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Strengthening Training for Addiction Recovery (STAR) Project

The Strengthening Training for Addiction Recovery (STAR) Project, funded by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and in conjunction with the West Virginia Statewide Opioid Response, will grow and improve the West Virginia social work workforce to intervene in Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and other Substance Use Disorders (SUD), in meaningful and measurable ways. 

Through STAR, the WVU School of Social Work provides SUD-related training and field education experiences for STAR scholarship recipients enrolled in the WVU School of Social Work. SUD-focused professional development and continuing education opportunities for social work professionals are also provided at no-cost through in-person training sessions, NASW-WV conference sessions, and through selected online modules developed by national training networks.

Advantages to the Social Work workforce:

  • Opportunities for no-cost professional development to social workers, providing essential content and treatment information
  •  Financial support for BSW and MSW students interested in gaining exposure to SUD/OUD related practice environments
  •  SUD/OUD specific training sessions at annual NASW- WV conference
  • Individualized student mentorship, professional networking opportunities, and leadership development



The School of Social Work will guide, prepare, and encourage student social workers to build knowledge and skills to effectively work with individual and community systems engaging SUD.  Available for the 2020-2021 academic year, ten $3000 scholarships are available to BSW and MSW students, in both on-campus and online degree programs. STAR scholarship recipients commit to completing their field education practicum in a SUD-related setting, engaging in three scholar discussions, and completing a small number of training sessions.  Recipients are also supported in exploring SUD-related employment opportunities through advisement and professional networking assistance. For additional information, see the STAR Scholar Activity Outline


One Graduate Research Assistant Position will be available pending continued funding. Applications will be available in the Spring.


The STAR Project provides two face-to-face trainings to assist the WV Social Work workforce in addressing the challenges of the Opioid Epidemic.  Each training is two-hours long and has been approved for two Category I continuing education credits. The schedule of available training dates and locations can be found here: STAR Trainings.  

  • The Intersection of Opioid Use Disorder and Social Work Practice   Essential information about Opioid Use Disorder, medication assisted treatment and treatment options, addiction causation, and DSM-V diagnostic criteria are provided. Stigma, and the individual and societal challenges a person diagnosed with OUD may experience, are also explored.  
  • Competent Social Work Practice with Clients Diagnosed with OUD  A deeper look at best practices from SAMSHA and levels of treatment from the American Society of Addiction Medicine is provided.  The role of adverse childhood experiences are explored, as well as public health approaches, including prevention strategies, harm reduction, and overdose response
The STAR Project is also encouraging the completion of online training activities for Category II hours are self-reported at the time of license renewal.  Up to 10 hours of online study are allowed.  Participants will need to keep their own documentation of the courses.

  • America’s Opioid Epidemic:  Origin, Challenges and Strategic Initiatives  This one-hour course traces the development of the opioid epidemic in the United States and includes the criminology of addiction and the initiatives to address it.  The community response is also examined in this Health E Knowledge hosted module. This online training can be accessed at
  • Medication Assisted Treatment   This course from the National Drug Court Institute is designed to educate drug court professionals on medication assisted treatments (MAT) for substance use disorders with a major focus on opioid use disorders. Nine modules are available and vary in length; credit should be claimed accordingly.  Social workers are encouraged to complete modules 1, 2, 3 and 6.  This online training can be accessed at

Questions?  Contact Tina Faber at