Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Review of Addiction Counseling Requirements

Photo of Kirk Bowden

Rio Salado Faculty Chair of Addiction and Substance Use Disorders program Kirk Bowden published an editorial called My Big Concern for the Addiction Counseling Profession (Part II) for the summer edition of Advances in Addiction & Recovery, a professional journal published by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals.

This is a follow up to a spring 2015 editorial published by Bowden about the same subject.

image of fall Advances in Addicition and Recovery magazine

Bowden calls on state behavioral health regulatory/licensing boards to implement a requirement that behavioral health professionals have addiction-specific education and experience before practicing addiction counseling independently. Most states do not have this requirement.

Rio Salado College is one of Arizona’s top educators of addictions counseling professionals, offering online classes, certificates and an associate degree in Addictions and Substance Use Disorders.

“We have a lot of highly-qualified faculty who are experts in the field,” Bowden said. “For example, one adjunct is the author of a textbook that is used nationally and another works as a policy writer for President Obama.”

Bowden himself is well known in the field.

In addition to serving as NAADAC’s President since October 2014, Bowden, PhD, MAC, NCC, LPC, serves on the Editorial Advisory Committee for NAADAC’s Advances in Addiction & Recovery magazine. While serving in many capacities for NAADAC through the years, Kirk has also served as Chair of the Chemical Dependency Counseling Rio Salado College, Director of the Department of Professional Counseling and Addiction Studies at Grand Canyon University, President of the International Coalition for Addiction Studies Education (IN CASE), and as a steering committee member for SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), Partners for Recovery, and the Higher Education Accreditation and Competencies expert panel for SAMHSA/CSAT.

Bowden was recognized by the Arizona Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors as Advocate of the Year for 2010, and by the American Counseling Association for the Counselor Educator Advocacy Award in 2013, the Fellow Award in 2014, and most recently for the Outstanding Addiction/Offender Professional Award in 2015.

For additional information about Rio Salado’s Behavioral Health/Addictions and Substance Use Disorders program, visit or call Academic Advisement at 480-517-8580.