University Offers Addiction Rehab Certificate As Substance Abuse Field Grows

By Victoria Kim 11/30/15

There has been more demand for substance abuse professionals in light of the growing opioid crisis.

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A new certificate program offered at the University of Maine at Farmington prepares students for a career in the addiction field, the Sun Journal reports.

Demand for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 31% through 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Well-trained professionals are needed in this field, especially in light of the widespread opioid crisis.

“Maine is really struggling with the opioid crisis and needs well-trained professionals who have a good educational foundation,” said Joanne Grant, a UMF lecturer and director of residential services at Day One, a residential adolescent substance abuse treatment facility.

To get certified, one must complete 22 credits in rehabilitation courses that focus on understanding addiction, prevention and recovery from substance abuse. Students are placed in internships with licensed professionals. This qualifies them to take the National Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam and to be eligible for a state license early in their education.

“Having a bachelor’s degree plus addiction training is of tremendous value when looking to be a professional in this field,” said Grant. “It gives a student a huge advantage. Several UMF students went directly from their internships at Day One to positions as full-time counselors.”

The Addiction Rehabilitation Certificate program, which started this fall, is available to any UMF student in any major. So far, about 15 students have enrolled.

“This certificate is getting support and encouragement from substance abuse and public health organizations across the state,” said Jewel Jones, chairperson of the UMF Division of Rehabilitation Services and Special Education. “Addiction is a problem throughout the country. Providing our students with the highest level of professional preparation is the first step toward a solution."

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