Why bother with renewing and/or upgrading a New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) certificate? Most importantly, renewing the credential ensures “continued competence and maintenance of skills” among professionals who work in proximity to addiction services and supports.
I earned my credential through academic study and supervised experience, passing both an oral and written examination, while working in multiple settings including DWI evaluation, inpatient, MICA, outpatient, outreach, and halfway house. Continued education for triennial recertification in addictions first allowed me to participate as a facilitator of credentialing exams for rising candidates; and to qualify for national addiction credentials.
When I returned to school for a Masters in Social Work, ongoing experience and continued learning served me well in studying both clinical and community structures. Even though my focus shifted to community development, the credential allowed me to supervise prevention programs in a community center and enhanced my clinical supervision of a methadone clinic.
Now at CCNY, my credentialed expertise affords me a unique ability to engage as a colleague with our clinical partners. It also allows me to bring a critical perspective to evaluation of public health initiatives that impact or are impacted by addiction.
Being able to “upgrade” to the Master Level of CASAC is a way of acknowledging the time and effort I have put into maintaining a well-informed level of expertise.