The last two days at the NAADAC (National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors) conference were educational, informative, exciting, overwhelming, and thought-provoking (to say the least).
The days were packed full of educational sessions about how to improve the work that counselors do, not only for the people they treat, but for themselves as well. Among these sessions, NAADAC made sure to inform attendees on the latest happenings in NAADAC.
Robert Richards, MA, CADC II, NCAC II, president of NAADAC, explained that the organization is continuously working hard to level the playing field for addiction professionals. He said that there is currently an evolution happening which is helping addiction professionals to be recognized as true professionals instead of “paraprofessionals,” as some had called them in the past.
As the organization celebrates its 39th anniversary, much has changed in the field and Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC III, SAP, executive director of NAADAC, explained that the organization has been implementing changes to accommodate the latest trends in the field.
For example, NAADAC is rolling out five new credentials this year. One of these is a co-occurring competency test because in some states it is now required to show competency in co-occurring disorders. Another credential coming out this year is a peer-recovery support specialist credential, and this one will be a national credential. Additionally, there will be a credential for third-party reimbursement.
Moreno Tuohy stated that the organization would not be where it is today without the affiliates in each state across the country. NAADAC also announced a new relationship that expands beyond the United States with Hong Kong.
The NAADAC team says it focuses on four areas: professional development, public engagement, professional services and communicating the mission.