“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”—Nelson Mandela
A select group of Filipinos had the honor and privilege to join the pioneer batch of the first university-backed diploma course, Certified Recovery Specialization (CRS), in helping people with substance abuse disorders (SUD).
A brainchild of Bian How Tay, this academe-based course, he believes, heralds a new future in the field of addiction recovery management.
A Malaysian administrative and diplomatic officer, Tay is a respected figure in addiction recovery worldwide.
Tay, MAC, ICAP III, had been previously posted at the National Security Council of the Prime Minister Department, responsible for cracking down on the illicit drug trade in Malaysia.
He studied the science of addiction as a Fulbright fellow at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland in the United States.
He went on to work in the Colombo Plan in Sri Lanka as director of the Drug Advisory Program.
Tay is currently honing his training skills at Namseoul University as director of Emeritus Addiction Studies, one of the programs based on the philosophy, “Education transforms lives.”
The CRS training program, recently conducted in South Korea in partnership with Namseoul University, had participants from the Philippines, South Korea and Malaysia.
It aims to tap potential trainers who can empower and coach others involved in addiction treatment and recovery. It is ideal for those working in the addiction field in any supporting capacity—administrative, technical or clinical.
The CRS training program covered topics in addiction treatment over 12 days, including practical exercises. Classroom sessions consisted of understanding addiction, roles and responsibilities of CRS, ethics, case management, referral best practices, crisis support, stigma and recovery enhancement skills and recovery management.
Training methodology likewise included assisting participants to sharpen their skills as trainers in the field.
One of the participants, Andrew James Agana, a private practitioner, ICAP II, RC, CRS, said: “The CRS training proves the need for continued learning and education, not to compete, but at least to be at par globally in treatment and continued care of people with SUD. Initiatives like this will allow people from both the academe and with living experience to provide utmost ease in treatment with globally accepted and practiced forms of treatment that is evidence based.”
Gaye Quezon Avanceña, a private practitioner, ICAP I, RC, CRS, added: “In the Philippines, we are facing a challenge because of the ongoing drug problem and there is a need to educate and specialize in this field.”
Azlan Bin Mohd Sharahuddin, a Malaysian pilot, CPL/IR, ATPL(f), and freelance CRS, pointed out: “It is always in the best interest of the clients to have credentialed coaches or professionals working with them to further methodize the services provided.”
Joey Ibañez, a businessman, cofounder of rehabilitation facility TCI Village in Amadeo, Cavite, CRS, said: “With confidence and enlightenment, I can now mentor the persons I help in our facility with the professional proficiency and methodologies I learned in this CRS course.”
Dionisio Tan Jr., facility director and cofounder, TCI Village, CRS: “I have 15 years of experience helping people recover from SUD. The CRS training is certainly a big plus, but more importantly, the course gave validation to my work as a counselor. It allowed me to apply more evidence-based techniques in my approach to mentoring.”
Minnalyn McCormick-Ricafort, center directress, SFi, CRS: “In this way, I can better assist people with SUD, helping them be productive again and be part of the community.”
Peter San Diego, chef and founder of Green Olive Tree Project, CRS: “I wanted to help a nongovernment organization promoting drug prevention among children. I realized it was not enough. I felt the need to widen my own knowledge, skills and my network to better understand and be more effective in this area.”
Joachim Joseph G. Kwan, Cebu Aly, GU, program advocate of WAR (Win Against Relapse): “The profession will benefit from this training. It will make a huge impact by making addiction advocates certified.
Edmundo Del T. Castillo, cofounder/program coordinator, Sober Intervention Team: “The CRS training program has enhanced my perspective in recovery, and my network. Now I can see better not only the trees but the forest as well.”
Maite Juan Marques, MP & MDMG (cand), LLB, CRS, MC BM, CEO Ubuntu Wellness Center: “This rare opportunity to study under the tutelage of Mr. Tay and Malyn Cristobal, backed by the prestigious Namseoul University, is not one to be missed. Education in itself helps improve the person, but an education that better capacitates you to help others in need is a rare find, indeed.”
Tay works with Cristobal, ICAP III, who has been in the field of addiction treatment since 1995. She started a foundation for families affected by addiction and alcoholism in 1998. She became a credentialed addiction counselor of NAADAC in 2009 and is a credentialed Addiction Professional since 2011 by ICAP III.
For those interested in the program, e-mail Bian How Tay at sales@emeritusaddic