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Representative Gayle Manning Aims to Combat Opioid Crisis with Committee Passage of Workforce Legislation

January 14, 2020
Gayle Manning News

With a shortage of chemical dependency counselors in Ohio, the profession that helps individuals at addiction treatment centers, State Rep. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) worked to remedy this problem by introducing House Bill 365 – the legislation passed unanimously out of the Health Committee today. Last year, Manning gave testimony regarding the bill.

“The president and CEO of an addiction treatment center in my district informed me that there is a shortage of counselors to meet the needs of the treatment center and its patients,” said Manning in her testimony. “In 2017, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the U.S., according to a study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.”

House Bill 365 adds two additional paths for individuals to meet the requirements of becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II:

1. 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. The practicum allows for qualified people to become LCDC II’s faster, helping to fill the need in time to aid with the opioid epidemic.

2. 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.

“The entire state has been affected significantly from the opioid crisis that has plagued our nation,” said Manning. “Not only does this legislation play a role in helping all those in need of addiction treatment, but it alleviates the difficulty many treatment centers have been facing in light of counselor shortages. House Bill 365 opens the door to more opportunity in our workforce for these counselors as they are integral in providing caring for those suffering from addiction.”

“This bill will save lives” according to Thomas Stuber, President and CEO of The LCADA Way serving Lorain, Medina, and Erie Counties.  “The ability to become a licensed professional and to provide the services necessary to help our customers recover is critical, with the epidemic, demand has exceeded our capacity.  This bill will help us build that capacity.”

The legislation now awaits approval in the House of Representatives.