Concord University will offer a new program of study in the fall of 2023. A program for a Bachelor of Science in Substance Use Studies was approved by the Board of Governors in June, and since that time, has also been approved by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The program combines courses from Psychology, Social Work, and Sociology. The degree is designed to prepare students to work in support fields for individuals with Substance Use Disorders, as well as related research fields, and to continue in post-baccalaureate education in the field.

This degree is also applicable to students who will go into other fields like health care, research, public policy development, law, and more.

“The CDC estimates that there were over 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021, suggesting an increase of 15% over the estimated overdose deaths in 2020. Over 80,000 of those deaths were attributed to opioids,” says Dr. Adriana Falco, associate professor of psychology. “The opioid epidemic has spread across the country with West Virginia feeling significant impacts from the epidemic. This interdisciplinary major will help provide an understanding so that students can find a role to help the country heal from this major health crisis.”

The Substance Use Studies major is crucial to begin educating students about the risk factors, brain changes, history, and social impacts of substance use and misuse. It is divided into three primary objectives: pharmacology and physiology; treatment modalities; and interpersonal and professional communications.

From Concord University