The workforce development recommendations for addictions counselors are being prepared. U.S. Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D.-Del.) has recently introduced the "Health Professionals Substance Abuse Education Act" in the Senate, and Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy (D.-R.I.) has introduced a companion bill in the House. In view of the documented need for more addiction counselors and interest in funding the preparation of these counselors, an evaluation of the ways in which individuals learn the art of addiction counseling is in order.
There are a number of ways in which such education/training is conducted, and an ongoing question of the advantages and disadvantages of each. This article will explore the differences between education and training in preparing addiction counselors for the workforce.
As the need for credentials in many disciplines increased, bogus universities that sell college diplomas developed. Often this process seems to the unsuspecting student an easy way to get the required credential quickly. Such programs advertise using leading statements such as:
* "Earn your degree online from a prestigious unaccredited university."
* "It's now possible to earn affordable accredited degrees."
* "On the basis of what you already know you can now have an accredited degree that is accepted and recognized worldwide."
* "Add a degree to your resume now for as low as $199!"
There are two kinds of diploma mills: those that offer low-quality, specious programs or courses and those that merely sell a copy of a degree with the applicant's name on it.
Diploma mills survive by operating in states with lax laws governing schools. Most of them assume identities of well-known schools or religious organizations. Because of laws separating church and state, most states have been reluctant to pass laws restricting the activities of churches, including their right to confer degrees.
Proving fraud is difficult, particularly for operations that acknowledge that they are diploma mills. The school provides exactly what was promised: a piece of paper that looks like a degree.
Several Internet programs offer guidelines to help students evaluate programs under consideration (www.elearners.com and www.geteducated.com are good resources).
State credentialing of addiction counselors …