CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at 


Apr 10, 2017

ACA Hosts Congressional Briefing on Opioid Addiction

On Tuesday, April 4, ACA hosted a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill which explored the effects of opioid use disorder and the unique roles Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) play in helping individuals, and their families, recover.

Panelists informed Congressional staff members about the need to include more addictions training for medical professionals, improve access to support programs, and include LPCs in response efforts to the crisis.  A SAMHSA representative also participated on the panel.  

ACA member Carol Smith, LPC and professor of counseling at Marshall University, who coordinates Marshall’s Violence, Loss and Trauma Certificate of Advanced Studies program, explained the strength-based approach counselors use to work with clients: "We teach self-regulation and how to stay grounded in the here and now. We help people to know how to be sad in a healthy way, how to be angry in a healthy way and what to do with those emotions. Many people come to counseling and they can’t even identify that they’re angry. It’s been trained out of them by life experience.”

Learn more about the panelists and the event in our special Counseling Today online exclusive here

Watch a video of the event here

Download the event infographic about opioids here. It’s been adapted so that you can use it to educate members of your community.

ACA would like to thank panelists Larry Ashley, Kirk Bowden, Dr. Melinda Campopiano, Kevin Doyle, and Carol Smith for their participation and dedication.
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