Local state Rep. Gayle Manning's legislation designed to increase the number of chemical dependency counselors in Ohio passed the Ohio House.
Chemical dependency counselors help individuals at addiction treatment centers.
“I’m very pleased to see this body push this legislation through on the floor again, and I’m optimistic we will move this forward to the governor’s desk this year,” said Manning, R-North Ridgeville.
“The opioid crisis was already an ongoing issue before the pandemic, but now early reports are showing another record of overdose deaths from last year. This bill will help both with increasing our workforce and to bring overdose deaths down in our state by advancing pathways for our chemical dependency counselors.”
House Bill 5 offers two different pathways for individuals to be licensed as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II:
- Creates an intensive-practicum pathway for people who already have shown an interest in chemical dependency counseling by virtue of the degree that they pursued.
- Allows for individuals who have dedicated their careers to the field and the appropriate level of training to sit for a licensure examination without having a specific degree in the field — this provision expires after three years.
House Bill 5 went through several hearings within the Ohio House Health Committee and had several proponents for the bill including the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health Providers, Ohio Alliance of Recovery Providers and Ohio Association of Community Colleges.
During the last General Assembly, Manning introduced similar legislation under House Bill 365 that passed within both the House and Senate chambers. However, the bill did not meet concurrence to a Senate amendment within the House in the final days of the previous General Assembly.
The bill now sits in the Senate.