ASHLAND – Ashland University has established a Center for Addictions that will be housed in the Department of Psychology on campus and a director of the center has been hired.
“We are excited to introduce Christy Ellis-Trolian as the founding director of the Center for Addictions at Ashland University,” said Dr. Dawn Weber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Christy has experience in the diagnosis, treatment, program development, clinical supervision, and administration of substance use disorder and mental health treatment programs.”
Weber said the center’s focus will be on developing continuing education units, training and certificate programs, and associate and bachelor’s degrees associated with preparing professionals and training educators in the field to meet the changing state requirements for those who work with addiction counseling.
“Right now we are focusing on working with undergraduate departments and the Founders College to develop educational programming to train those who counsel individuals with addictions,” she added. “The Center will work collaboratively across the university and the Ashland community, as well as with those in the state and national addiction fields.”
Weber said Ashland University administrators believe that promoting mental health and working to prevent substance use disorders are fundamental to Ashland University’s mission to reduce the impact of behavioral health conditions in America’s communities.
“As a private higher education institution with roots in the Brethren tradition, we believe we are uniquely qualified to educate and train professionals in addressing the problems of addictions through continuing education, certificate programs, associate degrees, bachelor specialization, and master’s degrees,” she added.
Ellis-Trolian is a licensed professional clinical counselor with training supervisor designation (LPCC-S), a licensed independent chemical dependency counselor - clinical supervisor (LICDC-CS), and a licensed attorney and counselor at law. She has a Juris Doctorate, MA in Education in Community Counseling and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Akron. She is a former vice president of Clinical Services for Trillium Family Solutions.
Weber cited a number of facts that illustrate the need for educating and training professionals in addressing the problems of addiction:
· Drug abuse and addictions have a major impact on our society and are identified as major public health issues.
· According to the CDC, 64,000 U.S. lives are lost annually due to the opioid crisis and 88,000 U.S. lives are lost annually due to alcohol related causes.
· The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates the economic cost of drug abuse to be $700 billion annually (2014) and the economic cost of excessive alcohol consumption to be $249 billion (2010).
· Addiction studies as a field is predicted to grow 31 percent over the next 15 years.
· The state of Ohio has a shortage of accredited educational programs to prepare professionals who seek employment in the management of care for individuals abusing or addicted to substances.
· By 2020, mental and substance use disorders will surpass all physical diseases as a major cause of disability worldwide.
· In addition, drug and alcohol use can lead to other chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease