Rivier adds substance use disorders track to psychology degree

Introduced for fall 2018, the Psychology/Substance Use Disorders Track program addresses the critical need for addiction and recovery professionals.

In response to the critical need for addiction treatment and recovery service professionals, Rivier University has added a new Substance Use Disorders (SUD) Track option to its B.A. in Psychology degree for fall 2018. This program complements the cadre of degrees offered through Rivier’s Center for Behavioral Health Professions and Workforce Development, launched in 2017 to address workforce needs in the behavioral health and substance use disorder fields.

New Hampshire was recognized as having the second highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country, according to a 2018 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) report. With 437 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016, New Hampshire’s per capita death rate is nearly three times higher than the national rate, placing an incredible strain on the state’s behavioral health system and resources.

“Rivier is uniquely positioned to support the increased demand for behavioral health professionals in our region and beyond,” says Sister Paula Marie Buley, IHM, Rivier’s President. “The substance use disorder track within our Psychology degree will prepare professionals for careers in counseling, recovery services, advocacy, and public health. By building the workforce, we can ultimately contribute to improving the quality of life of citizens throughout our state and the region.”

Courses focus on the physical and behavioral effects of drug use, psychological disorders, counseling theory and practice, and the ethical treatment and rehabilitation of those suffering with SUDs. The degree provides the academic preparation necessary for a student to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC). In addition to the educational component, licensure generally requires passing an exam, completing a case study, and documenting 4,000 hours of post-baccalaureate, SUD counseling.

 “Our program recognizes that each person with a substance use disorder has a unique story and deserves an individualized approach to treatment and recovery,” says Dr. Elizabeth Harwood, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Department Coordinator. “Students will learn evidence-based, current practices in the diagnosis, assessment and treatment planning of substance use disorders, while considering the influence of family, community, and culture.”

More information on the B.A. in Psychology – Substance Use Disorders Track and other Rivier University programs is available at www.rivier.edu/programs or by contacting the Office of Admissions at admissions@rivier.edu or (603) 897-8507. Rivier University, located in Nashua, New Hampshire, offers degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate, and doctoral levels with on-campus and online options.