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Strengthening Training for Addiction Recovery (STAR) Project

The Strengthening Training for Addiction Recovery (STAR) Project was 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 provided SUD-related training and field education experiences for STAR stipend recipients enrolled in the WVU School of Social Work.

The final year of this grant ended September 30th, 2022. 


The STAR Project previously offered the following online trainings to assist the WV Social Work workforce in addressing the challenges of the Opioid Epidemic. These are now available for any student or social work professional to complete.

  • 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
  • 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. 
  • Supporting Recovery with Medications for Addiction Treatment  Supporting Recovery with Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT) is a 3-hour, self-paced course designed to enhance your professional knowledge of MAT and to build skills related to reaching and educating clients about MAT. At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to: demonstrate how to use MAT with alcohol and opioid dependent clients; describe the various medications approved to treat alcohol and opioid dependence, including research outcomes, and extent of use; identify the workforce, organizational, and environmental/regulatory issues that facilitate or impede the implementation of MAT; and model ways to overcome barriers to clients’ use of MAT and build awareness of MAT among clients, their friends and family, and the general community.