New Name, New Focus

The name of East Carolina University’s Department of Rehabilitation Studies within the College of Allied Health Sciences has changed to the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies.

Why the name change?  According to Dean Stephen Thomas, the new name “better reflects the direction of the department.” 

Addiction impacts all Americans because we all pay the cost —healthcare costs, criminal activity, traffic accidents, loss of jobs.  In North Carolina alone, more than 700,000 people age 12 or older report being addicted to alcohol, other drugs, or both (NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services).

The department recognizes this growing problem and the need for substance abuse counselors.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the growth rate for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is expected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.  The reason for this expected growth is more people are seeking treatment for their addictions, and drug offenders are increasingly sentenced to treatment rather than jail time.

ECU is one of the few schools in the nation to offer a master’s degree in substance abuse and clinical counseling (SACC), and the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies is ready to meet the demand for more counselors.  Since its inception in 1989, the SACC degree program has attracted a majority of matriculating students in the department.  Graduates are eligible for the Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) and Licensed Professional (LPC) credentials.

–Dr. Shari M. Sias, Director
Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling Program