September 26, 2017

New location serves north Mississippi

North Mississippi professionals seeking to become certified addiction counselors are now attending classes closer to home.

The Mississippi Addiction Counselor Training program held its first classes in Oxford on Sept. 22 and 23 at Oxford Treatment Center’s outpatient office. MACT already offers training sites are in central and southern Mississippi.

“I don’t think I would have been able to do this if I had to drive to Jackson and stay overnight,” said Lucy Faulkner of Pontotoc, a clinical assistant at Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center.

“Having it available in Oxford is more affordable, and I don’t have to be away from my family,” she said. “For me, it means easy access to a program that will help me become a certified counselor.”

Barry Doughty, ICADC, teaches Counseling Process as part of the first course series.

MACT is a one-year program offered through the Mississippi Association of Addiction Professionals. By completing the program, professionals can earn the designation of Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC).

“Many people are already licensed as counselors or psychologists, but are not necessarily trained to work in alcohol and drug treatment,” said Martha Wittig, PhD, chair of the Education Committee for MAAP. “This program offers specific training in working with addiction.”

Those who work toward CADC certification include allied health professionals like social workers, nurses, and marriage and family therapists.

The training is open to those who do not have a college degree. Students must have a high school diploma or GED to enroll in MACT. People can join the training schedule at the beginning of any quarter.

Courses in Oxford are held at Oxford Treatment Center’s 12,000-square-foot outpatient office, which opened in August.

The facility was designed for outpatient treatment programs including group and individual therapy, along with psychiatric treatment for co-occurring disorders like depression and anxiety. It was also designed with training in mind, said Billy Young, CEO of Oxford Treatment Center.

“In our region and elsewhere, there is a tremendous need for therapists who can help people overcome addiction,” Young said.

“Our hope is that, by providing this resource, we can help professionals across northern Mississippi grow their skills and support change in people’s lives.”

Twenty people took part in the first course series offered in Oxford. Barry Doughty, ICADC, a clinical therapist at Oxford Treatment Center’s residential campus at Etta, taught the course entitled Counseling Process. The course continues Oct. 20-21 and Nov. 3-4.

The second series, Addiction Pharmacology, will be taught by Chip Peterson, M.Ed., LPC, NCC, CADC, clinical director at Oxford Treatment Center. It begins Dec. 1 and continues Jan. 5-6 and Feb. 2-3, 2018.