New credential for co-occurring disorders will pressure addiction professionals

April 23, 2007

Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly exclusively reports in their April 23 issue, that a new credential, represented by the initials CCDP (Certified Co-Occurring Disorders Professional) was introduced last week by the International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium/Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (IC&RC) in a move that pressures the addiction treatment workforce to get more training, according to a report.

This new certification is meant to treat patients with both mental and substance use, or co-occurring disorders. These patients have historically been given conflicting advice or been told to get one treatment first over the other. The new credential will make it possible for addiction professionals to show they have the ability to treat co-occurring disorders.

In the brewing controversy about who will treat people with co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders - addiction or mental health professionals - turf, jobs, and millions of funding dollars are at stake. Not all addicts have co-occurring mental disorders, but as many as 80 percent do. Those people need specialized treatment that integrates best practices for treating both disorders at the same time, according to experts in the field. If people with co-occurring disorders are shuttled from program to program, neither condition will be treated successfully, studies have shown.

The new credential paves the way for a change in the treatment system, which has always had federal and state-level systemic barriers to integration of addiction and mental health treatment, according to Dalphonse. "The practitioner who will survive is the one who can deal with the interactive relationship of these two disorders," he said.
-end-
Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly covers the addiction treatment field and is published by John Wiley & Sons.

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