Texas

UTA degree program focuses on substance use treatment

Arlington, Texas — Roy Carmona has been a drug addiction counselor in Texas for nearly 40 years.

“I’ve been in the field of counseling for 39 years,” Carmona said.


What you need to know

  • There are currently only 375 fully licensed drug addiction counselors in Texas.
  • UT-Arlington designed its substance use and treatment program to combat the high rate of burnout in the field
  • Addiction counselor and recovery addict Roy Carmona says the problem is exacerbated and the use of prescription analgesics often leads to long-term addiction.

That’s important because most counselors like him only last a few years in the field, but Carmona says he won’t leave unless someone needs to help pull out of the dark. It is difficult.

“I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I’ve been clean and sober since December 23, 1981,” he said.

For the same reason that Carmona’s former intern, Mandiforbes, decided to enroll in UT-Arlington to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in substance use and treatment.

“It’s what the world needs, and unfortunately I don’t think it will change,” said Forbes, who plans to teach a class of substance use treatment in the future.

As someone who has been recovering for 20 years, she has the same passion that her mentor does to prepay it.

“If my story can prevent someone from going that way, that’s my goal,” she said.

Currently, there are only 375 fully licensed professionals in Texas. For Tarrant County, this means only 17.5 per 100,000 people.

Carmona says the problem is only getting worse.

“It just happens. The person starts experimenting and then overuses. Some people get injured. They start taking medicine and suddenly they get hooked on painkillers,” Carmona said. Told.

UT-Arlington’s leaders hope that a more thorough approach will help make more life-changing.

“We understand how this works for biological, psychological, social, and most effective treatments, and for the most unique and positive ways to name these problems. “Masu,” said Karen McGruder, social work director for the UT-Arlington undergraduate program.

One focus is to prepare tomorrow’s professionals to prevent burnout, which is one of the main causes of high turnover in this area.

“It will help them maintain that balance while they are students, and when they are professionals,” McGruder said.

This program serves as a path for building next-generation long-term substance use solutions.

“The more people we can help, the more likely others have,” Carmona said.

September is National Recovery Month. Resources are available to anyone suffering from substance use and addiction.

https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline

1-800-662-Help

https://www.cdc.gov/stopoverdose/stigma/?s_cid=DOC_Stigma_PaidSearch_038

UTA degree program focuses on substance use treatment

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