individuals who are committed to working with underserved populations. In addition, the MFP got additional funding to expand to include Behavioral Health Professionals (BHP). Through the NMFP-BHP, we are able to expand the program to welcome another 12 Fellows.
- NAADAC continues to support the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) for higher education addiction accreditation. NASAC is continuing to grow and is increasingly gaining recognition in the higher education accreditation world.
- NAADAC’s magazine, Advances in Addiction and Recovery, has become well known as a great treatment and recovery resource for both those who serve in the addiction and other helping professions. NAADAC works with outside groups for regular contributions, including NIDA and SAMHSA.
- NAADAC’s Approved Education Provider Program continues to grow, representing more training and education entities throughout the United States and internationally.
- In partnership with the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependance (ATTUD), and the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs (CTTTP), NAADAC offerred the National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice (NCTTP), which has been more successful than what we projected. Over 1,300 CTTTP-trained professionals have availed themselves of the NCTTP Training Certificate since its launch in October 2017.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) Qualification/Requalification training continues to grow. We will see this educational program expand to online education as well as the home-study and face-to-face methods that we currently offer.
NAADAC’s National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) worked to expand, promote national credentialing, and improve its current national credential, tests, and testing processes.
- NAADAC’s continued work in the Pacific Jurisdiction to build training systems and successful certification, with the Pacific Jurisdiction now organizing its own Pacific-wide training and planning to use NCC AP’s certification system.
- NCC AP welcomed Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming as the latest states to use the NCC AP standardized licensing/credentialing tests and criteria at the state level.
- NCC AP completed a very successful test-exemption offer period for the Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) credential, including special offers for addiction professionals in Puerto Rico, New Jersey, and the Pacific Jurisdiction that are still ongoing. In addition, NCC AP partnered with Oxford House to help all qualified peer Oxford House employees nationwide obtain the NCPRSS.
- In April, NCC AP announced the new testing alternative of online proctoring through the use of a computer with a cameria. People can now take NCC AP examinations from the comfort of their homes or offices.
- The American Psychological Association (APA) Division 50: Society of Addiction Psychology transferred the holders of its Certificate of Proficiency in the Treatment of Alcohol and Other Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders to NCC AP’s Master Addiction Counselor national credential.
- NCC AP Commissioners spent countless hours updating the certification exams for the National Certified Addiction Counselor Level I (NCAC I), National Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (NCAC II), and Master Addiction Counselor (MAC).
Membership & Affiliates
- NAADAC supports it 50 state affiliates and international affiliates with technical and professional services, from training and curriculum development, to speakers, technical assistance, certification testing and advocacy. We have worked this year to support state licensure bills, state support of addiction treatment services and support for the addiction professional being seen as the professional to treat and be paid for addiction services and other workforce initiatives.
- NAADAC continues to work with its affiliates to co-host state and regional conferences, such as the third Annual Alaska Training Institute, the 2018 Northwest Regional Conference, and numerous Conflict Resolution in Recovery (CRR) trainings. We also support affiliate conferences with trainers, logistical and communcations support, and promotion.
- The 2018 March to Membership Campaign has been successful and added to the rolls of new members. NAADAC staff continues to look for ways to enhance membership benefits and thereby, membership.
- NAADAC announced two strategic telehealth partnerships: (1) with the Telebehavioral Health Institute (TBHI) to bring telehealth training and certification to NAADAC members at a discount; and (2) with Clocktree, a HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform, to provide free and discounted services to NAADAC members.
- NAADAC released a new marketing brochure “NAADAC for Treatment Providers” in an effort to provide treatment organizations with information about how NAADAC can help organizations build business and brand recognition, keep staff up-to-date on the latest addictionrelated education offerings, news, and events, improve recruitment and retention, develop leadership, and save money on individual professional liability expenses and professional development costs.
Thank you to our NAADAC leaders for the work that you do and the tireless hours that you work and then donate back to us! Without your support, we could not have achieved all the amazing growth over the past year! I am also appreciative of the work of the NAADAC Team and the dedicated work they so generously give to support our vision and mission. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you!
Together, we are making a difference! Cyn
Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, is the Executive Director of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, and has worked as an addiction professional for over 35 years. She has been a trainer in Domestic Violence/Anger Management and Conflict Resolution for over 25 years as well as an international, national and state trainer in a variety of topics. Moreno Tuohy is also a curriculum writer in addiction screening and evaluation, counseling methods, conflict resolution, co-occurring disorders, and medicated assisted treatment and recovery, and has written articles published in national and other trade magazines. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and is certified both nationally and in Washington State.