U.S. Embassy Trains First Group of Internationally-Certified Addiction Counselors in the Caribbean

Group photo
Substance use treatment professionals receive train-the-trainer training. (Photo State Dept.)

The U.S. Embassy’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre marked the end of a joint 15-month, $500,000 project to provide train-the-trainer training for substance use treatment professionals on January 29 at the Public Hospital Authority.  As part of the project, a cadre of 22 substance use treatment professionals from across government and civil society received train-the-trainer training in the comprehensive Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC) for Substance Use Disorders.  The Colombo Plan’s International Centre for the Certification and Education of Addiction Professionals (ICCE), a recognized global leader in substance use treatment education, provided the training with funding from the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI).

At the completion of the intensive 15-month training in January, twenty of the 22 master trainers passed an international certification exam, earning them the title “International Certified Addiction Counselor I.”  According to Colombo Plan Director Tay Bian, the group achieved a 91% pass rate, the best the Colombo Plan has reported in its history of training substance use treatment professionals all over the world.  The certified addiction counselors are already promoting evidence-based practices to enhance service delivery and treatment outcomes in The Bahamas.  And, as the first group of master UTC trainers in the Caribbean, they are uniquely positioned to provide training and certification programs to other countries in the region and the hemisphere.  In fact, two of the master trainers from the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre were selected to become ICCE regional trainers, and have already facilitated training in the region.

The U.S. Embassy, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, and Colombo Plan will hold a credentialing ceremony will on April 25, 2016 for the newly-certified addiction counselors from the Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Ministry of Education, Bahamas Department of Correctional Services, Willie Mae Pratt School for Girls, Simpson Penn School for Boys, Bahamas Association for Social Health, and the National LEAD Institute.