New UA Degree Program Targets Addiction, Recovery

  • October 25th, 2018
The new UA degree program will offer an in-depth examination of the development and progression of addictive disorders and the process of recovery.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s department of human development and family studies will prepare students to combat a wide-variety of addictive disorders through a new Bachelor of Science in addiction and recovery.

The program is a result of student demand for an undergraduate major on the subject. The department has offered a minor in this field that provided supplemental training since 2012.

“Interest in the minor grew rapidly, and there have been 177 graduates with the minor as of June,” said Dr. Tricia Witte, UA coordinator of the undergraduate minor in addiction and recovery. “We found over time that a lot of students want a career focused in this field, so we decided to put together a major for those who really want to master this subject.”

The program will offer an in-depth examination of the development and progression of addictive disorders and the process of recovery. Students will also learn methods for preventing and treating substance use disorders that incorporate family, peer and community support.

For many years, training on the subject was offered through courses that led to certificates and not degrees. Today, more specialized and comprehensive academic programs are being developed to provide a skill set that can lead to a variety of career paths.

“The program isn’t just for those who want to become an alcohol and drug counselor,” said Witte. “It would be great for those who want to go into policy, mental health or criminal justice. We’ve also had numerous pre-med students take the minor, and it has helped them tremendously.”

Aside from a required internship, students who choose to gain additional hands-on experience at prevention agencies or treatment centers while completing the major may apply for certification as prevention specialists or alcohol/drug counselors through the Alabama Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association.

The degree program is accepting students. For more information, contact Dr. Tricia Witte at


Dr. Tricia Witte,


Bryant Welbourne, UA Strategic Communications,, 205-348-8325

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.