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Manning's Workforce Legislation to Combat Opioid Crisis Passes House

May 6, 2020
Gayle Manning News

State Rep. Gayle Manning (R-North Ridgeville) announces House Bill 365 passed the Ohio House of Representatives today. The legislation works to fix the shortage of chemical dependency counselors in Ohio, the profession that helps individuals at addiction treatment centers.

“According to a study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Ohio had the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths involving opioids in the United States – this is a crisis we must continue to work to rectify,” said Manning. “The legislation is meant to balance the need to both help our workforce and combat the opioid crisis throughout Ohio.”

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.
  1. 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.

Manning previously testified that the idea for House Bill 365 came from the president and CEO of an addiction treatment center in the 55th Ohio House District. The president notified her of a counselors shortage at the center, which makes it difficult to meet the needs of the treatment center and its patients.

“With the continuation of the Opiate Epidemic it is critical that Addiction Treatment agencies have a sufficient and qualified workforce to help those struggling with substance use disorders,” said Thomas Stuber, President and CEO of The LCADA Way. “This bill will assist us as we begin to retool following the COVID Pandemic.  History has shown, that following a national crisis the demand for addiction and mental health services increase dramatically. Now we will be able to respond.”

The legislation now moves over to the Ohio Senate for further action.