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March 24, 2023

UMaine Augusta receives certification for substance use disorders program

Campus photo Courtesy /University of Maine at Augusta The University of Maine at Augusta, part of the University of Maine System, has a current enrollment of around 5,700 students.

The University of Maine at Augusta has been certified as an approved educational provider for the graduate certificate in substance use disorders program.

The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors certification indicates that an organization has voluntarily opened its educational programs to examination by National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals for content applicability to state, national, and international certification standards. 

Applications are now being accepted for UMA's graduate certificate in substance use disorders program for a fall 2023 start. There will be two virtual information sessions to learn more about the program: April 13 and May 3. For more information, check out a related website

Since UMA's program integrates coursework with current academic programming available at its sister institutions within the University of Maine System, students could continue their graduate education at UMaine or the University of Southern Maine with some credits easily transferable.

Opioid crisis

Maine's ongoing opioid crisis in Maine spurred the development of UMA's graduate certificate in substance use disorders program, which was launched in fall 2020. 

According to a February report from the Maine Attorney General's Office, Maine saw 716 people die of drug overdoses in 2022. This is the third straight year that the state set a new record for overdose fatalities. The 716 overdose deaths in Maine in 2022 were among the more than 10,110 total overdoses reported, up from 9,678 the previous year. 

The program offers training and education for those who are seeking to become certified or licensed, want to maintain their certification/license at the state or national level, add to their education, and for those from other disciplines who want to learn more about substance use and co-occurring disorders. 
Students who complete the program can sit for the national certified alcohol and drug counselor exam to pursue a substance use treatment professional license and apply for the certified clinical supervisor certification. 

"As a completely online program, our graduate certificate will offer current human services professionals throughout the U.S. the flexibility to obtain a credential that can lead to career advancement and become a pathway to additional professional credentials or a master's degree," said Wendy St. Pierre, UMA associate professor of Mental Health & Human Services and coordinator of the program. "It is also consistent with UMA's long-standing mission and history as a leader in distance education."

UMA is No. 9 among Maine’s largest colleges and universities, according to the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists. That ranking is determined by full-time undergraduate enrollment as of fall 2022, when the university had 1,297 full-time students enrolled. 

Established in 1968, the University of Maine System comprises Maine’s seven public universities, including 10 campuses and numerous satellite locations. The system serves more than 30,000 students annually and has over 5,000 faculty and staff. 

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