Peer support in addiction treatment is neither a new nor controversial concept. Indeed, it represents a proven benefit to those in recovery. Peer support specialists are those who may or may not have been affected by drug use, but have the willingness and ability to offer social support for those starting their recovery. Peer support specialist may be volunteers or professionals and are often people who have had a great success in recovery themselves.
The peers support specialist is not a clinical role, however the services they offer can make the therapeutic process more successful. The peer support specialist has four main roles:
The Certified Behavioral Health Technician or CBHT is one of the most important and frankly, underappreciated jobs in the addiction treatment industry. From a certification standpoint, it represents both an entry-level designation, but also an incredibly valuable way to gain firsthand experience into the workings of a treatment program.
CBHTs are at the front lines of treatment. They are typically the employees tasked with transporting and supervising clients when they are not actively participating in the treatment process (group therapy, individual therapy, etc.). They will ensure that all activities outside of the treatment program proceed as planned. BHTs will also assist counselors in their day-to-day clinical work with the clients. BHTs may have day or night shifts, as clients will require 24/7 monitoring.
The New York Certification Association has recently begun offering certification for the Recovery Peer Advocate. The CRPA’s services rendered at qualifying facilities may be reimbursed by Medicaid. Indeed, peer recovery services represent a growing and important part of the recovery process.
In addition, through the NYS OASAS and NYC, scholarships for qualifying candidates are available for:
We receive inquiries from around the country by students interested in taking our courses, but not knowing how they will reciprocate in their state or country. It is often difficult to decipher the educational requirements as they can vary widely between states. Indeed, no two state governing bodies in the field are the same. To that end, we try to help our prospective students understand their options to get the training they need for their local certification. For those interested in Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) or Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) programs, there is good news.
The Florida Certification Board recently announced that they will be offering qualified students with appropriate financial documentation a waiver of the application and exam fees normally imposed on the CRRS course.
This waiver, or scholarship, will hopefully have the effect of encouraging prospective support specialist to follow through with their application and get their certification.
To learn more about whether you meet the qualification criteria necessary to receive the fee waiver, please visit The Florida Certification Board at:
The application for the scholarship is a simple one page form and does not require any supporting documentation upon submission.
The Certified Recovery Residence Administrator designation, as delineated and administered by the Florida Certification Board, has become a virtual requirement for anyone who manages a recovery residence in Florida. While the Florida Certification board originally designated March 31, 2017 as the deadline for taking the requisite courses, and getting certified under new Florida guidelines, the deadline has been extended to October 1st.
The Florida Certification Board allows students who submit 25 or more hours of CRRA training before October 1 to take the rest of their training and receive their credential by February 1, 2018. This allows recovery residence administrators a significant reprieve. During the grandfathering period, our students can take CRRA course #4 to fulfill this requirement.
To that end, The Academy for Addiction Professionals is maintaining our exceptionally low prices our CRRA training until this deadline, after which our pricing will increase to our standard rates.
By Phillip Smith, Student at The Academy
Documentation plays a crucial role in any treatment setting. Documentation helps assure continuity of care. There are many important moments in treatment. Proper documentation can help the practitioner to recall those moments. Behaviors and emotions can help tell a story; being able to discover patterns can help to uncover reasons for certain behavior. Documentation is a very simple tool to help any practitioner is unveiling patterns. It can help track the progress in addressing thought patterns and unhealthy behaviors. If a practitioner isn’t utilizing the tool of documentation it would prove to be very difficult to make continual progress on any one area, let alone multiple areas.
by Maria Distefano, Student at The Academy
Have you ever witnessed a person make a complete change in their life for the better? Have you ever wondered how they did it and where the help came from? There is usually a reasonable explanation for everything in life and I am here to tell you about something more specific. The treatment process in substance abuse and/or mental disorders is not an easy road, but with the right team of professionals, recovery is possible. In this writing, I am going to explain what each persons role is and how beneficial it is to the individual seeking help.
September is National Recovery Month, a program sponsored and administered by SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). As planning partners for Recovery Month, all of us here at The Academy for Addiction Professionals have an overarching goal of bringing awareness to drug and alcohol abuse, as well as assisting to those in recovery, any way we can.
But how do we promote awareness about recovery? How do we most effectively help when the specific definition of recovery is so vague? First, we must ask ourselves a simple question: “What does recovery mean?”
Most people in the behavioral health industry know what the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act is, and those who are not aware will probably look at you as if you have five heads. It can be a complex topic, but nonetheless important.
The law was enacted in 2008 and does not require a plan to offer MH/SUD benefits; however, if the plan does offer these benefits, it must offer the same benefits with the other medical and surgical benefits it covers.
An example of a parity requirement is the frequency of office visits. Under this law, patients are not limited to medically necessary appointments. Under plans that require equal benefits that follow Parity, you can’t limit a patient’s number of office visits for counseling sessions, just as you wouldn’t limit the number of emergency room visits or any other major medical care.