Advocacy Alert: California AB 2804 (Waldron) and South Carolina SB 962

May 10, 2018

CA AB 2804: Waldron

California Assembly Bill 2804 (Waldron) was introduced by Assemblymember Marie Waldron, and is currently in committee, awaiting for the first hearing.

This bill will expand and improve the substance use disorder workforce and supports the goal of creating the nation's first "on demand" treatment system for substance use disorder and creates the foundation for California's youth treatment system set to be implemented in 2019.

This bill will state the Legislature's long-range goals through the creation of one-year and five-year plans to expand the substance use disorder treatment workforce in California to aid in the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. The bill would set out one-year goals for school districts, the California State University system, the University of California, the community college system, and the department. The bill would also set out five-year plans to be created by the department, in collaboration with other state agencies, including coordination with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development (OHSPD) to administer grants, stipends, and loan repayment programs for counselors, peers, and licensed professionals who enroll in addiction-related coursework, with special emphasis on applicants who are able to fill identified cultural, linguistic, and geographic shortage areas.

Your support of this important measure is crucial! CCAPP has a fact sheet on the bill, as well as sample support letters you can send either as an individual or from a program.

Find your representative here in order to show your support of this bill.

A reminder that BHAP offers discounted memberships for CCAPP members in good standing.

For more information on the current laws governing treatment programs and sober living facilities in California, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions for the state.

SC SB 962: Addiction Counselors

Meanwhile, South Carolina is considering a bill that would create mandatory licensure for addiction counselors.

Previously, the state allowed individuals to represent themselves as "addiction counselors" if they were certified by the South Carolina Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission, the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission, or comparable certification issued through an international Certification Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse approved certification board or through a certification board that has been approved by the South Carolina Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors Certification Commission.

The new law would create formal licensure requirements for addiction treatment counselors, and require that a candidate obtain a master's degree or other higher degree program from an accredited institution to qualify. Individuals would be guilty of practicing without a license if they represent themselves to be an addiction counselor by the use of any title or description of services that incorporates the words "addiction counselor" without being licensed by the South Carolina Board of Licensed Professional Counselors.

South Carolina Senate Bill 962 was authored by Senator Thomas Alexander and is currently residing in the House for consideration. BHAP has no official position on this matter.

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