Medication Assisted Recovery Training Gains National Attention

Friday, June 13, 2014

Medication Assisted Recovery Training Gains National Attention

As the abuse of opioid prescription medication and heroin continues to skyrocket around our country, initiation into the proper treatment modalities is part of the discussion on the national policy making agenda. As recently as this week, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Director Michael Botticelli spoke to a large audience at the New England Institute of Addiction Studies Summer School about the efficacy of medication assisted treatment in helping those with opioid use disorders. Director Botticelli even addressed the stigma often associated with MAT by saying clearly that if medication assisted treatment doesn’t fit into one’s view of overall recovery, then “you should keep that opinion to yourself.” This simple statement certainly drew a reaction from the crowd, but also showed the administration’s position on dealing with this national epidemic.

Given the CCB’s establishment of recovery oriented training requirements defined in the standards of the Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist (MATS) credential, policymakers in Washington have become aware there are efforts to ensure that those working in MAT environments have measured competence in working with this specific population. To that end, Executive Director Jeffrey Quamme has been invited to Washington D.C. to discuss the credential and training requirements with Jack Stein, Director and Geoffrey Laredo, Program Analysis Officer at the Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Director Botticelli and David Mineta, Deputy Director for Demand Reduction at ONDCP. These meetings are both scheduled for the end of June, and provide a rare opportunity for a state-based workforce development agency to impact the national discussion with senior level members of 2 different federal agencies, including a White House office. We at the CCB recognize and applaud the efforts of Andrew Kessler and Slingshot Solutions in coordinating this exciting opportunity. You can stay updated on the progress by following us on Twitter: @ctcertboard.

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