Substance Use

CAI helps health and social service agencies strengthen their substance use disorder programs. We help substance use treatment providers build their capacity to integrate evidence-based practices into their work, address co-occurring disorders, integrate substance use screening and referral into other treatment settings, and forge and maintain partnerships with local health departments and other health providers to ensure coordinated, quality care for their clients. Our work in this area encompasses the full range of drug and alcohol treatment programs, harm reduction, and medically assisted treatment providers. CAI has worked closely with government and nongovernmental entities to identify prevention strategies to address the opioid and methamphetamine epidemics.

We’ve worked alongside substance use providers for more than 30 years, through some of the most challenging public health issues of our time, including HIV, changes in welfare reform and social security reimbursements for addiction, medicalization of substance use disorder treatment through the Affordable Care Act, and now the epidemic of opioid overdose deaths that is devastating the country. CAI has also been instrumental in bringing about the implementation of innovative practices—including supporting the field’s ability to utilize motivational interviewing in substance use treatment to facilitate open communication and tap into clients’ personal motivations to make change.

Currently, we’re working with health departments and providers across the country to improve understanding and implementation of health privacy laws as they relate to substance use and mental health treatment as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center of Excellence for Protected Health Information, as well as through a partnership with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry’s State Opioid Response Network. CAI has also been funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to train social workers in working with women who were HIV-positive and substance users; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a toolkit to help implement programs for HIV-positive clients with substance use issues; the New York State Department of Parole to work with parole officers, commissioners, judges and other criminal justice stakeholders on relapse prevention among parolees; the New York City Health and Hospitals network for the development of assessments for substance use disorder; and as a capacity building provider for the Region II AIDS Education and Training Center, supporting HIV providers as they integrated the use of buprenorphine for opioid use disorder into their practices. We are working with harm reduction/needle exchange providers in New Jersey and New York City to integrate trauma-informed care into their services.

CAI is accredited to provide continuing education and credentialing for Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Use Counselors. Many of our staff members have a background in substance use treatment and counseling, providing screening, education, and counseling related to substance use. We draw upon their practical expertise in the development and delivery of our substance use–related programming.