HB2577 Protest Petition sign now

Please take the time to read and understand the following information provided so you can be informed of what is at stake. In addition, please understand the importance of including your name and contact information so as to avoid any allegations of petition fraud.

During the 2010 Legislative Session, Governor Parkinson signed HB2577, which goes into effect on August 1, 2011. This law establishes Licensure for Addiction Counselors through the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB). The BSRB, with representatives from SRS/AAPS, the Kansas Addiction Educators, and the Kansas Association of Addiction Professionals are currently drafting the rules and regulations for this bill. This bill threatens to take the responsibility for the diagnosis of substance abuse and addiction disorders from established professionals in Addiction and Prevention services in the State of Kansas and place it solely in the hands of persons licensed as clinical social workers and clinical counselors, even if they do not possess the specialized training, certification or expertise of current practitioners in the field. The inherent folly in such a move is hard to miss. Well-established and successful organizations will have no choice but to hire independent providers who will, in the best of situations, only rubber stamp the competent work already being done, and in the worst, will presume to insist on making those diagnoses themselves on the basis of their credentials, whether they actually know what they are doing or not. In either event, the cost to established addiction treatment providers is likely to compromise the extent to which they can afford to provide treatment to the people who are in need. If the intent of the proposed changes were to assure more consistency and quality of Addiction and Prevention services across the State of Kansas, the very real possibility would appear to be a major backfire.

HB 2577 creates two levels of licensure for addiction counselors. The first level is the Licensed Addiction Counselor, (LAC) which, after August 2011, will require a minimum of a bachelors degree, with coursework in addiction related studies. The second level, the Licensed Clinical Addiction Counselor (LCAC), will require a minimum of a masters degree, with coursework in addictions and a supervised practicum.

HB2577 allows for future individuals with a minimum of a masters degree, coursework in addictions, and a supervised practicum, to be licensed as a LCAC. There is no reason why professionals, with these qualifications, who are currently in the field, should not be allowed to grandfather in as a LCAC.

Currently APPS is the lowest level of licensing required to practice substance abuse counseling in the State of Kansas. Even this level requires 27 hours of addiction specific college courses and 200 hours of field experience.

CADC is the advanced levels of addiction professionals in Kansas. The requirements are as follows:

CADC I: (1) Require a high school diploma or GED. (2) Obtain AAPS Credential or its equivalent. (3) Ongoing documentation of 60 clock hours every two years of approved education. (4) Pass a KAAP-approved national test.

CADC II: (1) Successfully complete CADC I requirements AND
(2) Have three years of paid, supervised work experience in a recognized substance abuse treatment and rehabilitation program with job duties assisting clients in the recovery process; and (3) Have attained a minimum of 270 CEUs of counselor education appropriate to the A/D treatment field.
OR.
(1) Hold a Bachelors degree in a health related field, which includes 27 credit hours of alcoholism/drug addiction counseling; and
(2) Documentation of 500 hours of practicum in a recognized A&D facility.

CADC III: (1) Successful completion of CADC II requirements;
(2) Be either a registered Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (RAODAC) or eligible for licensure with Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB);
(3) Successful completion of the KAPP-approved national test; NCAA II
(4) Documentation of 500 hours of practicum;
(5) Have five (5) years of employment in the A/D field; and
(6) Hold a bachelors degree in a health related field, including 18 or 27 hours of A&D addiction studies depending on what year one obtained his/her AAPS Credential.

As you can see, it takes several years of actual practice, as well as testing, to obtain CADC II and CADC III. Based on their proven competence, we request that CADC II, CADC III, and masters level social workers, which currently have APPS, be able to diagnose. This was originally proposed until social workers threatened to protest. We are only talking about a small section of the DSM IV.

We are greatly concerned that there has been very little effort on the part of social workers to address addiction in the State of Kansas. When they do, their approach is to include perspectives such as client self-determination, and controlled use. Addiction professionals understand that most addicts lack the ability to make healthy, rational decisions with regard to their use and will regretfully self-determine self-destruction in most instances. As for controlled use, in most cases there have already been numerous failed attempts at cutting down or controlling usage. While Addiction professionals understand this, social workers simply do not have the training or experience necessary to effectively address substance abuse issues. In fact, there are little, if any, requirements for social work students to take addiction related college courses, even at the masters degree level.

The proposal to allow only LSCSW, or certain other clinical individuals, to diagnose will have a devastating impact on addiction services in the State of Kansas. We feel that the proposals being made by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board ignore critical issues that will affect the entire State of Kansas, particularly rural areas.

Treatment providers, especially in rural areas, who have already seen funding cuts, will be required to pay large amounts to these clinical professionals to diagnose what we are already capable of diagnosing.
Treatment programs in rural Kansas will have to rely on mental health centers, as that is where most of the clinical professionals are, to share these professionals. We anticipate that this will not happen and that the mental health centers will begin advertising that they are the only ones capable of providing assessments, taking away a large part of the funding that the addiction providers rely on to keep their doors open. Thus, Western Kansas could end up losing providers, creating even more barriers to accessing treatment.
If treatment programs were to close down, there would be a lack of services to individuals sitting in jails and hospitals because these clinical professionals have never shown an interest in going to these locations to provide the assessment. If they do go to one of these locations, it is usually for reported mental health issues. Once they determine that it is, instead, a substance abuse problem, they refer the individual to a substance abuse program, which is appropriate.
There is a very limited number of LSCSW and/or other clinical professionals in the State, especially in rural areas.

While we stand in full support of higher standards in the Addictions profession, we ultimately feel that the foremost consideration should rest within the realm of what best serves the client. The undersigned voting residents of the state of Kansas, hereby request the following actions be taken by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board:

Allow current CADC II, CADC III, and Masters level clinicians with AAPS to diagnosis addiction disorders.

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Lara LandryBy:
City LifeIn:
Petition target:
Addiction professions and concerned citizens

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