Whether you are a student, trainee, faculty member, or clinician, Rutgers offers multiple opportunities to build your addiction-related knowledge and skillset. Learn more about opportunities for individuals at different levels below. If you teach a course, run a program, or are seeking candidates for your team, please reach out to rarc@bhi.rutgers.edu to have your training opportunity added to this page.

Training Programs

  • Certificate in Drug and Alcohol Counseling – This certificate requires 6 undergraduate courses which encompass the 270 educational hours necessary for the New Jersey State Alcohol and Drug Counselor certificate. (Veterans are also eligible using their VA Education Benefits)
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs Workshops – Workshops are primarily facilitated by Peer Educators trained by Rutgers Health Outreach, Promotion & Education (HOPE). They can also be facilitated by professional staff from HOPE and/or Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS) when appropriate. Workshops and trainings can be tailored to fit the individual needs of residence halls, student organizations, classrooms, and Greek-letter organizations.
  • Summer School of Addiction Studies – A summer training program run by the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, advocates, providers and peer providers both within NJ and as well as other states.

Involvement in Research

  • Dr. Anna Konova’s Addiction & Decision Neuroscience Lab is accepting undergraduate research assistants. Current projects in the lab focus heavily on data analysis, so strong quantitative skills and ability to program are especially desired. Research assistants in the lab will have the opportunity to participate in the research process in many different capacities, including: attending lab meetings, contributing to the design and implementation of studies, working with patient populations, and helping with data entry and analysis. Minimum requirements: Research assistants should be willing to commit at least two semesters or 1 year (and typically 10+ hours/week) to the lab. While no specific prior experience is required, it is expected that most applicants will have completed introductory statistics, psychology, and/or neuroscience courses. Preference is given to sophomore and junior applicants and applicants with a GPA of 3.5 or higher. If you are interested in joining the lab as an undergraduate Research Assistant, please submit an application.

Coursework

  • Addictions Policy – instructor, Heather Ward – Review of basic pharmacology and scientific nature of addiction as public health issue. Exposure to treatment facilities, mutual aid meetings, and discussions of substance abuse policies. Cross-listed as 10:832:351/10:833:351.
  • Genetics of Compulsive Behavior – instructor, Lei Yu –  There is evidence that genetics contribute to compulsive behavior in humans, and research in animal models has begun to uncover the molecular factors that underlie the genetic basis of compulsive behavior. This course will involve extensive reading and discussion, and will examine scientific literature relating to the genetics of compulsive behavior. The focus will be on developing skills in critical thinking and effective writing, as well as critical evaluation of written materials. 01:447:460.
  • Sociology of Alcohol Problems – instructor, Heather Batson – This course is designed to provide students with an understand of biopsychosocial influences on “alcohol problems” from several perspectives. Because this is a sociology class, we will stay grounded in sociology even though at times we will discuss medical, law enforcement, psychological, and other perspectives. 01:920:410.
  • Sociology of Drug Use – instructor, Jeanette Covington – In this course, we will attempt to identify and correct some of distortions about illegal drugs and illegal drug users by looking at what the social scientific research says about illegal drugs and their effects and about the extent of illegal drug use and abuse in the United States. We will also consider how the illegal status of drugs contributes to many distortions by looking at how illegal drugs were regarded before they were criminalized as compared to how they came to be regarded after their criminalization. Then, we will examine and critique some of the theories that have been developed to explain the reasons why people use illegal drugs. We will close by assessing the effectiveness of various policies meant to address the illegal drug problem. 01:920:361.
  • Drugs and Human Behavior – instructor, Alexander Kusnecov – Drug classification; contexts of drug usage; effects of various drugs; analysis of drug action in the central nervous system; aspects of “human nature” revealed by drug usage. 01:830:360.
  • An Introduction of Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders – instructor, Ana Guerra – An Introduction to Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders is the initial course for students enrolled in the 18 credit Bachelor’s Level Certificate Program at the Rutgers Center of Alcohol & Substance Use  Studies. This course is offered in a hybrid on-line and in-person format. This course addresses the social, biological, and psychological factors of the major drugs associated with therapeutic and recreational use and abuse. Topics include drug use as a social problem, theories and treatment of addiction, how drugs work, detrimental health effects of drug use, and legal/ethical confidentiality issues. The aim of this course is to introduce CADC students to the basic concepts relevant to understanding addictive behaviors. 13:047:101.
  • The Brain Mind Experience: How Drugs Impact Brain Functioning – instructor, Ana Guerra – This course provides a general overview and introduction to the psychopharmacology of alcohol, and major drugs classes as well as prescription drugs commonly used in treating mental health and addiction issues. It covers basic pharmacology and neuroscience, specific to addiction counseling. 13:047:102.
  • Drug and Alcohol Use Disorders: Assessment and Diagnosis – instructor, Ana Guerra – This course provides an overview of the field of addiction counseling with an emphasis on developing a detailed understanding and foundation of skills in the use of specific strategies, procedures, and interventions in assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse. It will focus on the assessment and diagnosis of common addictive disorders. 13:047:104.
  • Neuroendocrinology – instructor, Dipak Sarkar – The online course provides a comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the interrelationships between the central nervous system and the endocrine system in the mammal. The course also provides the student with basic concepts and experimental approaches in mammalian neuroendocrinology including cellular and molecular actions of hypothalamic and pituitary hormones and the role of these hormones in controlling reproductive functions, body metabolism (e.g., obesity and diabetes), stress, growth, biological rhythms, drug addiction, and immunity. It also provides the opportunity for the student to learn how to critically interpret information from the neuroendocrinology literature. It is expected that students in the class have a solid background in biology and in physiological processes. Cross-listed as 11:067:410/16:340:510.

Training Programs

  • Graduate Certificate in Alcohol Studies – This certificate is designed for individuals with an interest in alcohol and drug use disorders. Students receive foundational knowledge in the biomedical, cultural, historical and psychological aspects of alcohol and associated dependency. They receive knowledge about clinical treatment and assessment of alcohol and drug use disorders and learn how to work effectively in the field through an independent study practicum/internship/research placements.
  • MSW Certificate Program – Addiction Counselor Training – The ACT Certificate Program’s primary goal is to educate master’s and doctoral-level clinicians who wish to prepare for licensing in their mental health profession and as addictions counselors (LCADC).  Dual credentialed clinicians are in great demand in our state and across the country, particularly for leadership positions in organizations that treat both mental health and substance abuse disorders. The ACT Certificate Program provides a 6-course curriculum that covers all 5 domains and the educational hours needed for the CADC/LCADC. It is also the first program in the country to provide social workers with the educational training to qualify for accreditation as a Certified Compulsive Gambling Counselor (CCGC).
  • NJ Acts Fellowship Program – The NJ ACTS Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for current predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to obtain broader understanding, enhanced skills, and experiential learning opportunities in translational clinical science over a 2–3-year period, concurrent to their current pre- or postdoctoral research program. It includes one year of support as well as dedicated travel and research funding for translational science-related learning and offers a unique opportunity to expand training and professional career development beyond one’s training environment.
  • UBHC Continuing Education Student Opportunities – The Center for Continuing Education offers graduate students clinical experiences through internships, externships and volunteer work.
  • Summer School of Addiction Studies – A summer training program run by the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, advocates, providers and peer providers both within NJ and as well as other states.

Coursework

  • Understanding Addictive Behaviors – Focuses on the etiology, prevalence, and policy implications of common addictive behaviors, including alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD); pathological gambling; and compulsive overeating or sexual behavior. 19:910:514.
  • Clinical Social Work: Addictive Behaviors – A continuation of content taught in 19:910:571, this course focuses on various approaches to the evaluation, intervention, measurement, treatment, and relapse prevention of common addictive disorders, including those resulting from substance misuse, problem gambling, and compulsive overeating or sexual behavior. 19:910:521.
  • Biology of Addiction – This course will explore Substance Use Disorder from a biological viewpoint. The psychological, epidemiological, social and economical aspects of addiction will be touched upon as needed. The course will consist of several Modules that would be taught in parallel. The Modules include: ‘Psychopharmacology’, ‘The Structure and Function of the Nervous System’, ‘Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators’, ‘Substances of Abuse’, and ‘What is Addiction?’ The goal is to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of biological mechanisms, both in the body and in the brain, that lead to and underlie Substance Use Disorder. 48:120:643.
  • Neuroendocrinology – The online course provides a comprehensive and up-to-date coverage of the interrelationships between the central nervous system and the endocrine system in the mammal. The course also provides the student with basic concepts and experimental approaches in mammalian neuroendocrinology including cellular and molecular actions of hypothalamic and pituitary hormones and the role of these hormones in controlling reproductive functions, body metabolism (e.g., obesity and diabetes), stress, growth, biological rhythms, drug addiction, and immunity. It also provides the opportunity for the student to learn how to critically interpret information from the neuroendocrinology literature. It is expected that students in the class have a solid background in biology and in physiological processes. Cross-listed as 11:067:410/16:340:510.
  • Community-Engaged Methods in Public Health – This course examines current methods, theories, principles, and strategies associated with community engagement in public health. It discusses implications of community-engaged public health practice for addressing racism, ethnocentrism, classism, gender discrimination, homophobia, ableism, and other forms of structural oppression. It focuses on evidence-based approaches to foster the inclusion of populations experiencing health inequities and in building partnerships to improve health outcomes in under resourced communities. It analyzes participatory research methods and their implementation. The course is intended for graduate students interested in addressing health inequities manifested locally in the United States and globally.

Training Programs

  • Rutgers Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies Clinical Research Fellowship in Trauma and Addictions – This is a two-year endowed post-doctoral clinical research fellowship available to psychologists, and other social scientists interested in developing their professional trajectory towards translational research on interventions and treatments for traumatic stress and addictions.
  • Molecular Neuroscience of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Training – The Rutgers University Molecular Neuroscience of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Training (MNADRT) Program invites applications for NIAAA-funded T32 postdoctoral fellowships related to alcohol and drug abuse research.
  • NJ Acts Fellowship Program – The NJ ACTS Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for current predoctoral students and postdoctoral fellows to obtain broader understanding, enhanced skills, and experiential learning opportunities in translational clinical science over a 2–3-year period, concurrent to their current pre- or postdoctoral research program. It includes one year of support as well as dedicated travel and research funding for translational science-related learning and offers a unique opportunity to expand training and professional career development beyond one’s training environment.
  • Summer School of Addiction Studies – A summer training program run by the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, advocates, providers and peer providers both within NJ and as well as other states.

Labs Seeking Candidates

  • Post-Doctoral Position in Neuroimaging and Neurostimulation – A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available within the Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroimaging and Stimulation (CNS) directed by Travis E. Baker, PhD. Using a combination of functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), human electrophysiology (EEG and ERPs), computational modeling, and robotic-TMS, the goal of the CNS Lab is to develop new brain-based interventions aimed to correct the aberrant reward and decision making processes that sustain substance use disorders.
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Division of Addiction Psychiatry, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Under the direction of the Principal Investigator, the Postdoctoral Fellow position will encompass work on various aspects of research projects ranging from inception (e.g., study formulation, grant-writing, protocol development etc.) to manuscript publication. The Postdoctoral Fellow will participate in the implementation of research studies relating to behavioral interventions for substance use disorders, including mindfulness-based treatments and motivational interviewing. These studies will primarily focus on the treatment needs of individuals with chronic pain and opioid, tobacco, and other substance use disorders. Mentorship for developing research ideas and methods, conducting clinical trials, and writing grants will be provided. Clinical opportunities and supervision for clinical hours available. Candidates should have a doctoral degree in psychology, social work, counseling or related field, research experience, and writing skills. Applicants should have ability to lead and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams. To become a part of our vibrant community, applicants should submit a CV, cover letter and a brief statement of research accomplishments and plans to Dr. Nina Cooperman, cooperna@rwjms.rutgers.edu.
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate and Training Fellow in Alcohol Use Disorder Across the Lifespan – Applicants are sought for an NIAAA-funded research project involving secondary data analysis and new data collection investigating mechanisms of problem-drinking reduction (including recovery from Alcohol Use Disorder) across different periods of the adult lifespan. Interested parties should contact Matthew Lee, Ph.D. for more information.
  • The Rossi Lab is recruiting motivated candidates at all levels, especially postdocs interested in using deep brain two-photon calcium imaging and electrophysiology to study the neural basis of feeding and obesity. Please contact Mark Rossi for more information.
  • Drs. Carolyn Sartor and Tammy Chung at The Center for Population Behavioral Health are seeking a postdoctoral research fellow (starting in July 2023) to contribute to NIH-funded etiological and clinical research on youth and young adult substance use, with a focus on variation by race/ethnicity and gender in pathways of risk and substance use outcomes. The primary projects include an investigation of multi-level cultural and environmental factors that protect against or elevate risk for substance use in Black and Latinx youth, based on the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study longitudinal data. Other projects involve secondary analyses of a large randomized clinical trial testing mechanisms of behavior change for an alcohol text message intervention in young adults, and analyses of ecological momentary assessment and phone sensor (e.g., GPS) data collected in relation to self-reported episodes of alcohol or cannabis use from young adults. Please contact Carolyn Sartor (csartor@ifh.rutgers.edu) for more information.
  • Dr. Gary Aston-Jones’ lab is seeking a postdoctoral associate with experience in rodent behavior or brain immunohistochemistry. This postdoc will work on research into brain substrates of addiction or depression using advanced behavioral economic and other behavioral and neurotransduction approaches in rat drug self-administration models. Research will use orexin-cre rats and local microinjections of DIO viral vectors, immunohistochemical analyses, as well as assays for addiction- or depression-like behavioral phenotypes to identify brain circuits responsible for addiction or depression. Join a leading neuroscience lab at Rutgers, with a strong record of post-doctoral mentorship and training, in an exciting new circuit-level approach to understanding and developing new therapies for addiction, depression and related mental health disorders.  Applicants must have a strong academic record of independent research with a PhD or MD degree. Expertise with rodent behavior or brain immunohistochemistry is required. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, names of 3 references and a cover letter expressing their interest and qualifications to Gary Aston-Jones, Ph.D., Director, Rutgers Brain Health Institute at bhidirector@ca.rutgers.edu.
  • The Pan Lab led by Dr. Pingyue Pan in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology in Rutgers University – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School invites applications for postdoctoral positions. The primary research interest in the lab is to understand dopaminergic signaling and its dysregulation in disease conditions. They are interested in exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying both Parkinson’s disease and substance use disorder. Currently, they are investigating the Synj1 gene, which is linked to multiple dopamine-related illnesses. If you are interested, please send your curriculum vitae along with the names of three references to: pingyue.pan@rutgers.edu.
  • A post-doctoral associate position, funded through an NIH grant, is available in the laboratory of Dr. Dipak Sarkar. Duties involve conducting research determining fetal alcohol’s neuroimmune and/or epigenetic effects on the neuroendocrine system and their impacts on stress biology and immune functions. Candidate must have a Ph.D. degree in neuroscience, molecular biology, or other related areas. Research experience in rodent surgery, cell cultures, molecular biology, exosome and epigenetic research is preferred. Candidate will have opportunity to collaborate with senior fellows and students. Candidates must have the ability to obtain a visa to work in the US. Please upload a cover letter, curriculum vitae and the names and contact information of three references to: https://jobs.rutgers.edu/postings/176127.

Training Programs & Services

  • Tobacco Dependence Program Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice – Rutgers Tobacco Dependence Program has been providing National Certificate in Tobacco Treatment Practice training since 2000 and has trained thousands of healthcare professionals from over 40 states and 11 countries. It is one of a handful of tobacco training programs accredited by the Council of Tobacco Treatment Training Programs and utilizes nationally-recognized clinical and research experts in the field.
  • Northern New Jersey Medication-Assisted Treatment Center of Excellence – The Northern NJ MAT Center of Excellence aims to increase access to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and recovery support services for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) in northern New Jersey by educating and mentoring providers in the community and in healthcare systems. We offer the following services for providers and those interested in learning more about MAT:
    • Educational Resources: Virtual didactic & case presentations discussing various treatment modalities, screening tools & community resources
    • Biweekly Newsletter and Listserv: Announcements of upcoming events & important news pertaining to SUD
    • Website: includes access to all the above-mentioned resources as well as archived virtual training sessions, educational materials for print, and links to additional online resources
    • Mentorship Services: 1-on-1 technical assistance for new & established practices implementing MAT, supporting site-specific workflow/care team design, job descriptions, challenges, billing, health IT & operational needs
    • 24/7 Provider Hotline (844-HELP-OUD): “In the moment” advice from our multidisciplinary team of addiction experts for providers with questions about MAT prescribing
    • Office-based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Navigator Training Series – A free training series for OBAT navigators and providers/clinical support staff
  • Rutgers NJMS Addiction Medicine Fellowship – The Rutgers New Jersey Medical School Fellowship in Addiction Medicine offered by NJMAT is a one-year program that offers qualified physicians the unique opportunity to train in the evaluation and treatment of patients with substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, and co-occurring psychiatric disorders with faculty in the departments of Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Obstetrics & Gynecology. Fellows are required to hold a valid New Jersey medical license and to have completed an accredited residency training program in any medical field in the United States or Canada.
  • Summer School of Addiction Studies – A summer training program run by the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, advocates, providers and peer providers both within NJ and as well as other states.

On-Demand Resources

  • The Healthcare Professional’s Core Resource on Alcohol – a new online resource from NIAAA designed to help a wide range of healthcare professionals improve care for patients whose alcohol issues may be affecting their health. It offers free CME/CE credit.
  • Advanced Clinical Skills for Working with Opioid Use Disorder – GSAPP On-Demand Webinar – This recording of a previously held live webinar focuses on skill building among clinicians already proficient in treating Substance Use Disorder and who either want to learn psychological interventions specific to Opioid Use Disorder or hone their expertise in treating Opioid Use Disorder. This specialized training focuses on conceptual integration of psychological interventions for Opioid Use Disorder designed to enhance knowledge and skills specific to this population. Following a review of the interweaving of established treatments, there will be an extended case presentation. Much of the material’s source will be from presenter Kevin Moore’s 2019 book.
  • Smoking Cessation – GSAPP On-Demand Webinar – “Smoking cessation” is a training for psychologists and mental healthcare providers about evidence-based interventions for smoking cessation. After this introductory lecture, you will have the skills to assess for tobacco use, use motivational interviewing to intervene and meet the person where they are, and provide empirically based smoking cessation treatment, including behavioral counseling and nicotine replacement therapy and/or referral for prescription medication, to increase their chances of success. We will also cover scheduled reduced smoking and other evidence-based tips and tricks, as well as strategies for working with particularly vulnerable and stigmatized groups.
  • Prescription Opioid Use, Addiction, and Its Treatment: A Brief Digest for Psychologists – GSAPP On-Demand Article – This article provides practicing psychologists with an overview of the ongoing epidemic of prescription opioid use, the pharmacology of opioids, and evidence-based pharmacological and behavioral treatments for opioid use disorders. Practicing psychologists have key roles to play in responding to the opioid crisis. These include but are not limited to providing behavioral interventions that support patient compliance with front-line medications as well as evidence-based psychosocial therapies that enhance coping skills, prevent relapse, and address underlying and co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorders.
  • Opioid Addiction and Its Treatment: A Brief Overview for Psychotherapists – GSAPP On-Demand Webinar – The persisting opioid epidemic has resulted in unprecedented rates of addiction, overdose deaths, emergency room visits, and treatment admissions. Because rates of addiction are especially high among people affected by other types of mental health problems, it behooves all psychotherapists to have a working knowledge of SUDs and be able to skillfully assess and treat these disorders in office-based practice. This presentation will describe demographics of the current opioid epidemic, the pharmacology of opioid agonists and antagonists, medications for treating opioid dependence (including naltrexone and buprenorphine), and evidence-based behavioral and psychosocial interventions. Lecture material combined with case vignettes will be used to demonstrate how to formulate an initial treatment plan, respond to various challenges and setbacks, and work collaboratively with medication prescribers. In order to receive CE credits, users will be required to pass a post-test after watching the video.
  • Community Integrated Services for Addiction Treatment and Recovery – This inter-professional workforce education development program aims to improve the ability of healthcare professionals to work collaboratively in teams for the purpose of improving the quality of patient care and health outcomes for individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) – The IPCE program is a collaboration of the continuing education units of Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, New Jersey Medical School, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Nursing, and University Behavioral Health Care. The program plans and provides coordinated continuing education with the goal of improving the skills, strategies, and performance of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants, behavioral health professionals, and other healthcare team members and stakeholders.
  • Summer School of Addiction Studies – A summer training program run by the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies open to faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, advocates, providers and peer providers both within NJ and as well as other states.
  • Opioids in the Workplace: AwarenessFree Online Training through Rutgers Center for Public Health Workforce development – This 1-hour online asynchronous course is intended for workers and employers who may be impacted by the opioid crisis. The goal of the course is to provide an evidence-based worker training program that identifies the scope of the opioid crisis and its relationship to the workplace as well as provides workers with actions to prevent and respond to opioid use and misuse. This training is free and can be accessed via your internet browser. A certificate will be provided at the conclusion on training. Access the training at http://go.rutgers.edu/OpioidTraining.
  • New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) – The New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) initiative is an association of higher education institutions in New Jersey that works in partnership with the State of New Jersey Department of Corrections and New Jersey State Parole Board , (a) to provide higher education courses toward a college degree for students while they are incarcerated, and (b) to assist in their transition to college life upon release from prison. Raritan Valley Community College confers the AA degree in Liberal Arts and Rutgers University – Newark confers the BA degree in Justice Studies.
  • Opioid Overdose Prevention Network Training (OOPN) – The OOPN offers free public trainings six times per month in New Jersey. Training attendees who are 18 years of age and older will also receive a free naloxone kit after attending the training. Trainings are currently being conducted over Zoom.
  • Rutgers Interdisciplinary Opioid Trainers – The Rutgers Interdisciplinary Opioid Trainers (RIOT) program is meant to provide a FREE 1 hour training to community members to educate them about the opioid epidemic in NJ, how to manage an overdose, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). They also present to audiences of undergraduate and graduate students. Visit www.ruriot.org to schedule a free 1 hour presentation, or contact addictionpsychiatry@ubhc.rutgers.edu to request more information.
  • 5 Minutes to Help Training – This short course is designed to arm New Jersey’s first responders with new knowledge and communication skills that can be applied on the scene, post-overdose reversal, to encourage patients to seek help for their addiction and increase their awareness of available recovery resources in their communities. If you are a first responder interested in participating in one of our upcoming trainings, please email 5MinToHelp@doh.nj.gov.