Working At Opioid Clinic (Methadone) with Criminal Record or Probation - Professional Substance Abuse Counselor

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INRECOVERY&PROFESSIONAL&ONPROBATION in Winsted, Connecticut

25 months ago

***QUESTION: Can a qualified professional substance abuse counselor work in an opioid treatment clinic (methadone) if they are on probation or if they have a criminal record?***
>I believe I have exhausted all avenues as far as online research outlining federal and state regs relating to counselors working within opioid treatment clinics, so I thought I'd ask here to see what pro's in the field can offer from their own experiences.
>From what I understand, the only roles within an opioid clinic that employees absolutely CANNOT have a criminal record are jobs with ANY access to medication. Other than that it is up to each individual clinic to set their own policies regarding employees and background checks, etc.
>As many counselors are also people in recovery themselves, it stands to reason treatment centers allow some leeway when it comes to probation and criminal records (crimes relating to active addiction). My specific question relates only to opioid treatment clinics, as these programs are one of the most heavily regulated by federal and state governments. Anyone have any thoughts on this? Experiences? Knowledge?

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INRECOVERY&PROFESSIONAL&ONPROBATION in Winsted, Connecticut

25 months ago

>I have even come across addiction facility, specifically methadone clinic, insurance. The application includes questions about background checks for employees. Which reinforces the conclusion of my research- there are no federal mandates regarding criminal records/probation of opioid treatment counselors.
>Special note- I am not intending to start a conversation/debate here regarding opinions on recovering people working as substance abuse counselors, OR the appropriateness -or not- of recovering people WITH criminal backgrounds working in a clinic setting, OR those professionals "versus" counselors without records. I'll start and end the debate here ;) .... The disease of addiction causes people to do many things during active use, which may cause lasting criminal record consequences. Then when the person is in recovery and is a functioning, contributing member of society- such as an appropriately credentialed substance abuse counselor- they are no more of a "risk" sitting behind a desk in a case management capacity within a methadone clinic than another recovering addict counselor (who just happens to never have gotten "caught" for their illegal activities while using).

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INRECOVERY&PROFESSIONAL&ONPROBATION in Winsted, Connecticut

25 months ago

QUESTION IS: Can a qualified professional substance abuse counselor work in an opioid treatment clinic (methadone) if they are on probation or if they have a criminal record?
Are there federal regulations that state this- either way? (I have not found 'em if they do exist!) State regulations (I have not found them in any New England states)?
Also- I believe there will be a slightly different answer between clinics that are non-profit, publicly funded, and for-profit clinics.
>Finally- any differences between "criminal record" and "on probation"? As probation can last for YEARS- during which time a professional substance abuse counselor will probably want to work in their field.
>Thank you! I look forward to hearing your responses!
-Properly experienced, educated & credentialed, recovering person, who now has 2 years of probation due to actions during relapse (special addiction probation- "supervision" once per month, and all charges dismissed at end of 2 years), who was also offered job (SEE ALL ABOVE! ;) and now needs to share this situation BEFORE the background check is submitted. TIA!

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64flutterby

20 months ago

I just finished the DARC program at Naug V Comm Collegein Wtby and in my 4th semester, after being pre-accepted for Internship, I was denied internship at 3 locations due to a probation violation that was 3 yrs old. My case was nollied and I do not have any probation now, But because there was probation within 1 (one) year of my internship, that was cause for denial. Apparently you canno have any probation within a year of internship. So now after all that time I'm in limbo. I made the Deans list, was accepted to intern thru the college, had references and was a Medical assistant prior-- but those things didn't matter. I do know that most facilities that dispense methadone (in Ct anyway) tend to hire ppl without felony records. So the violation was 3 yrs old and I turned myself in as soon as I found out there was an active warrant. I thought they dsmissed my prob I only had 2 months left (misdermeanor). I'm pretty disgusted myself and am now trying to get info like you- just that its at the corporate level that these denials happen. I didn't even get a response for weeks - I couldn't figure out what happened. I turned myself in on VOP in May and was denied in Aug. Good luck. I'm now in florida and am working in a treatment facility as of next week. Just got hired !

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lizbot10 in Plant City, Florida

18 months ago

This thread is pretty old, but just incase you're still in the dark about this I figured I'd answer anyways. It has always been my experience that most agencies require at least two years of "clean time" and involvement in a recovery program, in order to work in the field. If you are currently on probation, or do not have 2 years of clean time, I believe you will have to wait. As far as old charges go, they shouldn't matter, as many professionals in the field are in recovery, and having the prior experience is seen as an asset.

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