The Opioid Crisis
Chemical Dependency Studies Director: Bev Warman
You have to love being an addiction counselor if you’re going to last as one. This is something Bev Warman knows from her nine years in the field. Now, she helps prepare students for the difficult work of counseling as the chemical dependency studies (CDS) program director at Wenatchee Valley College. Warman was hired as the program director in 2000.
“As much as I loved actually working with patients, I love teaching people about how to do that more,” she said.
CDS students are always the type of people who want to help others, Warman said. And sometimes, those students are looking to help because they have personally been affected by addiction.
“I love watching people figure out they can do this,” she said. “I love watching the growth from a person in recovery to a person who teaches about recovery.”
The current opioid crisis has created more demand for counselors, Warman said. Even locally, there are jobs available.
But the program faces unique challenges, she said. The field as a whole is overlooked because of the stigma attached to addiction, so she’s working to promote the program. And with students studying drugs and drug use in-depth it can be a trigger for those who are in recovery from addiction. As a result, Warman said the program does lose students to relapse.
“It is absolutely heartbreaking,” she said. “That’s the hardest part of the job.”
Much of the program, she said, is tailored to prepare students to succeed as counselors by giving them the tools to manage stress, take care of themselves and avoid burn out.
“This field is open to anybody. Anybody with a passion for helping people and willingness to understand the addictive process,” she said. “You don’t have to have a personal history. You just have to have a willingness.”
For more information about the Chemical Dependency Studies program, visit the program home page.