The Penn State community is creating lasting impacts through educating one another, our students, and the public by disseminating new, evidence-based programs, policies, and practices to better understand and to prevent opioid use and other substance abuse and treat addiction.

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Beyond Penn State’s education activities in the context of Outreach to the general public, Penn State offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs and courses at its 24 campuses across the Commonwealth and online through the World Campus.

Featured Education Opportunities

HDFS 597: Special Topics-Translational Substance Abuse Research, offered by Diana Fishbein, Ph.D. in Fall of 2019 at Penn State University Park will cover a wide range of issues pertaining to substance abuse, including tobacco and alcohol, as well as illicit and misused prescription drugs.  The course is based on a transdisciplinary, developmental model which considers the multitude of individual characteristics in interaction with psychosocial conditions and experiences throughout childhood and adolescence that increase propensity to misuse substances.

CI 497: Special Topics-Certified Recovery Specialist Training is being offered by Jason Whitney Ph.D., at University Park in Fall of 2019. This training is also offered as a non-credit course at Penn State Abington, Beaver, Fayette, Shenango, and Wilkes-Barre. This course provides training for individuals or family members whose lives have been affected by addiction to assist others in recovery. The Certified Recovery Specialist is a Peer or Family Support position formally recognized by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. Participants receive education in Recovery Management, Education & Advocacy, Professional Ethics & Responsibility, Confidentiality, and Addictions.

HLHED 590: Colloquium, offered by Weston Kensington, Ph.D., at Penn State Harrisburg provides opportunities for graduate students learn from a variety of experts fighting the opioid epidemic, including specialists from law enforcement, treatment facilities, government agencies, medical professions, family members, and directly from those suffering from substance-use disorders. Students also have the opportunity to interview a recovering addict, attend Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings, and challenge themselves by giving up an enjoyable activity for four weeks while keeping a journal.

The Prevention and Methodology Training Program (PAMT), funded by a NIDA T32 award since 2005, is jointly sponsored by the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center and The Methodology Center in the College of Health and Human Development at University Park. PAMT was established to train researchers in the development and application of cutting-edge research methods in the design and evaluation of drug abuse, HIV, and related prevention programs for children, adolescents, families, and communities. PAMT trains approximately 8 pre-doctoral graduate students and 4 post-doctoral researchers each year, and it offers a unique opportunity for highly motivated pre- and post-doctoral researchers to continue their training in a synergistic environment that includes some of the top prevention scientists and methodologists in the country. [PI: Linda Collins]