Grant funds available for SUNY ADK Substance Abuse Services majors

Smiling young woman participates in meeting
October 24, 2022

Assistance available to students in Criminal Justice degree program

QUEENSBURY, New York (Oct. 24, 2022) — SUNY Adirondack is proud to announce grant funding to support students in the college’s Criminal Justice: Substance Abuse Services (CRSA) associate degree program.

The college was awarded more than $115,000 from the SUNY (State University of New York) High Needs Localities Fund Allied Health Program to help students pursuing an Associate of Applied Science degree in its New York state OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Supports)-certified program. 

“We are seeing an ever-increasing level of substance abuse in our communities, everything from alcohol/DWIs to fentanyl. Our degree program offers incredible opportunities for students to become New York state-certified substance abuse counselors, serving the needs of the community in a field that is increasingly in demand in the job market,” said Lydia Treadway, professor of Psychology and Substance Abuse Services.

The grant allows SUNY Adirondack to offer textbook support, gas cards, wraparound supports, completion stipends, professional coaching, academic advising and payment of CASAC-T (Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor Trainee) examination fees.

“I'm acutely aware of the struggles and hardships our students face while trying to navigate the college experience, and I'm grateful to be able to support them by providing connections to on- and off-campus resources," said Tara Booth, a CRSA alumna, assistant professor of Counseling and coordinator of Community Connections at SUNY Adirondack, coordinating The Hub. “By providing this support, we are able to ease some stress, allowing students to devote their time, energy and mental capital toward their education.” 

To qualify, those interested must be admitted to SUNY Adirondack and declare themselves a Criminal Justice: Substance Abuse Services major. The program is for new students, current students, existing students who are switching majors to Criminal Justice: Substance Abuse Services, or former students who wish to return and complete a degree.

“I highly recommend this program to all individuals who want a meaningful career helping individuals in their community,” said Matthew Ryan, who studied CRSA and is director of Supportive Housing for Warren Washington Association for Mental Health. “SUNY Adirondack has given me more than an education; it has given me a career I love.”

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a substance abuse counselor in the United States in 2021 was $48,520 a year. Employment of counselors for substance abuse and other mental health care is projected to increase 22 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Social workers, the Labor statistics show, earned a median pay of $50,390 a year, with job growth projected at 9 percent through 2031. 

“This SUNY grant is a great opportunity to support students completing a degree. Program graduates have gained employment in the much-needed field of addictions services or pursued transfer to four-year schools for advanced study in addictions or related areas,” said John Pennachio, distinguished professor of Psychology and Sociology, and chair of the college's Social Science Division. “I encourage interested community members to attend our Open House or submit an interest form.”

The public is invited to learn more at an Open House event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 29. 

To apply to SUNY Adirondack, visit To submit an interest form for the grant-funded support program, visit