ASAM Welcomes NAADAC to 2012 Med-Sci Conference

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC III, SAP

Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC III, SAP

Addiction medicine specialists will spot a familiar presence in the 2012 Medical-Scientific Conference Exhibit Hall with NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. The association will showcase its education and training tools and provide attendees with information about the organization’s mission and objectives.

ASAM and NAADAC have worked together on advocacy issues over the years and served as leaders in the field of addiction medicine. Long regarded as a respected partner with ASAM, NAADAC, like ASAM, provides its members with education, professional development, legislative advocacy, certifications, and membership services.

“NAADAC and ASAM are alike on many levels, from training and education to certification and advocacy,” says Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, NCAC II, CCDC III, SAP, Executive Director of NAADAC. “Both our organizations are focused on making a difference in the current discussion and perception of addiction issues, including the Affordable Care Act.”

The association was founded in 1974 as the National Alcohol Counselors and became NAADAC some years later after adding drug counselors. NAADAC represents the professional interests of more than 75,000 addiction counselors, educators, and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada, and abroad, with affiliates in 44 states, 10 territories, and other countries. Its 8,000 members provide services across all health care settings and specialize in addiction prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery support, and education.

NAADAC was founded on the belief that addiction is a brain disease, and as such, supports continued research and policies that improve addiction awareness, prevention, and treatment, and recovery support, Moreno Touhy notes. NAADAC and ASAM are members of the Addiction Leadership Group, advocating for changes in insurance coverage for individuals diagnosed with addiction disorders. The group includes addiction-focused associations with representation in Washington, D.C., and meets monthly to coordinate its legislative agendas and other initiatives of mutual interest.

Because addiction is a global problem, Moreno Tuohy says NAADAC’s efforts are worldwide, providing training and certification and other support to a host of countries. To date, NAADAC has credentialed more than 15,000 counselors in the United States and abroad. Among its certification programs are the National Certified Addiction Counselor, the Nicotine Dependence Specialist credential, and the Masters Addiction Counselor designations. The Master’s Addiction Counselor credential was recently recognized by the Association for Behavioral Health and Wellness (ABHW) as the credential most used by managed health care third-party reimbursement.

“We facilitate certification internationally and help build professional development systems for governments beyond the United States,” says Moreno Tuohy. “I like to say we teach them how to fish and then they go fish.”

In its role to promote excellence in care, evidence-based services, and the well-being of the public, NAADAC created a Code of Ethics for the addiction field. Written to govern the conduct of its members and considered the accepted standard of conduct for addiction professionals, NAADAC’s Code of Ethics reflects the organization’s ideals and that of its members and other professionals in the addiction field. As such, when an ethics complaint is filed with NAADAC, it is evaluated by consulting the NAADAC Code of Ethics. The NAADAC Code of Ethics is designed to represent the values of the profession and to be used as a guide for making clinical decisions. State certification boards and educational institutions use NAADAC’s code to evaluate the behavior of addiction professionals and to guide the certification process.

Make plans to attend the  NAADAC National Conference August 12-15 in Indianapolis, which will showcase the association’s services, products, programs, and principles. Visit the NAADAC website for more information.