California’s substance use disorder workforce is preparing for healthcare reform

The California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, in consultation with the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California, recently released a report that addressed the challenges and opportunities that will be faced by the substance use disorder (SUD) workforce as a result of upcoming healthcare reform.

According to the report, the challenge comes in assessing the capacity of its workforce, identifying the skills required to deliver services in the changing environment, and developing the necessary infrastructure to support health reform. On the flip side, the report states opportunities exist to strengthen the role of the SUD workforce by creating a standardized credentialing system, addressing the known shortfalls in the workforce career path, and providing training to broaden the workforce skill set. In the process, the workforce may become eligible for new employment opportunities, experience less employee turnover and greater job satisfaction.

The report also offers suggestions and recommendations regarding standards, training, policy, and practices. It concludes by stating implementation of these recommendations will prepare the SUD workforce to function efficiently in the emerging world that is recovery-oriented, uses prevention strategies at the community level, and provides individual choices for treatment.

A copy of the report can be found here.


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