Monthly Archives: May 2010

Marketing Report – May 24, 2010

by Kay Glass, Marketing Director


Today, we are proudly unveiling the revised logo.  A new typeface and subtle shift in color have brought the graphic identity up-to-date.  It also incorporates the new tagline, “Setting Global Standards for Addiction Professionals.” 

You’ll soon see these images on a revised website and many new materials. This is all part of carrying out the Marketing Plan that the organization adopted in March, and we’re looking forward to many more announcements like this one in the next two years.

In a first step toward publicizing this new identity, we are asking member boards to use the image above – or the smaller one below (you can download them directly from this blogpost) – along with the following line on their websites or other publically accessible materials:

“[Full Name of Board] is a proud member of IC&RC, which protects the public by establishing standards and facilitating reciprocity for the credentialing of addiction-related professionals.  The largest organization of its kind, IC&RC represents more than 40,000 professionals worldwide.”  

Please email me at when your board has made this change or addition.

Legislative Corner – May 24, 2010

By Andrew Kessler, Federal Policy Liaison

The Office of National Drug Control Policy released their National Drug Control Strategy this month, announcing the goals and objectives of the Obama administration.  Emphasizing prevention, treatment, and community settings, the 127-page document includes several points that could have an impact on substance abuse professionals.

If there is one overarching theme to the strategy, it is that substance abuse treatment and prevention need to be absorbed into “mainstream” health care.  With the passage of health care reform and the Wellstone-Domenici Parity Act, the ONDCP sees an opportunity for substance abuse to be elevated to the status of other chronic diseases in the eyes of the health care system and the public.

There is a heavy emphasis on prevention in the first chapter of the strategy. There is a call for the development of prevention-prepared communities, with grants targeting common risk factors that cause a range of problems in youth.  States would play a larger role in helping communities prepare to implement prevention initiatives.  Our prevention boards could be well-situated to take advantage of such a strategy.  There is also an emphasis on prevention in the southwest, along the Mexican border.  Our boards in California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas should be aware of this.  ONDCP will establish a federal working group of state, tribal, and other entities to maximize resources in an effort to improve communication and collaboration.

Chapter three is the section of the report that addresses the integration of substance abuse treatment into mainstream health care.  The logic is that in an integrated system, care for addiction is co-located with other important services, such as mental health care and disease management.  It also grants access to other health professionals, such as nurses and physicians.  This integration can be achieved through expanding addiction services in community health centers.   This section of the report also calls for expanded substance abuse treatment within the Indian Health Service.   The strategy also supports the development of new medications for the treatment of addiction.  

Criminal justice also plays a role in the strategy.  There is a call to expand re-entry support services through the Second Chance Act.  Also, there is a need to improve treatment for those with needs in the juvenile justice system.  Specifically, there is a need for culturally competent screening and treatment strategies.

Chapter seven promotes the use of science to advance our understanding of addiction, treatment, and recovery.  Here, IC&RC is ahead of the curve, as we are well into discussions with NIDA in an effort to better disseminate science into practice amongst our professionals.  We have met with high-ranking officials at NIDA on multiple occasions and hope to soon involve NIDA scientists and staff in the promotion of IC&RC materials.

In summary, the national strategy will present both opportunities and challenges to IC&RC members and certificants.  Thanks to our recent advocacy efforts, as well as our fundamental commitment to evidence-based practices, we are well-positioned to make the most of this new approach.

The entire report can be found at

Resolving the “Alphabet-Soup” Problem

When people seek services, the first question they ask is “What professional certifications or license does the professional hold?” In most professions, the answers are simple and enlightening.  Most people around the world can identify and define the acronym “MD.” Throughout the US, the “SW” for social workers is standardized, even if it is couched in other letters. IC&RC certificants haven’t benefited from the same “name” recognition – until now.

In October 2009, the IC&RC Board of Directors voted to standardize the use of names and acronyms by as many member boards as possible.  This means that boards – unless prohibited by law, statute or regulations – should transition to using the common names and acronyms in their credentials by January 1, 2016. 

In our field, we have asked consumers to make sense of a perplexing myriad of acronyms: CAC, CASAC, CADP, CAP, LCDC, BCCR. It’s like expecting them to make words out of alphabet soup. 

Uniformity offers the simplest way to provide a sense of unity within an increasingly international profession. Since IC&RC is the largest addiction-related organization in the world, with 73 organizations representing more than 40,000 certified professionals nationally and internationally, it makes sense that we lead by example. 

The members of IC&RC agreed to change the following acronyms:

  • AODA will become ADC (Alcohol and Drug Counselor)
  • AAODA will become AADC (Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor)
  • CPS will become PS (Prevention Specialist)
  • CCS will become CS (Clinical Supervisor)


IC&RC has already begun the process of changing all references to these acronyms in its by-laws, policy and procedures, corporate documents, website, and all other materials, and member boards should endeavor do the same. IC&RC will be providing support and materials throughout this process.

Each board is welcome to add to the acronym for their specific purposes, such as L for Licensed or C for Certified, but the common acronym needs to be the “kernel” of the credential.  I could be a prefix used to indicate that the professional has met the requirements to become credentialed at the international level.

“The role of professional credentials has become increasingly important,” states Rhonda Messamore, President of IC&RC. “It is my opinion that professional credentials are invaluable as a means of communicating to the general public and others that one is a competent, qualified person.”

“The credential is the starting point and in a nutshell tells others the individual has met the required education, training and examination requirements and ultimately, has proven his/her competency. Clearly, the individual is looking to measure the professional’s competency and qualifications. It is not that credentials make one infallible and clearly credentials do not give special powers; but rather, credentials are a starting point or benchmark that consumers may identify the professional who is knowledgeable and competent in their focus of practice.”

This transition to a standardized set of credential acronyms attests to IC&RC’s unity, uniformity and leadership.  To learn more about the standards of certification or licensure in your state, please visit our member boards’ websites.  You will find a listing at

From the President’s Desk – May 24, 2010

Visions: Collaboration, Diversity, Celebration and Success!

Driving forces – such as increased global shifts economically, public consciousness and diverse values – are causing rapid change among addiction, prevention and related professional organizations. One of my many goals has been to be as inclusive, transparent and as participatory as possible to enhance the great work that is being done in our field. The Executive Committee has dedicated many hours contemplating how IC&RC can play a larger role at the national and international levels, and we have developed a solution that I am excited to present to you.

I have asked the Executive Committee to adopt and implement a formal proposal for an all encompassing Advisory Board. The purpose of the Advisory Board will be to provide IC&RC with professional advice and guidance on local, regional, national, and international issues specific to the profession’s needs.

In my vision, the Advisory Board’s focus, in general, will be to provide IC&RC with information regarding trends, cultural concerns, and current research, as well as assist with information dissemination, product development, and advocacy to meet the needs of our diverse communities.  In addition, the objectives of the Advisory Board include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Provide information and resources for the creation, operation, expansion and collaboration in the profession and service delivery for the field.
  • Facilitate information-sharing and networking opportunities for our international communities with a greater focus on multicultural needs.
  • Encourage information and research sharing among all jurisdictions.
  • Provide information to expand enhanced services and products (globally) that are realistic, practical and culturally competent for each jurisdiction. 
  • Provide greater visibility and credibility for our profession.
  • Create an annual plan of activities, including events, concerns, cutting-edge materials and products, to further enhance the services that are offered to consumers.


We aim for the Advisory Board to be composed of organizations, governmental agencies, professional entities, and individuals – which will be pivotal in the success of moving our profession into the age of collaboration.

Because the Advisory Board is being created to unify our profession, while celebrating diversity and providing leadership throughout the world, it is clear that community involvement is of utmost importance for the success of this endeavor. I would like to invite you to provide input and feedback. Please email your thoughts or ideas to

In the spirit of service,

Rhonda Messamore


Q&A: Researching the Field

Sheryl Pimlott Kubiak, Ph.D, LMSW is Associate Professor in the College of Social Science at Michigan State University. Kubiak holds a doctorate in psychology and women’s studies from the University of Michigan, as well as master’s in social work from University of Michigan.

IC&RC Insights recently had the chance to talk with Dr. Kubiak about her work.

IC&RC: Can you summarize your research in the area of addiction treatment and prevention?

SPK: My research interests have focused on the intersections between criminal justice, mental health and substance abuse. These intersections are at the individual level – such as someone exiting prison that has a co-occurring mental health and substance use disorder – or at the systems level, like assessing collaboration/coordination between corrections and substance abuse funding for treatment for offenders within the community.   

IC&RC: What drew you to this field?  How did you start working in this area?

SPK: Years ago I was working for a legislator, when someone working within the women’s prison approached us about the plight of pregnant women within the institution. Women who entered prison pregnant would deliver at a local hospital after being brought in belly chains, and then mothers would return to prison without their infants.

At the time, I knew nothing about the criminal justice system – or substance abuse, but I was a fairly new mother, and I couldn’t imagine anyone taking my infant from me. I began working with the pregnant women who were incarcerated in the hopes of implementing some programming. I learned quite a bit about their lives, their addictions, their histories of victimization and their intense grief as a result of being separated from their children.

As a result of what we learned, we were able to obtain a federal grant for a demonstration project that would allow pregnant women with minimal drug sentences to enter a community residential program where they could keep their infants with them. I left the legislator’s office and became the founding director and administrator of the program. It was my tenure there that became the catalyst for later graduate work and my commitment to the area of improving services for those involved in the criminal justice system.   

IC&RC: What research has been done about credentialing and its effect on outcomes? 

SPK: There is not a lot of research that connects individual characteristics of the counselor, such as credentialing or education to client outcomes. However, there may be an indirect relationship, as we know that individuals with higher educational levels or credentialing are more likely to adopt evidence-based practices. (Citations include Arfken, Agius, Dickson, Anderson & Hededus, 2005; Fuller, Rieckmann, McCarty & Edmundson, 2006; McCarty, Fuller, Arfken, et al., 2007; Knudsen, Johnson & Roman, 2003.)

It is the adoption of the evidence-based practices that leads to better outcomes. It may be that the process of obtaining credentials or further education may in fact introduce individuals to the concepts of evidence-based practices or instill techniques that enhance their ability to implement such practices.

IC&RC: How did you conduct your research?

SPK: One of our early studies investigated the policies and practices around workforce used by multiple providers providing substance abuse treatment services in a single state. We found that treatment organizations respond, not surprisingly, to the demands of their funder. If the funder requires minimum criteria for staff, then the organization will raise its standard to that level. We are in a time when treatment organizations generally have multiple funders – private insurance, state block grants, and departments of correction. Managing the competing demands of these funding sources is challenging.

However, when organizations were asked about what funding source was the most important to their organization, those that responded that it was a criminal justice source (such as courts, corrections, community corrections) were less likely to rate counselor education or credentialing as important. This perspective was supported by evidence of lower educational and credentialing levels of the staff within these organizations. This implies that the staff within these organizations may be among the least likely to adopt the use of evidence-based practices.

Since this initial study, we have been exploring policies and practices in multiple states to discern the similarities and differences of funding source requirements. The funding sources we are most interested in are the state office of substance abuse treatment services (Single State Authority) and the state’s corrections system. We are trying to assess how these two state governmental entities coordinate and collaborate to ensure that offenders exiting prison are treated within the community.  As part of these case studies, we are interviewing multiple administrators within each state and examining policy documents across state-level departments.  

IC&RC: What was most surprising to you in the results?

SPK: To date, we have not found one state that is similar to another. Each state’s configuration around the issue of treatment within the community for offenders is organized very differently. Fortunately, we do think that we’ve found some exemplars that could be models for other states around the country.

IC&RC: Thank you for your time. Your work is fascinating!

Additional questions or comments for Dr. Kubiak can be directed to

ICCA Endorses CCJP

This spring, the International Community Corrections Association (ICCA), a membership organization dedicated to promoting community-based corrections for adults and juveniles and enhancing public safety, endorsed IC&RC’s Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional credential. ICCA’s support recognizes that the criminal justice system needs addiction professionals versed in a wide range of disciplines, including criminal justice, addictions and other human service disciplines.  The ICCA issued a statement that read: “Well-trained Criminal Justice Counselors provide the optimal opportunity for successful prevention, intervention and treatment of substance use disorders and related problems.” 
In addition, IC&RC is currently working with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to add the CCJP to their list of approved credentials. We are very excited about the addition of these new agencies and look forward to working with them to improve treatment for offender populations.

Focus on: Criminal Justice

by Donna Johnson, JD, CAS, ICADC, ICCJP, CCDP, LADC – CCJP Chair

May is National Drug Court Month, so it is an appropriate time to celebrate the Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional. Criminal justice agencies are now recognizing that those providing addiction treatment in offender populations must have special skill sets to meet the needs of this most difficult and risky population and also assure public safety. 

While a growing body of data makes it clear that a particular set of knowledge, skills and attitudes are most effective in addressing the problematic thinking, attitudes and behavior of this population, it is also true that the vast majority of those involved in this endeavor are never exposed to this body of knowledge.  The CCJP credential offers agencies and employers professionals who have demonstrated those required skills by possessing the credential of the Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional.

IC&RC brought together the leading professionals worldwide in the areas of addiction and criminal justice to provide input and develop criteria for the Certified Criminal Justice Addiction Professional credential.  In addition to our reknowned advisory board, the current CCJP Committee consist of experts in the criminal justice/addictions fields from across the country.

The purpose of the CCJP credential is to:

  • Reduce crime by providing effective drug treatment.
  • Cut tax dollars spent to incarcerate repeat substance abusing offenders.
  • Build public confidence in the ability of those working with criminal-justice caseloads.
  • Ensure quality to the consumer of substance abuse treatment in a criminal justice setting.
  • Increase the level of credibility of those working with substance abusing offenders.
  • Open doors to new professional opportunities for addiction counselors and criminal justice professionals.
  • Offer organizations, agencies, and employers the option of professionals who have demonstrated the special skills required to work with offender and criminal justice populations. 


CCJPs must be knowledgeable of the services provided by the treatment and criminal justice systems.  Knowledge is required in such  areas as theories of addiction, theories of criminality, pharmacology, involuntary commitment procedures, criminal case processing, ethical guidelines and confidentiality limitations with clients in correctional/criminal justice settings, coordination of services and monitoring, court alternatives and conditions of probation.

The number of individuals incarcerated in our society has more than doubled over the past decade.  The evidence is conclusive that addiction is highly correlated with criminal behavior and criminal involvement. As a result, the criminal and juvenile justice systems and providers of substance-abuse treatment share a responsibility to provide the best possible treatment.