Drug treatment programs in Oklahoma City will place new guidelines on educational requirements for counselors to ensure that people who need assistance receive the best care possible.
There were 813 people who died in 2016 of a drug-related overdose in Oklahoma, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was a 13.2 percent increase from the year before.
Oklahoma has been struggling with a budget issue dating back to October and most of the proposed cuts were for drug treatment programs. The Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was one of the organizations that was being forced to potentially cut their budget. Another agency that was compelled to cut services was the Oklahoma Department of Health.
Oklahoma residents who struggle with multiple addictions at the same time need drug treatment programs that have the counselors and the services available to tend to co-occurring disorders they are struggling with.
All drug treatment programs in Oklahoma employ counselors that treat patients with substance abuse but with the new educational requirements, some counselors will not be allowed to continue.
There was a vote cast on multiple rule changes last Friday by the board of the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. The main objective of the board was to dictate who should be qualified to assess patients who are in drug treatment programs.
Now drug treatment programs in Oklahoma will need to employ more people with a master’s degree in order to properly evaluate patients.
At the moment, the mental health department decrees that patients who are covered by Soonercare need a counselor with a master’s degree while those who are covered by other types of insurance can only have access to a counselor with a bachelor’s degree.
After Friday’s votes, all drug treatment programs will require a counselor to hold a master’s degree in order to treat patients. Counselors with a bachelor’s degree will still be able to provide screening, instructing and other tasks related to a patient’s care.
Those who had originally wished to become counselors in Oklahoma would simply have to obtain their bachelor’s degree in behavioral science and counseling discipline. They would also have participated in at least 270 hours of substance abuse counseling coursework. There was also required training… (Continue Reading)