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An Active Year Supporting the Profession

March 15, 2011
by Don P. Osborn, MS, MA, MAC, LMHC, President of NAADAC
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NAADAC's Initiatives Focus on Supporting Members
Don P. Osborn, MS, MA, MAC, LMHC, President of NAADAC
Don P. Osborn, MS, MA, MAC, LMHC, President of NAADAC


Our profession is at a crossroads.

Slashed budgets, the challenges of a reforming health system and an ever increasing need for our services as people turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their problems.

NAADAC, as the association for addiction-focused professionals, works hard to connect our members with the information and resources that can help. The National Education and Research Foundation (NERF) is a valuable means for reaching addiction professionals who care about standards of care and how best to improve their services.

NERF activities under its contracts have made the difference in developing a sound business future for NAADAC. As we've moved into 2011, we have planned our initiatives for the coming year.

Supporting the Workforce

A conference focused on issues facing the addiction-focused workforce is planned for the fall of 2011 with constructive support for frontline professionals. Recognizing that not everyone has the budget to travel, all the career development issues and resources will also be made available online.

Educational Resources

Scholarship money from the NERF helped pay for 47 scholarships to the 2010 National Conference on Addiction Disorders (NCAD), providing needed learning opportunities and education credits to members from 38 states. The NERF plans on building on this success in 2011.

I ask that you donate to provide the resources to help our profession grow and thank you in advance for any support you are able to give.

Financial Support

Money will be allocated to pay for association membership for members who face financial hardships, to allow them to remain a part of the professional network that can help them find another job.

You may make a tax deductible donation over the phone by calling 800.548.0497, give electronically on our website at www.naadac.org/give, or send a check or money order to the NERF at 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 201, Alexandria VA 22314.

As the profession evolves, there are many benchmarks we are looking forward to over the course of the year.

The development of a national curriculum and standards for the addiction profession under the auspices of the new National Addiction Studies Accreditation Commission (NASAC) will gather national stakeholders of clinicians, academics, program directors, representatives of the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers and federal agencies to formulate a national addiction studies standardized curriculum for certificate through doctoral degree programs. Once developed, this curriculum would then be joined with a national scope of practice. The national scope of practice provides guidelines for ethical practice and delivery of addiction services, workforce functions and treatment.

These initiatives, helped in part by the NERF, will also add to developing the next generation of researchers, professors, supervisors and clinicians for the addiction profession, and will provide states with legislative resources and workforce standards.

We are now at a time where education will direct the content of certification and testing. Ultimately, the new standard of practice in the addiction profession will be a master's degree for clinical services and third party reimbursement. NASAC will become the national accreditation body for addiction studies degree programs in colleges and universities that are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

NAADAC is working with the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to expand the definition of qualified professionals who can receive up to $170,000 loan repayments under the NHSC Loan Repayment Program. (Full details on this program are available on the NAADAC website at www.naadac.org).

This transition will require some adjustments as we rededicate ourselves to the core principles of the profession. Some will also incur costs as they have to continue their education, and NAADAC and the NERF will be there to help support these efforts.

The success of our past year has been due in part to the generosity of NAADAC's members. We thank you for your service to our profession, and welcome your partnership in planning for the future of NAADAC.

Build upon a heritage and leave a legacy,

Don

Donald P. Osborn serves as the President of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. To contact him directly, please e-mail

dposborn@hotmail.com. Addiction Professional 2011 March-April;9(2):N1

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