OTTAWA, June 3, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario - There is a serious gap in Canada's health and social service network that again has become apparent. Addictions and substance abuse counsellors are currently NOT required to be regulated, trained, educated or credentialed in ANY part of Canada.
Addiction is a complex health and human condition with the potentialfor harm to be done due to incompetent or unethical practices by unlicensed and unregulated addiction counsellors. Yesterday, the Ontario Provincial Police charged operators of a for-profit addictions treatment centre for holding themselves out to possess doctoral credentials they allegedly did not have. This would not happen if there was regulation.
Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sgt. Cathy O'Connor stated the following: "It is not operated or governed by any policies or rules of the government."
Service providers can immediately return to practice addiction counseling because there is absolutely no regulation in place saying otherwise. In the interest of public safety, this must change right now.
For 30 years the Canadian Addictions Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF), a not for profit organization, has been certifying addiction professionals on a voluntary basis. This needs to change. Therefore, CACCF is calling on all levels of government to review their approach to this issue and consider regulations to ensure the protection of the public.
CACCF partners with the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) to enhance the professionalization of Canada's substance abuse workforce. To this end, CCSA is leading a certification task force to promote the certification of substance abuse professionals across Canada and to establish regulatory colleges in each province and territory.
The Certification Task Force is collaborating with experts in workforce development from across Canada to establish requirements for substance abuse professionals to demonstrate key competencies that validate their ability to provide care for those in need. The regulation of treatment professionals will improve the quality and consistency of addictions services, and help to ensure that Canadians receive the same quality of care that they would expect for any other chronic disease.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) has developed a document, Key Questions to Consider when Seeking Substance Abuse Treatment, to help individuals, their friends and family choose effective, evidence-based services that best meet their needs.
Individuals seeking service should always feel free to ask questions of treatment providers and gather as much information as possible.
SOURCE Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF)
Image with caption: "Certification of addictions workforce would improve quality and consistency of care to Canadians (CNW Group/Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150603_C5498_PHOTO_EN_17506.jpg