For its 30th anniversary meeting, IC&RC, the world leader in addiction-related credentialing, was proud to host Pamela J. Hyde, Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, as its keynote speaker.
Hyde, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in management and consulting for public healthcare and human services agencies, has led the agency since November 2009. Previously, she had served as a state mental health director, state human services director, city housing and human services director, as well as CEO of a private non-profit managed behavioral healthcare firm.
In her remarks, Hyde stated that “We know a lot more about prevention and recovery and the whole spectrum than other healthcare providers know – and than local policymakers know.” She highlighted the fact that the misunderstanding of substance use disorders (SUD) as a social problem, instead of a health problem, leads to serious undertreatment. Only 11 percent of people with SUD are receiving treatment, as compared with 84% of diabetics – even though they affect similar numbers of the populations. Diabetes is diagnosed in 25.8 million people, substance use disorder in 22.5 million people.
In addition to lack of treatment, Hyde also voiced federal concerns about disparities in disease rates and in the workforce. SAMHSA is coordinating efforts to address the needs of underserved populations: ethnic minorities, American Indian/Alaskan Native, lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender-queer, and women/girls. She stated that minorities make up 30 percent of the population, but only 20 percent of counselors.
Hyde described SAMHSA’s focus on recovery. With extensive input, they have developed a working definition: “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to achieve their full potential.” She informed IC&RC delegates of a new technical assistance center for recovery, called (BRSS TACS). This strategic initiative will include funding for Recovery Support Services in health reform and the block grant.
Hyde encouraged IC&RC to convene people working the area of peer recovery. Later that day, the IC&RC Board of Directors voted to approve two levels of Peer Recovery Support credentials, including standards. The next steps are to develop a Job Task Analysis, then a fully referenced examination.
Hyde encouraged professional standards to include cross-training in mental health and substance use - for career as well as clinical flexibility. Beyond that, she emphasized the need for widespread public education about substance abuse and mental health: “Most people know about physical health these days. Most know CPR, as it is required in our workforce. Most Americans do not understand mental health issues, the signs of addiction and suicide, or the role of early childhood trauma in contributing to these diseases.”
Hong Kong, Nicaragua Become New Members
More than 75 delegates from Member Boards gathered to set the direction for the future of the international organization. Two new boards were proudly welcomed into the organization:
- Associación Centro de Especialidades en Adicciones (Nicaragua) – Alcohol and Drug Counselor
- Hong Kong Association of Professionals Specializing in Addiction Counseling Limited (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and China) – Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Clinical Specialist
The Board of Directors also approved new credentials for existing boards:
- Utah adopted the Prevention Specialist.
- California will now offer the Co-Occurring Disorders Professional Diplomate credential.
Rhonda Messamore, IC&RC President, presented the Presidential Leadership Award to Julie Stevens, Chair of the Prevention Committee, in recognition of outstanding contributions and support given to IC&RC and the substance abuse and prevention profession.
A Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor and an Advanced Certified Prevention Specialist with 25 years’ in the prevention field, Stevens is currently employed as Training Specialist for the University of Oklahoma’s Southwest Prevention Center.
Stunned into silence, Stevens held back tears: “I’m shaking. I’m floored, shocked. I’m so appreciative. This is so important to me. The work this body does, because it is the work I do in my heart. It is a purpose for me. I just thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say.”
IC&RC was also proud to welcome new delegates from member boards:
- David Barnes, Maryland
- Pamela Gillen, Colorado Prevention
- Ailala Kay, Colorado Prevention
Julie Hogan, Co-Director of the National Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) and an inaugural member of the IC&RC Advisory Council, joined the meeting as a special guest.
President Rhonda Messamore (right) presents an award of gratitude to SAMHSA Administrator Pamela J. Hyde.