HB 1768 intends to modernize substance use disorder professional practice, and does so by replacing “chemical dependency” in various RCWs with “substance use disorder,” as well as by providing official definitions and requirements surrounding professional practice.
The legislature amends RCW 18.205.010 to recognize substance use disorder professionals as discrete health professionals, as well as to establish that substance use disorder professional certification serves the public interest.
RCW 18.205.020 is amended to include definitions for:
- “Substance use disorder counseling”
- Employing the core competencies of substance use disorder counseling to assist or attempt to assist individuals who are using or dependent on alcohol or other drugs;
- “Substance use disorder professional”
- An individual certified in substance use disorder counseling under this chapter; and
- “Substance use disorder professional trainee”
- An individual working toward the education and experience requirements for certification as a substance use disorder professional
Updated on 4.12.19:
- Establishes the maximum amount of time that a person must participate in the substance abuse monitoring program as the amount of time necessary for the person to achieve one year in recovery from a substance use disorder if the person is an applicant to be a substance use disorder professional or substance use disorder professional trainee who is less than one year in recovery.
- Applicants who have been in recovery from a substance use disorder for at least one year are exempt from having to participate in the substance abuse monitoring program.
- Prohibits a facility that cares for vulnerable adults from automatically denying employment to an applicant for a position as a substance use disorder professional or substance use disorder professional trainee if at least one year has passed since a conviction, the conviction was committed as a result of the applicant's substance use or untreated mental health symptoms, and the applicant has been in recovery from a substance use disorder or in recovery from a mental health disorder for at least one year.
- Defines "recovery" as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.
- It is specified that "core competencies of substance use disorder counseling" is oriented to assist individuals with substance use disorder in their recovery.
Senate Committee Amendments (Updated on 4.12.19):
- Prohibited DOH from automatically denying an application for certification as a SUDP based on a conviction history for specified crimes if the person has at least one year in recovery from a substance use disorder or untreated mental illness.
- Directed DOH to create a co-occurring disorder specialist enhancement for master's level mental health professionals with specified training, experience, and examination requirements and to provide a free training course and consultation line.
- Directed DOH to conduct a sunrise review to evaluate the need for creation of a bachelor's level behavioral health professional credential.
Allowed for approved supervision towards a SUPD credential on the alternative training pathway to be provided by a licensed mental health professional who meets the requirements to take the examination as an SUDP.