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  • Summary date: Apr 18 2019 - View Summary

    Part I.

    Amends GS 90-113.31A to amend the definition of independent study and to define traditional classroom-based study.

    Part II.

    Amends GS 90-113.32 to make the North Carolina Addictions Specialist Professional Practice Board (Board), instead of the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board, the authority to credential substance use disorder professionals in North Carolina. 

    Repeals GS 90-113.32(c), which set out the membership of the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board. Instead, adds new (c2), which sets out the membership of the new nine-member Board. Refers to the Board chair instead of the President, who may vote only in the case of a tie or when another member abstains on the question of whether the professional discipline the members represent must retain its deemed status. Repeals (d), which allowed for the appointment of five professionals from the field of substance abuse counseling and substance abuse prevention consulting to serve on the Nominating and Elections Committee. Sets Board member terms at three years. Sets out provisions creating staggered terms, and provides for the filling of vacancies. Sets out provisions governing member reimbursements, election of Board officers, officer terms, and chair terms. 

    Effective July 1, 2020.

    Part III.

    Amends GS 90-113.40 to raise the number of required hours of Board-approved education for certification as a certified substance-use disorder counselor (was, substance abuse counselor) or as a certified criminal justice addictions professional from 270 to 300 hours. Applies to applications for licenses submitted on or after October 1, 2019.

    Part IV. 

    Enacts new GS 90-113.48 (program for impaired substance use disorder professionals). Creates the North Carolina Impaired Professionals Program (Program). Authorizes the Board to provide funds for the Program, which will operate independent of the Board to provide screening, referral, monitoring, educational, and support services for professionals credentialed pursuant to GS Chapter 90, Article 5C (North Carolina Substance Abuse Professionals Certification Act), for treatment and rehabilitation of an impairment attributed to physical or mental illness, substance use disorder, or professional sexual misconduct. Authorizes the Program to enter into an agreement with credentialed substance use disorder professionals for the purpose of identifying, reviewing, and evaluating referred or self-referred substance abuse professionals to function in their professional capacity and coordinate regimens for treatment and rehabilitation. Provides requirements for such an agreement. Directs the Program to immediately report to the Board information about credentialed substance-abuse professionals who meet any of four listed criteria, including constituting an immediate danger to patient care. Provides that materials in the possession of the Program or its staff, employees, legal counsel, and volunteers, related to a member's participation or prospective participation in the Program are not public records. Authorizes persons participating in good faith in the Program to withhold that fact in a civil action or proceeding. Provides that activities in good faith under an agreement authorized by this statute are not grounds for civil action. Provides for written assessments by the Program, and to the extent permitted by law any written assessment created by a treatment provider or facility at the recommendation of the Program to be provided to certified substance abuse professionals and their legal counsel at the request of the professional, and provides that the information is inadmissible as evidence in any civil action or proceeding. Directs the Board to adopt rules to apply to the operation of the Program, with eight listed requirements for the rules.

    Part V.

    Amends Article 5C of Chapter 90 as follows. Changes the name of the Article to the North Carolina Substance Use Disorder Professional Practice Act. Makes changes throughout the Article to refer to substance use disorder instead of substance abuse. Changes the term "certified substance abuse counselor" to "certified alcohol and drug counselor," "substance abuse counselor intern" to "alcohol and drug counselor intern," and "substance abuse professional" to "substance use disorder professional."

    Removes the provision allowing for the issuance of a Substance Abuse Residential Facility Director. Makes conforming deletions. 

    Makes additional conforming and technical changes.

    Part VI.

    Discontinues the certified substance abuse residential facility director credential, and directs the North Carolina Substance Abuse Professional Practice Board (Board) to no longer issue or renew that credential to any person, effective July 1, 2019.

    Repeals GS 90-113.31A(8) (defining certified substance abuse residential facility director). Makes conforming changes to GS 113.31A(26), GS 113.31B(5), GS 90-113.38(a), GS 90-113.42(d), and GS 90-113.43(a). Effective upon the expiration of the last certified substance abuse residential facility director credential issued prior to the effective date of this act. Directs the Board to notify the Revisor of Statutes when that occurs.

    Part VII.

    Except as otherwise provided, effective October 1, 2019.