Substance Abuse Licensing Specialist
A.A., 2013 | A.S., CCC, 2017
Max Elhamad believes he is right where he needs to be. However, this was not always the case. About five years ago, Elhamad sought treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. He promised himself that when he recovered, he would dedicate his life to helping others overcome the same affliction.
Elhamad now works for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Program Office of the Florida Department of Children and Families. As a substance abuse licensing specialist, he monitors treatment facilities in six southeast counties to ensure that clients are receiving proper care. Needless to say, he serves on the front lines of Florida’s opioid and sober home crises.
Elhamad, 35, started at the DCF as a student intern enrolled in Palm Beach State’s Human Services-Addiction Studies program. When his internship ended, he asked to stay on as a volunteer, which he did for almost a year until a position opened up.
“The Addiction Studies program was amazing. It set the tone for what I want to do with my life, and it actually saved my life because I looked forward to going to school,” says Elhamad, who regularly speaks to program classes. “I gained a great respect and love for this field because there was so much passion in our education from our professors. They gave me a reason to believe. They gave me a reason to create a dream of goals.”
A native Texan of Palestinian descent, Elhamad won PBSC’s Human Services Academic Award and previously earned a bachelor’s degree from American Intercontinental University. Aspiring to advance his career, he is pursuing a master’s degree in mental health and addictions at Palm Beach Atlantic University. As Elhamad sees it, “the sky’s the limit.”