UMO Addresses Need for Addictions Counselors
August 09, 2021
Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations
MOUNT OLIVE – Among Americans aged 12 years and older, 31.9 million are current illegal drug users, according to a study by the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics. The study indicates that if alcohol and tobacco are included, that number jumps to a mind-boggling 165 million or 60.2% of Americans. The University of Mount Olive is planning to address this issue head-on.
According to UMO Assistant Dean for Health Science Dr. Ray Taylor, the toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented levels of mental distress, an increased use of alcohol and/or other drugs including opioids. “Individuals who were already struggling with substance use disorder or another mental health disorder have been hit especially hard,” he said. “As alcohol and other legal and illicit substance use increased during the pandemic, so did the need for treatment counselors.”
Taylor noted that UMO’s new Master of Science Degree in Counseling: Addictions Counseling has been built to address the shortage of qualified licensed professional and increased demand for individual, couples, and family services. “Our program is a pathway towards licensure to practice as an addictions counselor,” Taylor said.
Taylor indicated that, although a background in psychology is helpful, individuals with an existing bachelor’s degree in any field are eligible to enroll. The 42 semester-hour online program can be completed in as few as five semesters of continuous enrollment.
Students will develop clinical proficiencies through intensive coursework, as well as a supervised 300 hour addictions counseling internship.
Donald Partlow of Sneads Ferry will be among the first class of students enrolled in the new online program. He earned his associates degree from UMO in 2016 and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern New Hampshire University in 2020. He currently works as a program director for an opioid medication assisted treatment (MAT) clinic.
“Working within the substance abuse field, I have found that the role of a counselor is an essential part of the healing process for those devastated by addiction,” Partlow said. “Pursuing my master of counseling degree while focusing on addictions will build a strong foundation for me in treating substance abuse.”
Partlows’ goal is to become a licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS). “This degree will put me on the fast track to obtaining my LACS and allow me to advocate more for both patients and counselors in the substance community,” he said.
UMO’s Master of Science Degree in Counseling: Addictions Counseling launches this month. Individuals interested in learning more can contact 844-UMO-GOAL or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University is sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit www.umo.edu.
Photo: Donald Partlow of Sneads Ferry will be among the first class of students enrolled in the University of Mount Olive’s new Master of Science Degree in Counseling: Addictions Counseling online program.