The Case Management department at The Dennelisse LHCSA just got a big upgrade. 6 members of our Case Management Department have received their CASAC certification. CASAC stands for Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and is New York State’s official designation reserved for substance abuse counselors. Carmen Rueda, a Dennelisse Supportive Case Manager and CASAC graduate described the program, “CASAC is more than treating a substance abuse problem. We learned how to help people get back to being a part of the community… how to teach them to help themselves to work and live how they want to.”
CASAC credentials are issued by the New York State Department of Health Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and they have rigorous requirements for the designation. New York requires that candidates for CASAC pass exams, sign a Code of Ethics and meet standards for their level of education, training, and experience. “It feels great to be a graduate. For me, graduating the CASAC course reinforced the idea that ‘hard work pays off'” said CASAC grad and Dennelisse Care Coordinator Naama Benjamin.
Dennelisse’s CASAC graduates are ready to put their specialized skills to use to help the communities that Dennelisse serves. Supportive Case Manager Junior Lopez-Rodriguez said of his experience with CASAC, “We learned a lot of techniques, new ways to bring our services to the local population.” Naama added, “The knowledge obtained from the CASAC course will help me to enlighten others of the importance of meeting drug and/or alcohol users where they are. This is especially important when working with friends and family members who have a loved one who struggles with drug and/or alcohol use.”
Dennelisse’s increased capacity to help people with substance abuse and addiction comes at a time when the nation is struggling to handle a surge in substance abuse fatalities caused by the opioid epidemic. According to one study, close to 100 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. Carmen said, “More drug counselors are needed to help fight the opioid epidemic… we’re proud to be able to help those people especially – right now – when they need it.”
The Dennelisse Corp is proud of our CASAC grads! We congratulate you on your big accomplishment. A lot of hard work went into gaining your CASAC credentials and you deserve it. The Dennelisse Corp would also like to thank the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Bronx Health Access Performing Provider System DSRIP Program (BLHCPPS) for making these classes possible for the Dennelisse Case Management Department. Dennelisse seeks to continue CASAC training for its counselors in additional classes to have a greater capacity to help the community. We look forward to helping those in need of substance abuse counseling and continuing our partnership with BLHCPPS for a healthier and happier New York City.