Alcohol and Drug Certification Exam Prep Success Stories
The National American Indian and Alaska Native ATTC holds a regular Alcohol and Drug Certification Exam Preparation Course. We are pleased to highlight the success of two of the participants from our most recent August 2020 course:
"My name is Toni Handboy, I go by Red Bear to my family. I am from the Mnicoujou “Plants by the Water” band. I am Lakota Sioux from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. My commitment to the field started when I fought to save my mother’s life from addiction. I was on my own journey in Recovery at the time from Methamphetamines addiction. I planned on becoming a Nurse at the time when I started to care for my mother in her last years of life. I then changed my profession to Social Work. During obtaining my education, I registered for psychology and addiction studies. This became my passion at the time so when I completed my undergraduate work I started my journey in the addictions field.
"I completed my graduate degree with my MSW, emphasis with studies in Addictions and Mental Health. I was certified as a Certified Addictions Counselor and it lapsed. So I continued my education to obtain all courses that pertained to be a Licensed Addiction Counselor. I worked in the field with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Behavioral Health now known as Wakpa Waste Counseling since 2012. I have worked in the field now going on 8 years. I have been in recovery going on 15 years from drugs and alcohol. This is an HUGE accomplishment in my life. Not that I needed to prove it to anyone but to help our Lakota people, to help the Oyate. I keep pushing forward striving for more in life to be well rounded and educated in the field.
"The struggle is real. The direction was easy, I am hoping I paved a path for others. I wish to give back and help others. My greatest advice to any trainee in the field, is to keep it simple. We put work in every day to provide that much needed support for recovery. Our relatives that seek help they are their own engine, we just provide support to put their pieces together to keep them going. I stayed with my commitment, I held on to compassion for our people that allowed me to achievement my accomplishments. This journey for me begins every day because it is rewarding to accomplish making it for the day, every day. I am here to foster hope that you achieve what you put your mind to in this field of addictions. I figured if I didn’t make it for my Licensure I would still be an asset in the field of recovery as a peer-to-peer mentor we all start somewhere. Wopila, thank you all for the support in this journey."
“I had gotten my bachelor’s degree in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Studies a number of years ago and was just recently able to get through the application and to the testing process. I have been working mostly in mental health, but lately have been doing more in the substance abuse field. I have been able to keep up on some of the advancements, but when it came to taking the test I was admittedly a little nervous. I had received an email from ATTC about the opportunity to take part in a training to prepare for the exam. At first, I was a little hesitant, but decided it couldn’t hurt. Looking back, I am glad that I took the time. The review of some of the basic things I learned long ago, with the practice questions was very helpful. I was much more comfortable going into the test as I felt as if I prepared in the right way. I want to thank those who took the time to put the training together."