Scholarships available for addiction education

Warren County residents seeking to further their education in addictions treatment have a new opportunity.

Through a partnership with Clarion University, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and Northwest Pennsylvania AIDS Alliance, $100,000 in scholarship funding has been made available to students in Warren County, as well as in Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Forest, Lawrence, Mercer, and Venango counties, who are employed, volunteering, or interested in a field related to opioid abuse treatment.

The scholarships fund those seeking to complete the 12-credit certificate rolled out by Clarion University last fall that seeks to provide education specifically to those who work with opiate addictions, or who would like to do more of that work.

The online program is the first of its kind in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and was developed with input from Clarion faculty with expertise in the areas of addiction, rehabilitation, social work, psychology, and nursing.

The certificate program prepares those who complete it to work in addictions treatment in a variety of roles by addressing the specific challenges brought on by the opioid crisis. The certificate requires no prerequisites, and anyone is welcome to complete it, according to a press release, but “is particularly pertinent to drug counselors, prevention specialists, case managers, EMTs,” and the like.

According to Ray, Feroz, professor and chair of the department of human services, rehabilitation, health, and sport sciences, “the certificate was developed to educate treatment professionals in prevention and treatment of opioid abuse and addiction.”

The coursework provides advanced information on opioid abuse and its prevention, education, and treatment,. Participants get the opportunity to take a deep dive into issues related to the diagnosis, detox process, treatment, and recovery aspects of opioid and heroin addiction, as well as “empowerment of patients and advocacy for individuals, and skills to influence legislation and public policy.”

Each scholarship covers two-thirds of the total cost to complete the certificate – $3,240 per student. More information on both the certificate program and the scholarships available to Warren County residents can be found at www.clarion.edu.

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