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Clarion University Offers First-of-its-Kind Opioid Treatment Specialist Certificate

July 19, 2017

Clarion's University College of Health and Human Services recently announced a new, online certificate program aimed at training professionals who interact with individuals addicted to opioids or related drugs. This first-of-its kind training program will provide prevention and treatment education about opioid abuse and addiction. Clarion University created this new curriculum in response to the growing number of individuals in Pennsylvania and across the nation affected by the opioid epidemic.

Clarion’s Opioid Treatment Specialist Certificate program will be offered during the fall 2017 semester. The certification is open to the general public and there are no prerequisites. The 12-credit, four-course program can be completed in one year. The program is especially beneficial for drug counselors, prevention specialists, emergency room staff, first responders, and other human services professionals.

Opioids are a class of medications that are highly effective in pain treatment, but continued or long-term use can lead to physical dependence. Legal prescription pain killers include oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and morphine. The illegal drug heroin is the most commonly used opioid.

According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, Pennsylvania hospital admissions for heroin overdoses increased 66 percent during the past two years, and almost doubled since 2013. Across the nation, more than 33,000 deaths occurred due to the misuse and abuse of opioids during 2015.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has made the fight against opioid abuse a top priority. State-based efforts include:

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems continue to work with state officials and health care stakeholders to fight the substance abuse epidemic. HAP continues to provide informational resources for legislation related to the substance use.

Earlier this year, HAP hosted a timely, hands-on regional workshop for physicians that provided insight as to how Pennsylvania is reacting to combat this epidemic.

To learn more, please contact Michael J. Consuelos, HAP’s senior vice president for clinical integration.

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