Behavioral health providers and peer support specialists serve people who seek help for a variety of mental health and substance use needs, in settings from prevention programs to community-based and inpatient treatment programs. Many types of behavioral health providers and peer support specialists exist to serve a variety of patients.
The links to the right lead to maps showing a comparison of all states and territories for the following five policy areas:
1) addiction counselor credentialing
2) licensed professional counselors’ ability to diagnose
3) authority for nurse practitioners to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
4) authority for physician assistants to prescribe buprenorphine-containing products after receiving a waiver from the federal Controlled Substance Act’s special registration requirements
5) peer support specialist certification
Addiction counselors work with people who suffer from a range of substance use disorders (SUDs). A SUD can involve addiction to alcohol, opioids and other substances. Addiction counselors work in a variety of settings, including inpatient and outpatient facilities, sober living homes, hospitals or various community organizations.
An individual can enter the field of addiction counseling through multiple means, ranging from earning a certification with a high school diploma to becoming a licensed addiction counselor through a behavioral health graduate or doctorate degree with an addiction treatment focus. The state where individuals earns their certification or license affects what treatments they can provide and to whom.
Many states offer multiple paths to the same credential. The credential can be obtained by earning either a master’s, bachelor’s or associate’s degree or a high school diploma. The greater level of education achieved may be substituted for some of the required practice. For example, a high school graduate may need six years of experience to receive the credential, while someone with a graduate degree only needs one year of experience. In addition, individuals who have received a graduate degree are more likely to be authorized to diagnose and practice independently.