Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare has scored a grant of up to $1.4 million from New York State to help individuals, families, and communities affected by addiction.

The school has established a new partnership with the state’s Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) to expand and strengthen the ​addictions-services ​workforce in New York State. OASAS is funding this initiative through the opioid settlement, which identifies expansion of harm reduction and treatment as top priorities.

This partnership will provide scholarship funds that will enable participants to receive best practices training from the School of Social Welfare that will lead to Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) credentialing by the state’s Office of Mental Health (OMH) for direct care providers in the field of alcoholism and substance abuse in New York State.

Beginning Sept. 1, and through the next two years, the School of Social Welfare will provide the 350-hour CASAC training for up to 200 accepted applicants with various levels of training and experience. The CASAC training provided by Stony Brook is designed to build a strong workforce of state certified practitioners who can help individuals with substance use disorders get the recovery services they need.

“The need to train and develop a skilled workforce to address the growing and emergent prevalence of substance use and addiction at the local, state, and national levels could not be more critical,” Shari Miller, professor and dean of the School of Social Welfare, said in a statement.

She said that the school is “committed to catalyzing our educational and research expertise to address addiction and the overdose epidemic. We are deeply appreciative of our collaboration with OASAS, which will enable our school to provide state-of-the-art CASAC training. We are certain this collaboration will empower a well-prepared, competent, and responsive workforce to change lives while fighting this public health crisis.”

Instrumental in establishing this program from the School of Social Welfare are Melissa Earle​,​ ​clinical associate professor​, ​director of Online Education; Shelley Horwitz, assistant dean, Manhattan Operations, Sawanee Khongsawatwaja, assistant dean of Budget and Finance, and Dean Miller.

Other SUNY schools in the OASAS-led partnership include Alfred State University and Empire State College.


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