COLUMBUS –State Rep. Jennifer Gross (R-West Chester) last week voted to support House Bill 5, legislation that addresses the shortage of chemical dependency counselors in Ohio by creating additional pathways to be licensed.
“As a practicing nurse for over 30 years, I’ve seen firsthand how the opioid crisis has devastated families throughout Ohio,” said Gross. “Expanding opportunities to help those who seek treatment at addiction centers will improve our workforce and reduce overdose deaths.”
House Bill 5 offers two different pathways for individuals to be licensed as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II (LCDC II):
- 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
- 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 Ohio Council of Behavioral Health Providers, Ohio Alliance of Recovery Providers, and Ohio Association of Community Colleges voiced their support for the measure.
H.B. 5 passed the Ohio House on Thursday, February 25th with a vote of 93-2. The bill now awaits further consideration in the Senate.