Today we have the pleasure of speaking with Judy Redman, M.Ed., MBA, CADC III, CACCS, CATC-V, who is the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies Programs at InterCoast Colleges. With over 25 years of experience in the field of substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling, and as a woman in recovery herself, Judy brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. She has dedicated her career to the education and advancement of the field and has been a professor and educator in addiction studies for many years. In this interview, we will discuss Judy’s background, her current role at InterCoast Colleges, the challenges facing the field of substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling, and her advice for individuals interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Staff: Can you tell us about your background and how you got involved in the field of substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling?
Judy: I am a woman in recovery, celebrating 25 years of sobriety. My own recovery was my introduction to the field of Substance Use Disorders. I then went to school to become a Substance Use Disorder Counselor. I have worked in and around treatment for almost 25 years.
Staff: What inspired you to become a professor and educator in addiction studies?
Judy: Almost 20 years ago, my Instructor Jim Feist, who was also my mentor, introduced me as an instructor to InterCoast Colleges. I have had the honor and privilege to be a professional part of the InterCoast Colleges Family since 2004. InterCoast Colleges’ Leadership encouraged me to continue my own education. Today, I have earned a Masters degree in Educational Management.
Staff: Can you talk about your current role as Director of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies Programs at InterCoast Colleges and your responsibilities in this position?
Judy: As the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Studies Program, I have the opportunity to oversee the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Curriculum. At InterCoast, the success of the students is our focus. We all work together, doing whatever needs to be done at the moment, to assure that our students reach their goals. The field of addiction medicine is rapidly changing, and it is a full-time job to keep abreast and current with the current Evidenced Based Treatment Practices. It is my responsibility to research and continues to learn to bring the strongest possible curriculum to the students and instructors to best serve the treatment community.
Staff: What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing the field of substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling today?
Judy: The Fentanyl Epidemic, the purity of the drugs on the streets, and the high level of THC in Cannabis products.
Staff: How do you see the field evolving in the future and what do you think needs to be done to meet those changes?
Judy: The field has shifted away from the Criminal Justice System as the major financial contributor to being funded by Drug MediCal and SAMHSA Grants. For 75 years treatment was based on the Minnesota Model of Treatment, AKA, Abstinence Based/12 Step Programming Treatment. Today’s treatment is now subscribed to Medical Necessity, Medication Assistance Treatment, and Harm Reduction strategies. This shift requires today’s Substance Use Disorder Counselors to be knowledgeable of Evidenced Based / Medical Modalities of Treatment.
Staff: Can you share any exciting initiatives or projects that you are currently working on at InterCoast Colleges?
Judy: With the help of many contributors and a great team, we are finishing up the development of the Bachelor degree in Addiction Studies. InterCoast Colleges is very much involved in Legislation as it pertains to the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders.
Staff: What advice do you have for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling field?
Judy: Be willing to work on your own issues. You cannot help someone unless you are willing to do the work yourself. Practice what you preach.
Staff: Can you share any success stories or experiences that stand out in your work with individuals struggling with addiction?
Judy: I can share hundreds of success stories that involve InterCoast College alumni. I seldom walk into a facility, conference, workshop, or community event where I am not surrounded by students that I have had the opportunity to teach. InterCoast Colleges is well known in the treatment community. The reason for this is that ICC has placed hundreds of students throughout the state in facilities offering Substance Use / Behavioral Health Disorder Treatment Modalities.
Staff: What do you think are the key qualities or skills required for individuals in this field to be successful?
Judy: Be willing to continue to learn and evolve as a Substance Use Disorder Professional, and most importantly, to continue to work on yourself.
Staff: What do you hope to achieve in your role as Director of the Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies Programs at InterCoast Colleges?
Judy: I would like to be a part of the development of InterCoast Colleges’ Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies Textbook.
Staff: Thank you so much for joining us today and sharing your insights and experiences with our audience. Your dedication to the field of substance use disorders and co-occurring counseling is truly inspiring, and we are grateful for the opportunity to learn from you.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, InterCoast Colleges offers a comprehensive Alcohol and Drug Counseling Studies Program. With experienced instructors, practical training, and a constantly evolving curriculum, you’ll be well-prepared for a career in helping others. So why not take the first step and enroll today?