Improving the Recruitment and Retention of Counselors in Rural Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs

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Abstract

While access to drug treatment has increased in recent years, there is still a shortage of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment counselors in the United States, especially in rural areas. This study examined recruitment and retention issues for counselors in rural substance use disorder treatment programs. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 26 program, clinical, and/or human resource directors of SUD treatment programs. Almost all interviewees had problems recruiting high-quality counselors although only a small number saw retention as a significant issue. Improving educational opportunities and training related to addictions counseling could result in more people entering the SUD treatment field. Strategies for improving retention of counselors include more supportive and inclusive management practices. The stigma of SUD also contributed to recruitment and retention problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)434-456
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume52
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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