October 3, 2013 Blog

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The CCB has many friends and supporters who work for various departments within the federal government, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and on behalf of the staff and directors, I would like to wish for them a speedy end to the current furloughs and return to work. Their work helps to advance and support all of the work that you do in the community. None of us in this field should ever be labeled “non-essential.”

Over the last few weeks, I have had the privilege of attending two important events. On September 19, Community Mental Health Affiliates hosted a special event at Trinity-On-Main in New Britain for their annual Substance Abuse Action Council’s “Night of Recovery” which featured a showing of the nationally acclaimed “The Anonymous People.” The special guest for the evening was Greg Williams, creator and producer of the film, who spoke about the project and took questions from the audience. His work on this project is groundbreaking, and we are proud that he not only holds the Certified Addiction Recovery Coach credential, but helped us with the development of the credential as a subject matter expert. Patricia Rehmer, DMHAS commissioner was also in attendance, and shared her thoughts on the importance of the message with the audience. If you have not seen “The Anonymous People,” please do-you will be glad you did. I’d like to thank Kathryn Barnard, Director of the SAAC for coordinating this event and allowing the CCB to be represented.

I was also lucky enough to receive an invitation to, and attend, a briefing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the House Prescription Drug Abuse Caucus and the American Society of Addiction Medicine on Monday, September 30. Approximately 50 physicians, legislators and professionals gathered in the Rayburn House Office Building to hear from a distinguished panel that included Representative Paul D. Tonko (D-NY), Dr. Westley Clark, Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Jack Stein, PhD, Director, Office of Science Policy and Communications, Tom McLellan, PhD, CEO of the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, Christopher Jones, PharmD, Center for Disease Control, and Kurt Kemmling, CMA, Connecticut and New England Director for the National Association for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMAR). Each speaker addressed the issues from a unique perspective and took questions from the attendees. The question most relevant to our professionals was asked by Andrew Kessler, JD, lobbyist for the IC&RC, who asked what message he could bring back to the membership so that “[counselors] can help promote [the panelists’] work.” Both Andrew and I are committed to discussing this at the IC&RC’s Annual Meeting on October 8th through 10th in Charlotte. I have spoken to many of the presenters about gaining access to their power point presentations and will make them available to those interested here in Connecticut.

The CCB is also actively pursuing new training options for those interested in the Certified Addiction Recovery Coach credential and has had initial conversations with a distance learning provider with a specialized recovery coaching curriculum. It is our hope that these courses can supplement CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy and Advocacy Unlimited’s Recovery University. I hope to provide you with more information soon.

Finally, the Child and Family Center of Greater Bridgeport is seeking 2 licensed (or license-eligible) clinicians to work in a home/community based substance abuse program with adolescents experiencing substance abuse difficulties, emotional issues and behavioral problems. Prior experience with adolescents with substance abuse issues are required. One of the positions REQUIRES that the applicant be bi-lingual in Spanish and English. Resumes and requests for more information can be sent to Donna Fletcher, MA, LPC, LADC, CCDP-D at djackson@cfguidance.org or faxed to 203.394.6534. Please inform her that you saw the position on the CCB website.

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