June 5, 2020

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Exploring Risk Factors, Treatment Challenges, and Available Resources to Help in Your Work With LGBTQ+ Clients

Dear IBADCC Members,

As we begin to enjoy June for its warmer weather and longer hours of daylight, it's also the time of year that our country recognizes June as Pride Month. As counselors, we know that substance use disorders and mental health conditions are significant issues for those in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) community. Given the high rates of SUD among LGBTQ+ individuals, we want to make sure our IBADCC counselors are equipped with the information needed to provide competent, compassionate, sensitive, and informed treatment for this client population. This week we are devoting our newsletter to the exploration of risk factors, treatment challenges, and available resources to help in your work with LGBTQ+ clients.

Risk Factors
Why does the LGBTQ+ community face a higher risk for substance use and addiction? Numerous studies and work from counselors and advocates in the field have tried to answer this complicated question for years. While there are patterns of common risk factors among all clients, our LGBTQ+ clients face unique challenges not encountered by people who identify as heterosexual. Some of these risk factors include social stigma, social isolation, cultural pressures, internalized homophobia, discrimination, and greater risk of harassment and violence.

“The pain associated with the social stigma of being LGBTQ, of living in a culture that, for the most part, is homophobic and heterosexist, is traumatic.” -Craig Sloane, LCSW, CASAC, CSAT

The experience of rejection and isolation from peers and family can lead to “minority stress,” defined as high levels of stress felt by groups that are marginalized, which leaves people susceptible to substance use disorders. Studies have shown that LGBTQ+ individuals have been found to suffer significantly higher incidences of stressful childhood experiences, school victimization, neighborhood-level hate crimes, and family conflict. Each of these stressors have been found to correlate significantly with increased substance use. While the LGBTQ+ community has a higher incidence of substance use than heterosexuals, they also tend to seek treatment at a significantly higher rate. This is encouraging news, though we must consider that once in treatment, these clients experience specific challenges that must be addressed in order to promote successful recovery.

Treatment Challenges
A recent National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism report noted that stigma, intolerance and open discrimination were the most substantial barriers to substance abuse prevention and treatment among the LGBTQ+ community. These barriers limit access to healthy role models and LGBTQ+ supportive resources and substance-free opportunities. They also can contribute to alienation and isolation, which can increase vulnerability to substance use disorders.

LGBTQ clients who are in treatment often report feeling:
  • Lonely
  • Fearful
  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Angry
  • Distrustful

SUD counselors who treat LGBTQ+ clients should follow many of the same principles as addiction treatment for heterosexuals, however, clients respond best to treatment programs that are sensitive to their unique needs. 

Principles of Care
In its treatment guide, SAMHSA includes a list of nine principles of care to ensure that substance use disorder treatment providers are well equipped to cater to LGBTQ+ individuals. These include:
 
BE UNDERSTANDING AND FLEXIBLE. Addiction specialists should be understanding of the special circumstances surrounding LGBTQ+ substance abuse and tailor their treatment to meet the person's need. However, treatment should remain consistent and thorough.
 
PROVIDE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH. It is ideal to gather resources from different providers and specialists to tackle the different aspects of LGBTQ+ substance abuse. The variety of addiction services and a team approach may be beneficial to the individuals.
 
BE CONSISTENT WITH CULTURAL NEEDS. Addiction treatment programs should ensure that their staff is well acquainted to LGBTQ+ cultural needs and expectations. Staff members who are not familiar with LGBTQ+ issues may require sensitivity training.
 
PROMOTE SELF-RESPECT. LGBTQ+ people may have faced stigma prior to entering treatment, so it is important that specialists and staff members treat them with respect and dignity. LGBTQ+ people should always feel that they are important to their community.
 
PROMOTE HEALTH BEHAVIORS. Physicians and staff should educate LGBTQ+ patients about safe health practices and promote healthy sexual behaviors, strong relationships and compliance with medication and treatment.
 
SUPPORT COLLECTIVE DECISION MAKING. Health professionals should consult with their patients and service providers to come to a consensus on the treatment plan. It is best to include everybody involved in the recovery process to make it easier for the patient.
 
REDUCE BARRIERS TO TREATMENT. Treatment providers and recovery services should work toward eliminating any barriers to substance abuse treatment for hard-to-reach populations. They need to focus on expanding their reach and developing retention mechanisms.
 
PROVIDE EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENT. Physicians should not assume that conventional treatment will work for LGBTQ+ people. Given the differences in issues and co-occurring disorders, treatment providers should base their treatment plan on clinically informed and research-based services.
 
CREATE A RECOVERY COMMUNITY. A recovery community provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ individuals to share their experiences about substance use disorders and recovery. Substance abuse agencies and organizations should work together to create treatment or recovery communities that cater to LGBTQ+ people and their needs.

Resources for LGBTQ+ Treatment Programs
We love the behavioral health resources put out by SAMHSA to address a variety of issues encountered when treating LGBTQ+ clients. Click on each link below to explore more.


Questions?
If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including our COVID-19 page, our Facebook page, and our new LinkedIn page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.


Sincerely,

IBADCC Board Members



May 29, 2020

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One Month Countdown to CADC and ISAS/SUDA Certification Changes

Dear IBADCC Members,

This week's newsletter is devoted to helping inform our certification holders and new applicants of upcoming changes to two of our certifications: the CADC and ISAS/SUDA. We know many of you have concerns about how these changes impact you, your fellow counselors, or those you supervise. Please read on for frequently asked questions and answers regarding these changes. After reading, if you find the information in this newsletter and previous editions helpful, we welcome you to send an invitation to subscribe to those who may benefit. This weekly newsletter is open to all who are serving our SUD community in Idaho. Simply copy and paste the image below and send!


Frequently Asked Questions Concerning CADC Changes
Beginning July 1st of this year, new CADC applicants will be required to have a bachelor's degree. We've received many phone calls and emails, and we're including answers to your questions below.

What if I am already working towards my CADC but won't have my application submitted by July 1, 2020?
Those pursuing their CADC prior to July 1st will need to show continuous enrollment in the process and pursuit towards the CADC certification. This can be shown by a) continued class specific studies within the CADC domains, or b) continuous work experience hours specific to the CADC domains.
 
I am currently a CADC and I do not have a bachelor's degree or higher level of education. Am I going to lose my CADC?
No, as long as your CADC remains current. If for any reason, your certification lapses, resulting in the need for reapplication for your CADC, the BS degree would then be a requirement. If you have received your BS degree or higher since your certification, please update us with this information and a copy of the degree.
 
Are there any changes to work experience hours?
No. A BS degree substitutes for 2000 hours of the 6000 hours work experience requirement. This hasn't changed. With a BS degree you will still be required to obtain 4000 work experience hours.
 
What BS degrees count for the CADC requirement?
The BS degree must be within the Behavioral Science Field. Some of these include but are not limited to: Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Social Science, Counseling and Alcohol/Drug Studies. The board will continue to develop the acceptable degree list. If you have a BS degree which you think would qualify, please email us with your rationale and we can consider adding it to the list.
 
I have my ISAS now, but not my CADC. Will I be required to obtain a BS degree?
No. If you already have an ISAS but do not have a BS degree, you can still obtain a CADC. We recognize this is a change to your initial CADC plans and we want to support you on your CADC goal. In addition, there are some who may have begun their track towards CADC (evidenced by the classes they have taken, work experience hours done, etc.) who we will look at on an individual basis as an exception as well. Those who start to pursue CADC on and after the go live date will be required to obtain a BS degree.
 
As an ISAS, do I have to get my CADC?
No. The initial thought behind the ISAS was providing a means towards obtaining the CADC, and it is encouraged to do so, however, with these changes it isn't a requirement.
 
What if I am already working towards my CADC but won't have my application submitted by July 1, 2020?
Those pursuing their CADC prior to July 1st will need to show continuous enrollment in the process and pursuit towards the CADC certification. This can be shown by a) continued class specific studies within the CADC domains, or b) continuous work experience hours specific to the CADC domains.
 
I am currently a CADC and I do not have a bachelor's degree or higher level of education. Am I going to lose my CADC?
No, as long as your CADC remains current. If for any reason, your certification lapses, resulting in the need for reapplication for your CADC, the BS degree would then be a requirement. If you have received your BS degree or higher since your certification, please update us with this information and a copy of the degree.
 
Are there any changes to work experience hours?
No. A BS degree substitutes for 2000 hours of the 6000 hours work experience requirement. This hasn't changed. With a BS degree you will still be required to obtain 4000 work experience hours.
 
What BS degrees count for the CADC requirement?
The BS degree must be within the Behavioral Science Field. Some of these include but are not limited to: Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Social Science, Counseling and Alcohol/Drug Studies. The board will continue to develop the acceptable degree list. If you have a BS degree which you think would qualify, please email us with your rationale and we can consider adding it to the list.
 
I have my ISAS now, but not my CADC. Will I be required to obtain a BS degree?
No. If you already have an ISAS but do not have a BS degree, you can still obtain a CADC. We recognize this is a change to your initial CADC plans and we want to support you on your CADC goal. In addition, there are some who may have begun their track towards CADC (evidenced by the classes they have taken, work experience hours done, etc.) who we will look at on an individual basis as an exception as well. Those who start to pursue CADC on and after the go live date will be required to obtain a BS degree.
 
As an ISAS, do I have to get my CADC?
No. The initial thought behind the ISAS was providing a means towards obtaining the CADC, and it is encouraged to do so, however, with these changes it isn't a requirement.


Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Change from ISAS to SUDA

What will happen to the ISAS as a result of these changes?
With the changes, IBADCC also recognizes having the word “student” in the title of the ISAS certification isn't a very accurate description. As a result, IBADCC has decided to change the ISAS to SUDA. This acronym stands for Substance Use Disorder Associate. As of July 1, 2020, the transitioning to the SUDA title will begin to occur automatically. As ISAS renewals occur throughout the next 2 years, your new certification, at your time of renewal, will be SUDA rather than ISAS. Any new applications will also be for SUDA. We emphasize, there is no difference in scope of practice between the ISAS and the SUDA. Over time, this approach will phase out the ISAS title.
 
Does the ISAS qualify under the nationally recognized standards under IC&RC? Will SUDA be under IC&RC?
No. The ISAS and the SUDA is an Idaho certification and does not fall under the reciprocity through ICRC.
 
Do I have to do anything different when I go to renew my ISAS?
No. The transition to SUDA will be an automatic transition and will occur when you submit your renewal application. Rather than receiving a certificate with ISAS as the credential, it will have SUDA. In addition, new applications will be for the SUDA rather than the ISAS starting July 1, 2020.
 
Is there a limit to the number of times I can renew as a SUDA?
No. There is no limit to number of renewals. By going to the BS degree for the CADC and transitioning from the title ISAS to SUDA, supports having a SUDA as a permanent credential.
 
What about my supervision? Will I need to keep the same amount of supervision as I did under ISAS?
Yes. To reaffirm, the only change between ISAS to SUDA is the title itself. The supervision requirements remain the same.
 
Is there any change in the scope of practice?
No. The scope of practice for all certifications remains the same. The SUDA will have the same scope of practice as the ISAS.
 
Will the state reimburse for services done as a SUDA?
Good question. We have notified DHW, BPA Health and Optum regarding the change. We have been informed that adding the SUDA to the Idaho code will be an easy change and occur during the time legislation meets.
 
I still have some questions that were not covered. Who can I contact?
I'm glad you asked! If you have any other questions that may have been overlooked, please send those to our main email address ibadcc@ibadcc.org.
 

Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including our COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.

Sincerely,

IBADCC Board Members


May 21, 2020

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Mental Health Awareness Month

Dear IBADCC Members,

Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness Month? How are you, your clients, and your loved ones coping during the pandemic? So much of our daily lives have been altered over the last few months, and even as the country begins to slowly open back up, we know the toll on mental health will continue to be profound. Two recent studies have found that more people are facing depression, stress, or other mental health challenges as a result of COVID-19. Closer to home, we know that our clients may turn to substances to cope with the new stressors we are all faced with. This week we are bringing you resources to help support your mental health, links to tools you can use with your clients, and a great article on how developing a work-life balance can help restore harmony in your life. But first, let's take a moment to acknowledge the achievements of our latest cohort of certification applicants!
 

Congratulations New and Renewing IBADCC Certificate Holders

The IBADCC is proud to share the names of the following individuals who have renewed their certifications and will be receiving their certificate in the mail this week!

The IBADCC recognizes the hard work and dedication it takes to work towards initial certification and keep certifications current. Thank you for your continued pursuit of excellence. It certainly is a benefit to our clients throughout Idaho!


Be Kind to Your Mind
As counselors, we are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has had profound mental health impacts on our clients and their loved ones. In the midst of helping them manage their mental health, we must remember that we best serve our clients by taking care of ourselves first. We like this simple list of tips from the CDC to cope with stress during COVID-19:

     1   PAUSE. Breathe. Notice how you feel.
     2   TAKE BREAKS from COVID-19 content.
     3   MAKE TIME to sleep and exercise.
     4   REACH OUT and stay connected.
     5   SEEK HELP if overwhelmed or unsafe.

The American Counseling Association has an amazing list of self-care resources for counselors that you can access here.

Mental Health Month Toolkit

For over 70 years, Mental Health America has been spreading the word that mental health is something everyone should care about. While 1 in 5 people globally will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, the rates are much higher for those with substance use disorders. Roughly 37% of those with alcohol use disorders, and 53 percent of those with other drug use disorders, also have at least one serious mental illness. The work you are doing with clients right now is absolutely essential.
 
We were excited to see that Mental Health America recently published their Tools 2 Thrive Toolkit. You can download it here, or you can click on the links below for information on select topics that may be of interest to you, or for your work with clients:

We really love the timely perspective shared in their Finding Positive After Loss resource page. The pandemic has created pockets of loss throughout the fabric of society, and while it is natural to go through the grieving process, there are strategies to help us cope. Some of the tips for getting by include trying to see your experience as strength, learning from others, looking for opportunity amid adversity, finding ways to honor your loss, and not being afraid to get help. Get an expanded insight on these tips here. We also suggest checking out the recent message from the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health Awareness Month and National Prevention Week here
 

Work-Life Balance

Of adults employed full-time in the U.S., nearly 40% reported working at least 50 hours per week, and 18% work 60 hours or more. Unfortunately, health suffers when work takes over your life. Did you know that poor work-life balance increases your risk for health conditions like sleep problems, digestive disorders, and mental health problems? This is especially true for people who work longer shifts or on nights and weekends. Working overtime also increases the likelihood of having symptoms of depression, especially in men. When your work life and personal life are out of balance, your mental health is likely to be put in jeopardy. There are plenty of resources out there for navigating a healthy work-life balance. We think the Mayo Clinic published some fantastic tips on reclaiming control, including this segment on setting limits:

Manage your time. Cut or delegate activities you don't enjoy or can't handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day; don't save all the laundry for your day off. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.

Make a list. Put family events on a weekly calendar, and keep a daily to-do list at home and at work. Having a plan helps you maintain focus. When you don't have a plan, it's easy to be sucked into the plans and priorities of others.

Learn to say no. Whether it's a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child's teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it's OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you'll have more time for activities that are meaningful to you.

Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time.

Reduce email access. Check emails no more than three times a day – late morning, early afternoon and late in the day. If you access email first thing in the morning, you tend to focus on and respond to other people's issues rather than being proactive about your own needs.

Take advantage of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you're likely to be.

Try to shorten commitments and minimize interruptions. Most people can sustain a maximum level of concentration for no more than 90 minutes. After that, the ability to retain information decreases dramatically. When interrupted during a task, you need double or triple the time of the interruption to regain full concentration on your task.

Read the full article here, including additional advice on caring for yourself and knowing when to seek emotional help.
 

Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including our COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.

Sincerely,

IBADCC Board Members

May 14, 2020


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Study Guides & Exam Preparration

Dear IBADCC Members,

We hope this week's newsletter finds you healthy and engaged in your work! As the Education Committee gears up to review incoming certification applications, we know some of you may be gearing up to take your certification test! Many of you have asked us, what are the best resources for studying? Please read on for information on available study guides and exam preparation information. But first, let's take a moment to acknowledge and congratulate our newest certification recipients!
 

Congratulations Renewing IBADCC Certificate Holders

The IBADCC is proud to share the names of the following individuals who have renewed their certifications and will be receiving their certificate in the mail this week!
  • Marianne King renewed her Certified Prevention Specialist (CPS) certification.
  • Devin Pinckard renewed his Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification.
  • Linda Arrossa renewed her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification.
  • Jennifer Ford renewed her Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) certification.
  • Reese Shelton renewed his Certified Peer Recovery Coach (CPRC) certification.
The IBADCC recognizes the hard work and dedication it takes to keep certifications current. Thank you for your continued pursuit of excellence. It certainly is a benefit to our clients throughout Idaho!
 

Study Guides and Exam Preparation

We have been receiving phone calls and emails from those of you who are ready to take your IBADCC certification exam. You are asking us, “what are the best study guides and resources?” While the IBADCC does not officially endorse a specific study guide, we do suggest you take a look at the following resources:

ReadyToTest  
ReadyToTest.com was founded in 2001 to assist counseling professionals who are working to obtain a credential as a drug and/or alcohol counselor. They are dedicated to providing not only quality training via distance learning, but a variety of resources to ensure that candidates for credentialing are prepared to the best of their abilities, allowing them to successfully complete their credentialing examinations. Check out their website to find out how ReadyToTest publications and materials can assist you. Some of their offerings include:

  • Written materials to help you review and prepare for your basic drug and alcohol credentialing examinations including a 781-page content review manual for drug/alcohol credentialing, "how-to" guides for both the written and oral exams, including sample written exams and sample oral responses, and online sample exams with immediate scoring and review
  • Written materials to help you review and/or prepare for your advanced drug/alcohol credentials including a content review manual for the written clinical supervisor exam and a sample written exam
  • Information on how to set up onsite review coursework for your staff at your own facility
  • Resources for developing live training programs for delivery in your city, state, and region
  • Online training, testing/evaluation using online and hard copy sample exams
Learn more by visiting ReadyToTest.com.
 
IC&RC Resources
The IC&RC endorses study guides for their programs, and while they do not participate in the development or publications of these guides, they do feel the information in each guide is that which candidates should know to prepare for their examination. Links to the available study guides include:

The IC&RC has also developed candidate guides, providing guidance for the IC&RC examination process. Candidate Guides provide background information on the examination development and administration process. They also contain exam content guidelines, sample questions, and examination reference lists. To learn more about the available candidate guides, practice exams, or additional free resources, visit this page on the IC&RC website.


Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including our COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.
 
Sincerely,
 
IBADCC Board Members

May 7, 2020


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Prometric Testing Site Announcement

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
This week we are keeping it short and sweet! We know many of you are anxious to hear the status of testing sites and schedules for reopening. The IBADCC recently received an update from IC&RC. Please read on for this important announcement, along with links to past newsletters that may be of interest to you. 

 

Prometric Testing Site Announcement

As you may have heard, Prometric resumed testing effective May 1st for all partners deemed essential as indicated by the CDC guidelines. To guarantee everything was ready for the resumption of testing, they had to ensure they understood and documented all government mandates and social distancing requirements. This has proven to be extremely difficult, because they are dependent upon the information being released at all levels of government (federal, state, county, and city), and this information is changing daily, if not more frequently. They also had to ensure the sites were prepared to follow all PPE and social distancing requirements, or they would not be able to open. There was a lot to do in a very short period of time, but they were committed to making it happen, because they want candidates to be able to schedule and take their exams. 

If you were not aware, IC&RC was deemed as essential and, as a result, testing for candidates resumed May 1.  While this is exciting news, it has presented a number of challenges, and a few IC&RC candidates were adversely affected by these challenges. Over the weekend a few IC&RC candidates did show up to test at centers that had to close. The sites were required to close with little to no notice, and they were not able to update their site schedules. A notice was sent to all candidates affected by the closures, but they may not have received the email notification in time, or the notification may have been directed to their spam folders. Additionally, the candidates were still showing as being scheduled in the scheduling platform. This added to the confusion and candidates continuing to the sites on the day of their exams. 
To ensure this is not an issue moving forward, they are reaching out to each candidate prior to their scheduled exam session and confirming the sites status. If a site happens to be closed, they are rescheduling the candidates to another facility.  There are currently 324 IC&RC candidates scheduled for an exam through the end of June and this is the schedule through Sunday:
  • Thursday 8 candidates
  • Friday 13 candidates
  • Saturday 31 candidates
  • Sunday 0 candidates
They expect additional sites to add seats to their calendars in the coming days once the local governments ease the lockdown restrictions and the sites are able to meet the CDC social distancing guidelines. They will provide an update a couple times a week. As more information becomes available, we will send out additional communications.


 

Acccess Previous Issue of IBADCC Newsletters

Over the last five weeks, IBADCC has published helpful tips and supportive resources to help you navigate some of the pressing issues presented by COVID-19. Click on the links below to read past issues that highlight the following topics:

 

Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including the new COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.
 
Sincerely,
 
IBADCC Board Members

May 5, 2020

Please find below a note from Prometric regarding testing

Good day IC&RC family,

I hope you, your teams, and your families are all safe and well. As you may or may not be aware, Prometric resumed testing effective May 1st for all partners deemed essential as indicated by the CDC guidelines. To guarantee everything was ready for the resumption of testing, we had to ensure we understood and documented all government mandates and social distancing requirements. This has proven to be extremely difficult, because we are dependent upon the information being released at all levels of government (federal, state, county, and city), and this information is changing daily, if not more frequently. We also had to ensure the sites were prepared to follow all PPE and social distancing requirements, or they would not be able to open. There was a lot to do in a very short period of time, but we were committed to making happen, because we want candidates to be able to schedule and take their exams.

If you were not aware, IC&RC was deemed as essential and, as a result, testing for your candidates resumed May 1. While this is exciting news, it has presented a number of challenges, and a few IC&RC candidates were adversely affected by these challenges this weekend. Over the weekend a few IC&RC candidates did show up to test at centers that had to close. The sites were required to close with little to no notice, and they were not able to update their site schedules. A notice was sent to all candidates affected by the closures, but they may not have received the email notification in time, or the notification may have been directed to their spam folders. Additionally, the candidates were still showing as being scheduled in the scheduling platform. This added to the confusion and candidates continuing to the sites on the day of their exams.

To ensure this is not an issue moving forward, we are reaching out to each candidate prior to their scheduled exam session and confirming the sites status. If a site happens to be closed, we are rescheduling the candidates to another facility. There are currently 324 IC&RC candidates scheduled for an exam through the end of June and this is the schedule for the next 6 days:

Monday – 10 candidate
Tuesday – 7 candidates
Wednesday – 1 candidates
Thursday – 8 candidates
Friday – 13 candidates
Saturday – 31 candidates
Sunday – 0 candidates

We expect additional sites to add seats to their calendars in the coming days once the local governments ease the lockdown restrictions and the sites are able to meet the CDC social distancing guidelines. We will provide an update a couple times a week, so you can monitor what effect this Pandemic is having on your candidates. I know this is an unprecedented event, and I want to assure you that your program and candidates are a top priority. If you have any questions, or need any information, please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Prometric SMT


April 30, 2020


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Addressing your FAQ's and Concerns & Upcoming Webinars

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
We asked, and you responded! Thank you so much for taking the time to submit your thoughts and questions over the last week. In this week's newsletter we will highlight frequently asked questions on issues impacting you now, including certification changes, testing site updates, client concerns, and timely resources. Also included at the end of this newsletter is a selection of upcoming live webinars that may be of interest to you.  

 

Frequently Asked Questions and Concerns


"When will testing resume?"
The IBADCC recently received an update from IC&RC. Prometric is scheduled to resume testing for essential services and programs in U.S. and Canada test centers effective May 1st, where they are able to do so. Please click here for the most up-to-date list of markets where they are looking to resume testing, based on governmental clearance and other market factors. This is subject to change daily. All candidates who will not be able to test as a result of social distancing policies through May and June are being notified this week via email. Where applicable, candidates will have their appointments rescheduled or canceled, based on program requirements. Essential candidates who will be testing in May will receive an email reminder with social distancing guidelines and procedures three days prior to test day; and then a follow-up phone call one day prior. Please click here for a copy of this communication. As more information becomes available, we will send out additional communications.
 
"I have been unable to obtain my CEUs because of in-person event cancellations. Do online education courses or recorded webinars count? What training resources does IBADCC produce?"
Live training opportunities have been canceled across the world, and we know the cancellation of the IBADCC conference has impacted many. The current requirement of obtaining 50% of your continuing education hours via in-person trainings has been temporarily waived due to the impact of COVID-19. You now have the option to obtain all education through online programs. Visit the IBADCC website for a list of continuing education providers that are accepted by IBADCC. Currently, IBADCC does not produce education or training courses. We appreciate your feedback on this need, and will continue to review potential new resources for our members.
 
"Have certification deadlines been extended due to COVID-19 impacts?"
Yes! All individuals who are in the process of renewing their certification will now be granted a certification grace period of six months from their renewal expiration date.
 
"How long does it take to process certification applications, and can this process be sped up to help people get to work faster?"
The application review process typically takes 4-6 weeks from the point of submission to final approval. If the IBADCC Education Committee deems an application incomplete, this time frame will be longer. We understand the urgency and have been reviewing ways to help improve our process. The IBADCC is excited to announce it is currently working through a transition that will allow applications to be submitted and reviewed online. We believe this will expedite the process, and expect to have this system ready by mid-late summer. Stay tuned!
 
"Are substance use disorder treatment groups occurring through video conferencing apps? If so, is there training available for facilitators?"
While many counselors are now offering individual treatment via TeleHealth, the occurrence of SUD providers offering treatment to groups via video conferencing is varied, and factors may include access to video conference platforms and policies around privacy and confidentiality. Treatment providers and peer support specialists looking for online and telephone support groups for their patients/peers can review the following lists for virtual recovery resources, including the Mountain Plains ATTC list of online support groups, and  SAMHSA's virtual recovery programs, which includes tips to set up a virtual recovery meeting. We are not aware of in-depth training programs for facilitators.
 
"Are there options for those waiting to take the test to complete it online or with their clinical supervisor serving as a proctor?"
Currently, the option to complete your certification test online or with a local proctor is not allowed.
 
"How long can we continue using TeleHealth with our clients, and what resources are available to help us with this method?"
It has been impressive to see counselors taking on the challenge of keeping contact with clients through the use of TeleHealth resources. Some have found this medium very effective, while others has proven to be a steep learning curve. It is anticipated this change will result in additional ways for us to work with individuals and offer them further options to connect and obtain the services they desire. To sustain the use of TeleHealth in your practice, please utilize secure, confidential platforms that support and fit within the established HIPPA and 42 CFR guidelines. This will help ensure TeleHealth remains sustainable during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The April 9th edition of IBADCC's weekly newsletter focused on TeleHealth tips and resources. You can read the newsletter in full here to get information on effective remote counseling, the Idaho Medicaid provider guidelines around TeleHealth, policy updates on key TeleHealth provisions, and TeleHealth training opportunities.
 
"What telehealth programs do you recommend that are suitable for our clients?"
The IBADCC does not recommend or endorse specific TeleHealth programs. We do encourage you to use appropriate technological platforms where security standards conform with the recommendations of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (DHHS). For a practitioner to be HIPAA compliant, it is important to choose a vendor that will issue a  Business Associate Agreement (BAA), which outlines the responsibilities to maintain protected health information (PHI). Select a vendor that allows you to continue to practice ethically and in compliance with HIPAA, HITECH, and state confidentiality laws and regulations.
 
"Can we be instrumental in reducing abuse, even with social distancing?"
Absolutely! Right now your clients need you more than ever. COVID-19 is the perfect storm in the addiction world. Necessary coronavirus containment measures, like physical distancing and closures of public spaces, are making it harder for people with substance use disorders to seek help, keep up their treatment regimen, or access social supports. It's also important to remember that, amid all of this, individuals with addiction could face greater risks related to COVID-19, particularly those who smoke tobacco or marijuana, vape, or use opioids or methamphetamines, because of the negative effects these substances have on respiratory and pulmonary systems. The National Institute on Drug Abuse published an excellent article on the Potential Implications for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders. Because of these challenges, staying connected to support and services during the pandemic is critical for the millions of people who are struggling with mental health issues and substance abuse addiction and recovery.
 
"I have concerns regarding Medicaid expansion and my ACADC not being recognized by Optum to work with clinical clients. This puts a gap in SUD services and regression in SUD stability because I am not able to continue to work with established clients. Is the Board collaborating with Optum to help develop acceptance and competency of ACADC counselors with Optum?"
The IBADCC Executive team is working diligently with Optum and our Medicaid partners to advocate on behalf of our members, their certification status, and associated requirements. We anticipate that Medicaid will release a statement on this issue soon, and we will certainly keep you informed when it is published. If you have questions, we encourage you to reach out to our contacts at Medicaid: Charles Beal and Clay Lord. You can also reach out to your IBADCC regional representative to provide feedback on how these new requirements will impact your day-to-day business. You can find their contact information at the bottom of this newsletter.
 
"Self-care seems to be a strong need right now. What resources are available?"
We could not agree more. Self-care helps you respond to and prevent burnout. It also enables you to carry out your professional responsibility, which is to do well for your clients. Modeling good self-care is good for you and everyone else, including clients. Last week our newsletter focused on tips and resources for taking care of your emotional health. Click here to read more in the April 23rd edition. It's also important for your clients to understand how to practice self care. We like this article on 5 Ways to Practice Self Care in Addition Recovery. It will give you some great ideas on how to help guide your clients in their own self care journey.
 

Upcoming Webinars

Here are just a few upcoming webinars that might be of interest to you as you navigate client care amidst COVID-19. These focus on Opiod Use Disorders and are published by the Providers Clinical Support System, a program funded by SAMHSA.

Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC's Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including the new COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.
 
Thank you for your tireless support of our clients in treatment. While you provide them with recovery resources and support, we are here to provide you with the resources and support you need to be successful.

Sincerely,
 
IBADCC Board Members



April 23, 2020

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IC&RC Testing Updates and
Tips for Taking Care of Yourself

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
This week we ask, how are you doing? We are interested in your thoughts, questions, and concerns. We are taking time this week to collect feedback from our members to help better guide the resources and support we provide. Please take a minute to fill out this survey, or send your comments to ibadcc@ibadcc.org. We will feature answers to your most commonly asked questions in our April 30th newsletter.
 
This week, in our effort to provide you with ongoing resources related to COVID-19 and your work, we are providing an update on IC&RC testing, and focusing on tips for managing your stress during these uncertain times, including links to important helplines. Read on to learn more about how you can take care of yourself in order to ensure you have the energy and focus to care for your clients.
 

IC&RC Testing Update

We know many of you have been anxious to hear about the re-opening of testing sites. We are excited to share that we recently received a notice from IC&RC on the plans Prometric has to resume in-center testing operations in some U.S. and Canadian locations where they are able to do so in compliance with governmental directives or regulations, effective May 1st. You can read the full statement here, and in the meantime, see below for some additional information for testers:
  • Prometric will inform impacted candidates early next week of the need to cancel their existing appointment as the result of implementing social distancing preventative measures.
  • The date range of the appointments that will be impacted runs from May 1st through June 30th.
  • After the candidate notification has been sent, we will begin processing the cancellations and reschedules (program depending) in the scheduling system. Cancellations and reschedules will be prioritized by appointment date.
  • For test takers scheduling new appointments for dates from July 1st onward, the available capacity will appear to be the same 50% that's imposed during the social distancing period. Out of an abundance of caution, we will hold off on displacing these candidates for now, but we will continue to monitor the situation.
  • Every 30 days, Prometric leadership will review current conditions and will determine if an extension of the social distancing measures are necessary. If that decision is made, we will inform candidates of their cancelled appointments.
  • For test takers who will be testing during this time, Prometric will reconfirm their appointment and send clients and candidates a list of social distancing and safety guidelines that candidates will have to follow while in the test center.

For more information, and further details on this statement, visit the IBADCC website.
 

Taking Care of Your Emotional Health

It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. Everyone reacts differently, and your own feelings will change over time. Notice and accept how you feel. Taking care of your emotional health during an emergency will help you think clearly and react to the urgent needs to protect yourself, your family, and your clients. Self-care during an emergency will help your long-term healing. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends taking the following steps to cope with a disaster:

  • Take care of your body. Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. With your new, unstructured time, find ways to create a routine to make sure you have consistency in your days.
  • Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system. We love this article on using technology to stay connected.
  • Take breaks. Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.
  • Stay informed. When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
  • Avoid too much exposure to news. Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.
  • Look out for these common signs of distress, and seek professional help if you experience these feelings or behaviors for several days in a row and are unable to carry out normal responsibilities because of them:               
    • Feelings of numbness, disbelief, anxiety or fear
    • Changes in appetite, energy, and activity levels
    • Difficulty concentrating
    • Difficulty sleeping or nightmares and upsetting thoughts and images
    • Physical reactions, such as headaches, body pains, stomach problems, and skin rashes
    • Worsening of chronic health problems
    • Anger or short-temper

 As a counselor, you may be acutely aware of changes in your clients’ behavior. During this time, we would encourage you to stay in-tune with your own feelings and behavior. For more guidance, you can read the American Counseling Association’s article on Handling the Stress of the Current Health Crisis.


Helplines

You are not alone in feeling fear, anxiety, frustration, and helplessness over the new normal caused by COVID-19. It is important to listen to yourself and reach out when you need assistance or advice. The best counselors often ask for help. Here are some helplines that may be of use to you, your clients, or your loved ones:
  • SAMHSAs Disaster Distress Helpline: A 24/7, 365 day a year counseling and support phone-line for people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. (1-800-985-5990)
  • Idaho COVID-19 Hotline: For questions on issues related to COVID-19 in Idaho, this hotline is open Monday through Friday, 8am to 6pm. (1-888-330-3010)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: For coping tools and resources, the Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.


Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCCs Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including a new COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.
 
Thank you for your tireless support of our clients in treatment. While you provide them with recovery resources and support, we are here to provide you with the resources and support you need to be successful.

Sincerely,
 
IBADCC Board Members


April 16, 2020

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IBADCC COVID-19 Update:

Guidance for Residential Programs

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
This week, in our effort to provide you with ongoing tips and resources related to COVID-19 and your work, we are focusing on guidance for residential programs. We understand that many counselors working in residential settings are experiencing fear and anxiety around protecting themselves and their clients. We also know that, as members of the recovery community, it is important for us to not allow the risk of COVID-19 to hinder the recovery process of our clients. During this time of uncertainty, while there are more questions than answers, we must rely on the facts to guide our practice. Please read on to learn of recommendations for managing COVID-19 among residents, staff members, and operators of residential programs. Also included at the end of this newsletter are links to sources of accurate and timely information, and free COVID-19 informational webinars.
 

Guidance for Limiting The Transmission of COVID-19 for Behavioral Health Residential Facilities

The National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH) has released an excellent guide on COVID-19 for those working in behavioral health residential facilities. Featured below is the NCBH’s top recommendations for behavioral residential facilities.

  • Display Educational Information. Facilities should post information from trusted health sources throughout the building, including signage on how to properly wash your hands, signs and symptoms of early detection, and outdoor signage to halt visitors or inform health care workers of access restrictions. Tools can be found on the CDC website.
  • Client Recommendations. Clients should be educated to stay in the residence as much as possible. If they do go out, they should keep a distance of at least 6 feet away from others and avoid touching their faces. Programs should cancel all planned social or recreational outings. Upon returning home, they should immediately wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cell phones and other frequently handled items should be sanitized daily.
  • Visitation. Facilities should restrict visitation of all nonresidents unless it is deemed necessary to directly support a resident’s health and wellness, or for certain compassionate care situations, such as young children in residential treatment or end-of-life care. In those cases, visitors should be limited to only a specific room. Facilities should notify potential visitors to defer visitation until further notice.
  • Visitor Assessment. Prior to entering the residence, visitors should be asked if they have had a new cough, a new sore throat, shortness of breath, a fever, or if they have recently traveled. If the response to any of these questions is “yes,” the visitor should not be allowed into the residence.
  • Compassionate Situations. For individuals who enter in compassionate situations meriting exceptions, facilities should require visitors to perform hand hygiene and use personal protective equipment (PPE), such as facemasks and gloves. Decisions about visitation during a compassionate exemption situation should be made on a case-by-case basis, which should include careful screening of the potential visitor. Potential visitors with symptoms of a respiratory infection such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, or those with recent travel should not be permitted to enter the facility at any time, even in end-of-life situations. Visitors who are permitted must wear a facemask while in the building and restrict their visit to the resident’s room or other location(s) designated by the facility. They should also be reminded and monitored to frequently perform hand hygiene. Facilities should follow CDC guidelines for restricting access to health care workers.
  • Alternate Communication. In lieu of in-person visits, facilities should consider offering alternate means of communication for people who would otherwise visit, such as phone, video-communication, and listserv communication for families. Staff can be assigned as a primary contact for families for inbound calls and conduct regular outbound calls to keep families up-to-date. Offering a phone line with a voice recording updated at set times (for example, daily) with the facility’s general operating status, such as when it is safe to resume visits.
  • Safe Visitation. When visitation is necessary or allowable, facilities should make efforts to allow safe visitation for residents and loved ones. For example: Suggest refraining from physical contact with residents and others while in the facility and practice social distancing by remaining six feet apart, with no handshaking or hugging. If possible, create dedicated visiting areas near the entrance to the facility where residents can meet with visitors in a sanitized environment. Facilities should disinfect rooms after each resident-visitor meeting. Management of laundry, food service utensils and medical waste should also be performed in accordance with routine procedures. If your program is CMS certified, residents still have the right to access the ombudsman program. Ombudsman access should be restricted per the guidance previously provided, except in compassionate care situations; however, facilities may review this on a case-by-case basis. If in-person access is not available due to infection control concerns, facilities need to facilitate resident communication by phone or other format with the ombudsman program.
  • Health Screening. Implement active screening and monitoring of residents and staff for fever and respiratory symptoms. Clients and staff should be instructed to report symptoms as soon as possible. Advise employees to check for any signs of illness before reporting to work each day and notify their supervisor if they become ill. Facilities may consider screening staff for fever or respiratory symptoms before entering the facility; when doing so, actively take their temperature and document absence of shortness of breath, new or change in cough and sore throat. If they are ill, have them put on a facemask and self-isolate at home. Staff members should stay home if they are sick. Staff members who have had direct contact with individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 or who are designated a person under investigation (PUI) should self-quarantine for 14 days and not come to the residential program. If, after 14 days following the last contact, they have not developed symptoms, they may return to work. It is not necessary for contacts of contacts to self-quarantine.
  • High Exposure. Facilities should identify staff that work at multiple facilities, including agency staff, regional or corporate staff, etc., and actively screen and restrict them appropriately to ensure they do not place individuals in the facility at risk for COVID-19.
  • Outside Contact. Facilities should review and revise how they interact with vendors and receive supplies, agency staff, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and equipment, transportation providers taking residents to offsite appointments, etc. and other non-health care providers, including food delivery, etc., and take necessary actions to prevent any potential transmission. For example, do not have supply vendors transport supplies inside the facility; supplies should be dropped off at a dedicated location, like a loading dock. Facilities should ensure, to the extent possible, proper food supply, maintaining two to three weeks of food and storing additional non-perishable foods appropriately. Facilities can allow entry of these delivery visitors if needed, as long as they follow appropriate CDC guidelines for transmission-based precautions. All nonessential vendors such as salespeople and drug representatives should be prohibited.
  • Maintenance Standards. Facilities are advised to increase maintenance standards at all public access points throughout the facility, as well as all other programs under your agency. New disinfection frequency protocols are needed. Staff who manage maintenance in the facility should ensure more thorough cleansing of tables, counters and all other surfaces. Frequently touched surfaces, like tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc., should be disinfected daily with cleaning products labeled to be effective against rhinoviruses or human coronaviruses. This includes ensuring that clean water is used when mopping floors based on typical maintenance standards and that supplies, including, soap, water and towels/proper drying equipment, are available in all staff and patient bathrooms. In addition to posted handwashing protocols, there should be adequate availability of hand sanitizer throughout the facility. Federal, state and local advisories should also be conspicuously displayed for residents, staff and visitors.
  • Telemedicine. To the extent possible, programs should work with clients’ health care providers to institute telemedicine appointments. Most payers are removing barriers to this, allowing billing if medically necessary, and documenting it as if they were in the office. Blood draws and monthly injections will still need to be done in-person. For behavioral health residents, treatment teams should consider increased frequency of engagement, including therapy, using alternatives to in-person meetings. Clients and staff should be reminded of the importance of hand hygiene and not touching their faces if visiting their providers is necessary.
  • Resident Contact. CDC guidance currently recommends suspending all groups and activities with more than 10 people. Communal dining and all group activities with more than 10 people, such as internal and external group activities, should be canceled. Facilities should utilize non-face-to-face meeting options, such as phone, video communications, etc., to the extent possible. In shared bedrooms for individuals who have not developed symptoms, ensure that beds are at least 6 feet apart when possible and require that clients sleep head-to-toe.
For the full guide, you can visit this page. It includes helpful recommendations for accepting new clients, how to respond if a client develops symptoms, handling clients who return from the hospital, and guidance for health care personnel returning to work.
 

Sources for Accurate and Timely Information

Now more than ever, it is important to ensure the information you are accessing and distributing is factual and up-to-date. We have collected a list of websites that provide accurate information on COVID-19 related topics. They include:
  • Idaho Department of Health and Welfare: Now features a COVID-19 hotline that is open Monday-Friday from 8am to 6pm and can be reached at 1-888-330-3010. You can also visit coronavirus.idaho.gov to view Idaho’s current stay-at-home order, essential services, enforcement guidance, and more.
  • Centers for Disease Control: A primary source of information on COVID-19 including information on the background of the virus and disease, informational posters, news updates, and information on protecting clients.
  • SAMHSA: Currently features a helpful article on “Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak.”
  • World Health Organization: Published a document outlining steps to getting your workplace ready for COVID-19.
  • National Alliance for Recovery Residences: The NARR is hosting a weekly call-in for COVID-19 concerns.

Relevant Training Opportunities

Below are links to free training opportunities related to COVID-19 that may be of interest to you:

Questions?

If you have questions on the recommendations or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC’s Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website, including a new COVID-19 page, and on our Facebook page where you can follow us to receive timely updates.
 
Thank you for tireless support of our clients in treatment, and for your willingness to adapt and find creative solutions amid COVID-19. We are here for you!
 
Sincerely,
 
IBADCC Board Members

 

April 16, 2020

Please find below a note from Prometric regarding testing

Dear IC&RC Stakeholders,

Prometric plans to resume in-center testing operations in our US and Canadian locations where we are able to do so in compliance with governmental directives or regulations, effective May 1st. We have been working tirelessly to ensure that our test centers are prepared for the resumption of testing at the earliest possible date, in support of your organization and the many constituencies you represent. Our preparations include performing a series of activities that will confirm both technical and operational readiness at each site. In the current environment, our operational readiness steps include the introduction of several new or enhanced processes designed to safeguard the health and well-being of everyone at the center, including your test takers and the staff serving them.

One such procedural change required is the reduction of active workstations in the testing room, to conform with government-mandated social distancing standards. This will ensure proper distance is maintained between each individual during test administration. It will also effectively reduce the capacity at each location by at least 50%, and will require Prometric to displace scheduled candidates on select workstations in order to be able to preserve the remaining testing appointments. We understand the impact that this will have on those test takers and are committed to testing them as soon as possible, including looking to expand capacity through increased test center hours and days of operation. The following is additional information for you:

  • Prometric will inform impacted candidates early next week of the need to cancel their existing appointment as the result of implementing social distancing preventative measures (attached here).
  • The date range of the appointments that will be impacted runs from May 1st through June 30th.
  • After the candidate notification has been sent, we will begin processing the cancellations and reschedules (program depending) in the scheduling system. Cancellations and reschedules will be prioritized by appointment date.
  • We will provide you a list of your impacted candidates within this 60 day period.
  • For test takers scheduling new appointments for dates from July 1 onward, the available capacity will appear to be the same 50% that's imposed during the social distancing period. Out of an abundance of caution, we will hold off on displacing these candidates for now, but we will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed should that become necessary.
  • Every 30 days, Prometric leadership will review current conditions and will determine if an extension of the social distancing measures are necessary. If that decision is made, we will inform you of further candidate displacements and will inform candidates of their cancelled appointments.
  • For test takers who will be testing during this time, Prometric will reconfirm their appointment and send clients and candidates a list of social distancing and safety guidelines that candidates will have to follow while in the test center. More details to come as we finalize this communication and have a better understanding of where we are equipped to open on May 1st.
We are addressing testing operations in other regions of the world in a similar manner, by applying the same evaluation process described here.

We thank you for your patience, understanding and support as we strive to re-establish safe and reliable testing operations on your behalf.

Sincerely,

Sean Colton
IC&RC


April 8, 2020

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IBADCC COVID-19 Update:
TeleHealth Tips and Resources

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
The last few weeks have presented many challenges as the world has been managing the impact of COVID-19. As counselors, we have had to adapt to new technologies and approaches to interact and support our clients. As employees, many of us have begun working remotely, and this has required flexibility and creativity. IBADCC wants to provide you with resources to help guide your practice and ensure you feel supported during this time.
 
Each week we will release a newsletter focusing on tips and resources related to COVID-19 and your work. This week our focus is on TeleHealth. Many of us have begun utilizing TeleHealth to continue working with existing clients, and beginning work with new clients. If you are new to TeleHealth or would like additional tips on how to work effectively using TeleHealth tools, please read below for some helpful resources including additional information on TeleHealth policy updates and free TeleHealth training resources.


Effective Remote Counseling
Best practices are essential for using TeleHealth effectively, and ensuring you are following all ethical standards. An important consideration is setting up your environment to ensure privacy and confidence. The following tips were developed by the American Counseling Association:

  • Be sure that your space is private, and that from the viewpoint of your camera it looks and feels that way to your client. It may be unsettling for a client to see an open door in your background or see you in an open air setting. While you may be home alone or in a private back yard, the perception of complete privacy is as important as the reality.
  • Your clients might be at home with others present. In this time of uncertainty all around them, it’s nice to work with a counselor who knows how to help set clients up for success. Set the expectation with them to find a time and a place in their home that they can focus only on their session. You may need to help your clients come up with ways to keep family members engaged for the length of the session. It might also require sessions to be shortened to accommodate the new dynamics of many families.
  • Do an internet speed test of your home internet. Consider limiting the number of devices connected to your internet during session times. Again, this might require changes to your schedule to allow for other people in your home to have the access to the internet they need. Recommend and work with your clients do the same.
  • Using the video platforms on your laptop is best because it is stable. If you are using a smartphone or tablet, consider getting a tripod to keep it steady. While you can prop up your device, it may slide down during the session, displaying awkward angles of you and distracting from session work. Be sure your video angle is head on and not pointing up your nose or at a distorting angle. Remember that picking up your device and walking around can cause motion sickness for the person on the other end of the video.
  • Maintain a schedule of start and end times, and don’t book sessions outside of those times. There is an element of always being available when you work from home, and it is best to adhere to a set schedule.
  • Make your home office a place you enjoy being. It’s important to feel comfortable in your space, especially if you’re feeling uncomfortable with a new workflow and technologies. Be aware that clients will be getting a peek inside your private life. They’ll see a sliver of your home. They may see a pet who is serving as your personal assistant. Your kids, spouse, or housemates may come into the room if they are unaware that you’re in session. Think through how you will handle these such situations, what you’re comfortable sharing, and what needs to remain private and separate from work.
  • Your clients are looking to you for stability, comfort, and confidence that everything is going to be OK. Be sure that you are managing your anxiety and uncertainty in a healthy manner.
  • If you’re concerned about someone in your home hearing any session content use headphones during session. Seeing this can also help boost confidence of privacy with your client.

And finally, remember to know the physical location of each client, as well as local community resources which may need to be contacted in the event of an emergency, or circumstances that may require a mandated report.  Remember that 911 is a national number and will route you to the authorities closest to you, where the call originates from, not to the location of your client. Be sure you know where your client is located during the session and that you have the contact information for emergency services in their area. Keep that information in their client chart.

For those unable to work remotely at this time, including institutions such as re-entry centers, job corps, and residential and correctional facilities, it is important to adhere to the World Health Organization's (WHO) basic protective measures against the new coronavirus to take care of your health and protect others. Measures include frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, avoiding large group gatherings, maintaining social distancing, and practicing respiratory hygiene, which may include wearing masks during patient care.

Idaho Medicaid Provider Guidelines Around TeleHealth
Idaho Medicaid providers may use popular applications that allow for video chats, including Apple FaceTime®, Facebook Messenger® video chat, Google Hangouts® video, or Skype®, to provide TeleHealth without risk that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) might seek to impose a penalty for noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules related to the good faith provision of TeleHealth during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Providers are encouraged to notify participants that these third-party applications potentially introduce privacy risks, and providers should enable all available encryption and privacy modes when using such applications. The OCR will not impose penalties for the lack of a business associate agreement (BAA) with video communication vendors or any other noncompliance with the HIPAA Rules that relates to the good faith provision of TeleHealth services during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Important considerations include: Facebook Live®, Twitch®, TikTok®, and similar video communication applications are public facing, and should not be used in the provision of TeleHealth. Providers should continue to make all reasonable and prudent efforts to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI).

Policy Updates on Key TeleHealth Provisions
On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R.748), the third package in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  The CARES Act signals strong support for TeleHealth and recognition from Congress that expanding access to virtual care is critical to defeating COVID-19. For a summary of key TeleHealth provisions in the CARES Act, click here. In addition, the Administration announced new flexibilities from multiple agencies intended to expand access to TeleHealth under COVID-19 emergency authorities. Read more about policy updates with Medicare/Medicaid, HIPPA, remote prescribing, and more by visiting this page.
 
Telehealth Training Opportunities
It is important to be trained in TeleHealth and ensure your clients are comfortable with this modality as well. There are many training opportunities available, here are just a few:


Questions?
If you have questions on the updates or resources included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC’s Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at bstickney@ibadcc.org. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website and Facebook page.
 
As all providers continue to adapt to the ways COVID-19 is impacting their work, we are here to support and inform IBADCC members through these changes. We will continue to send out communications and information as needed.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jim Meldrum, CADC, President of IBADCC


March 24, 2020

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Important
IBADCC Certification Requirements Update

Dear IBADCC Members,
 
We are reaching out to acknowledge that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you most likely have questions and concerns regarding your application status, testing access, and continuing education hours. The IBADCC Board members have met to discuss current certification requirements and how these may need to be augmented based on the changing environment and recent closures. Please read below for important information, including temporary changes and extensions to certification requirements:

 
Testing
We are aware that testing centers are closed at this time. We were informed that SMT has closed testing through April 30th, and potentially longer. At this time, there is no movement towards shifting exam administration to an online proctored format.
 
Certification Renewal Extension
All individuals who are in the process of renewing their certification will now be granted a certification grace period of six months from their renewal expiration date.
 
Continuing Education Requirements
Live training opportunities have been canceled across the world, including the upcoming IBADCC conference. The current requirement of obtaining 50% of your continuing education hours via in-person trainings will be waived. You now have the option to obtain all education through online programs. A list of online continuing education providers that are accepted by IBADCC is included below. Click on the link to learn more.

All online courses must still be approved by ICRC, NAADAC, NASW, NBCC, or IBADCC. Reference page 3 of your respective renewal form for more information.

Questions?
If you have questions on the new accommodations included in this email, or if you have specific questions not addressed here, please contact IBADCC’s Executive Director, Becca Stickney, at beccastickney@piqueconsulting.net. The IBADCC will also be posting updates for members on our website and Facebook page.
 
As all providers continue to adapt to the ways COVID-19 is impacting their work, we are here to support and inform IBADCC members through these changes. We will continue to send out communications and information as needed.
 
Sincerely,
 
Jim Meldrum, CADC, President of IBADCC

 


 


March 13, 2020

* NEW MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR IBADCC *

Beginning April 1st, the IBADCC office will be moving to Minneapolis, MN.
Phone calls can be directed to the new Executive Director,
Becca Stickney, CAE, at 952-377-8806.

letter

 


January 21, 2020

* IMPORTANT NOTICE...NEW CHANGES TO CADC AND ISAS *

 THE FOLLOWING GOES INTO EFFECT JULY 1, 2020

Over the past 2 years, IBADCC has discussed the minimal requirements towards obtaining a CADC level of certification. In our partnership with ICRC, and their certification oversight, it was determined to incorporate the requirement of a bachelor’s degree or higher as part of the minimal CADC requirements. With this change, we have explored how to implement this change as smooth as possible. We also wanted to assure those who already have a CADC but do not have a bachelor’s or higher degree would be able to continue practicing with their CADC certification. In addition, we acknowledge those who are currently working towards their CADC but may have no intention in furthering their education level. To better reflect the ISAS certification, it has also been decided to change the ISAS title to SUDA. This new title stands for Substance Use Disorder Associate. While working through as many concerns as we could identify, we have come up with a process to allow for the new changes. They are explained in a Question/Answer format.

1. Question: When does this change go into effect?
Answer: July 1st, 2020 is the effective date. Any applications submitted prior to this date will be considered under the current requirements.

2. Question: What if I’m already working towards my CADC but won’t have my application submitted by July 1st 2020?
Answer:
Those pursuing their CADC prior to July 1st will need to show continuous enrollment in the process and pursuit towards the CADC certification. This can be shown by a) continued class specific studies within the CADC domains, or b) continuous work experience hours specific to the CADC domains.

3. Question: I am currently a CADC and I do not have a bachelor’s or higher level of education. Am I going to lose my CADC?
Answer: No,
as long as your CADC remains current. If for any reason, your certification lapses, resulting in re applying for your CADC, the BS degree would then be a requirement. If you have received your BS degree or higher since your certification, please update us with this information and a copy of the degree.

4. Question: Are there any changes to the work experience hours?
Answer: No.
A BS degree substitutes for 2000 hours of the 6000 hours work experience requirement. This hasn’t changed. With a BS degree you will still be required to obtain 4000 work experience hours.

5. Question: What BS degrees count for the CADC requirement?
Answer: The BS degree must be within the Behavioral Science Field. Some of these include but are not limited to: Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Social Science, Counseling and Alcohol/Drug Studies. The board will continue to develop the acceptable degree list. If you have a BS degree which you think would qualify, please email us with your rationale and we can consider adding it to the list.

6. Question: What will happen with the ISAS as a result of these changes?
Answer: With the changes, IBADCC also recognized having the word “student” in the title of the ISAS certification isn’t a very accurate description. As a result, IBADCC has decided to change the ISAS to SUDA. This acronym stands for “Substance Use Disorder Associate”. As of July 1, 2020, a transitioning to the SUDA title will begin to occur automatically. As ISAS renewals occur throughout the next 2 years, your new certification, at your time of renewal, will be SUDA rather than ISAS. Any new applications will also be for SUDA. I emphasize, there is no difference in scope of practice between the ISAS and the SUDA. Over time, this approach will phase out the ISAS title.

7. Question: I have my ISAS now, but not my CADC. Will I be required to obtain a BS degree? Answer: No. If you already have an ISAS but do not have a BS degree, you can still obtain a CADC. We recognize this is a change to your initial CADC plans and we want to support you on your CADC goal. In addition, there are some who may have begun their track towards CADC (evidenced by the classes they have taken, work experience hours done, etc.) who we will look at on an individual basis as an exception as well. Those who start to pursue CADC on and after the go live date will be required to obtain a BS degree. See also FAQ #2.

8. Question: As an ISAS or a SUDA, do I have to get my CADC?
Answer: No.
The initial thought behind the ISAS was providing a means towards obtaining the CADC, and it is encouraged to do so, however, with these changes it isn’t a requirement.

9. Question: Does the ISAS qualify under the nationally recognized standards under ICRC. Will the SUDA be under ICRC?
Answer: No. The ISAS and the SUDA is an Idaho certification and does not fall under the reciprocity through ICRC.

10. Question: Do I have to do anything different when I go to renew my ISAS?
Answer: No. The transition to SUDA will be an automatic transition and will occur when you submit your renewal application. Rather than receiving a certificate with ISAS as the credential, it will have SUDA. In addition, new applications will be for the SUDA rather than the ISAS starting July 1, 2020.

11. Question: Is there a limit to the number of times I can renew as a SUDA?
Answer: No.
There is no limit to number of renewals. By going to the BS degree for the CADC and transitioning from the title ISAS to SUDA, supports having a SUDA as a permanent credential.

12. Question: What about my supervision? Will I need to keep the same amount of supervision as I did under ISAS?
Answer: Yes.
To reaffirm, the only change between ISAS to SUDA is the title itself. The supervision requirements remain the same.

13. Question: Is there any change in the scope of practice?
Answer: No. The scope of practice for all certifications remains the same. The SUDA will have the same scope of practice as the ISAS.

14. Question: Will the state reimburse for services done as a SUDA?
Answer:
Good question. We have notified DHW, BPA Health and Optum regarding the change. We have been informed that adding the SUDA to the Idaho code will be an easy change and occur during the time legislation meets.

15. Question: I still have some questions that weren’t covered. Where should I send those?
Answer:
I’m glad you asked. If you have any other questions that may have been overlooked, please send those to our main email address ibadcc@ibadcc.org. We are also updating the FAQ section on our website to help with some of the more common questions see FAQs for CHANGES 2020

Sincerely,

IBADCC Board


 

 

May 1, 2019

* IMPORTANT NOTICE to all Recovery Coach Supervisors*

 To All Recovery Coach Supervisors,

In supporting Idaho’s efforts regarding background check requirements, all individuals serving in the Recovery Coach Supervisory capacity will need to complete an enhanced background check.  Please have your clearance letter from your enhanced background check submitted to IBADCC within 90 days of the date of this notification.  If your clearance letter is not received within the allotted time frame, your recovery coach supervisory status will be relinquished and a new Recovery Coach Supervision application will be required for consideration.   

If you have any questions, please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Sincerely,
Jim Meldrum, President


 

IBADCC Expands List of CEU Approving Organizations
All CEU education must be approved by IBADCC. Courses taken from nationally accredited colleges and universities must be documented with an official transcript. IBADCC accepts workshops or seminars approved by IC&RC, NAADAC, NASW, NBCC, SAMSHA, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Idaho Licensing Board (IBOL), Idaho state agencies, Idaho county agencies, federal government agencies, and substance abuse credentialing organizations in other states. Topics must be germane to the substance abuse counseling field.


 

IBADCC Application for Supervisors for CPRC and CRC.
Individuals that wish to supervise CPCR and CRC candidate hours must have applied to the IBADCC and been approved to be listed on the Recovery Coach Supervisor List. Supervisor registry request forms are found under the "Certification" tab on this website.