North Texas Daily

Professor receives federal funding to train substance misuse recovery professionals

Professor receives federal funding to train substance misuse recovery professionals

Professor receives federal funding to train substance misuse recovery professionals
December 10
20:08 2022

Content warning: The following story includes language related to substance use disorders.

University social work associate professor Dhrubodhi “Dhru” Mukherjee received $1.865 million in funding for a program to help fill a shortage of healthcare workers equipped to deal with substance use disorders.

The program is aimed at students or anyone who has experienced substance use disorder recovery and wants to help others. It will allow people with a history of substance use disorders to gain certifications without having to invest in a degree, increasing accessibility to jobs that allow these individuals to help combat substance misuse in their own communities.

“I think they’re called various names — one being ‘subject matter expert,’” Mukherjee said. “By that, I mean like if you have lived experiences then you know what it is. Because it is easy to read something and say a lot, but I think in substances, especially, lived experiences are very important.”

Health Resource and Services Administration, a federal government agency that works as a part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, is funding the program. The agency specifically works to provide funding for health programs with various aims across the country.

Mukherjee said that the program also aims to destigmatize substance use disorders and encourage people to seek help.

“We all have different types of addiction, behavioral addictions, if not addiction to substances,” Mukherjee said.  “So, I feel like we are going to address that in our curriculum so that harm reductions are placed in a way which is considered as more of a healthcare issue rather than a moral issue.”

Mukherjee has a goal of training more than 300 professionals in getting certifications and Continuing Education Units in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It would help to combat the lack of healthcare workers equipped to deal with patients with substance use disorders.

The program will be based on a curriculum that draws from substance use disorder treatments, including harm reduction methods and 12-step programs. This is done to create a more well-rounded and holistic approach to training healthcare professionals, Mukherjee said.

Featured Image: The door to the Department of Rehabilitation and Health Services inside Chilton Hall. Photo by Gabe Houser

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John Eberhart

John Eberhart

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