President’s Corner: President’s Farewell with Gratitude

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2020 issue of Advances in Addiction & Recovery.

By Diane Sevening, EdD, LAC, MAC, NAADAC President

As my Presidency comes to an end, I want to take this opportunity to say thank you! It has been the honor of my life to serve as the NAADAC President and work with such a dynamic and professional team. My experiences with the NAADAC officers, staff, and members are truly humbling and kept me inspired and motivated to keep moving forward in maintaining the mission of NAADAC.

The past two years have flown by so quickly with so many exciting achievements by NAADAC and the addiction profession.

NAADAC’s advocacy work over the past two years has been significant and exciting. During my time as President, NAADAC hosted two Advocacy in Action Conferences: one in November 2018 with Jim Carroll, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), as the keynote speaker and one in April 2019 with June Sivilli, Associate Director of Public Health, Education and Treatment at the ONDCP, as the keynote speaker. With the support of Polsinelli, NAADAC’s government relations firm, NAADAC is developing an increasing presence on Capitol Hill and proudly continues to advocate for the need for national credentials for the addiction professional, funding for the addiction workforce, maintaining 42 CFR Part 2 for protection of patient confidentiality and access to treatment, and other vital needs of our profession and those we serve.

House Resolution 419, Acknowledging the contributions of America’s addiction professionals and their commitment to delivering evidence-based practice to individuals with substance use disorders through recognized standards of education, training, and competencies, was introduced to the House of Representatives on June 3, 2019, to recognize that the House of Representatives supports the delivery of evidence-based care for substance use disorder by acknowledging the contributions of addiction professionals and encourages that recognized credentials reflect the requisite knowledge, training, and competencies for delivering quality, effective substance use disorder counseling.

A five-year Strategic Plan for NAADAC was developed with the involvement of NAADAC leadership, NCC AP commissioners, NAADAC staff, and NAADAC membership. The plan is based on four pillars, Education and Professional Development, Advocacy and Influence, Membership and Affiliates, and Credentialing and Standards. Implementation of the plan is underway and will continue on.

A new association management system was implemented to better accommodate the multifaceted areas of NAADAC and allow for better service to the membership. NAADAC members now have immediate access to their webinar training certificates, membership information, and more.

The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) tests have been updated. The NCC AP commissioners, under the leadership of Jerry Jenkins, rewrote and beta tested test questions for the National Certificated Addiction Counselor Level I (NCAC I), National Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (NCAC II), and Master Addiction Counselor (MAC) tests. The new tests are currently in use both nationally and internationally, and there has been an increase of national and international credentialing boards utilizing the NCC AP resources and tests over the past several years.

NAADAC committees are increasingly active and accomplishing their goals and producing new resources to expand NAADAC membership, advocacy, and involvement. Most recently, NAADAC formed a new committee to address critical issues in the Black community.

NAADAC sent two professional delegations of addiction professionals to Europe, including one to Kosovo in May 2019 and one to Greece in March 2020. These delegations were a concerted effort between NAADAC, National Council for Behavioral Health, and World Learning. Participants were provided with opportunities to meet with public health leaders and addiction/mental health directors, counselors, and staff, as well as to learn about the progress and advances in addressing addiction and mental health in these countries.

I am confident that NAADAC will continue to move forward with Mita Johnson as the incoming President and Angela Maxwell as the President-Elect. They are both great leaders with a passion for the addiction profession. Whether you are a lifetime member or a new member of NAADAC, a state affiliate board member, or a committee member, please consider running for a leadership position. It is a rewarding experience you will never forget. Thank you for granting me this experience. It has been a pleasure serving you!

Diane Sevening, EdD, LAC, MAC, is an Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota (USD) School of Health Sciences Addiction Counseling and Prevention Department (ACP), has over 35 years of teaching experience, and is a faculty advisor to CASPPA. In addition to serving as NAADAC President, Sevening is also a member of the South Dakota Board of Addiction and Prevention Professionals (BAPP) and Treasurer of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (INCASE). Her clinical experience involves seven years as the Prevention and Treatment Coordinator Student Health Services at USD, Family Therapist at St. Luke’s Addiction Center in Sioux City, IA for one year, and two years as clinical supervisor for the USD Counseling Center. Sevening has been the Regional Vice President for NAADAC North Central Region, the Chair of the Student Committee for NAADAC, an evaluator for the National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC), and currently a member of the NASAC Board of Commissioners.

Posted by Caitlin Corbett at 15:23