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Thursday, December 7, 2023

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New Doctorate Program Puts Focus on Substance Abuse

A collaboration between UC San Diego and SDSU is the first in the nation to emphasize substance abuse research.
By SDSU News Team

A new Joint Doctoral Program (JDP) in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use has been launched by San Diego State University’s School of Social Work and the Division of Global Public Health in the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. 

The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs — and related social and health consequences.

“This program is the first of its kind,” said JDP co-director Steffanie Strathdee, professor and head of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative. “Given that substance use has a growing health and societal impact in the U.S. and globally, this program could not come at a better time.”

The program will focus on research designed to identify and assess substance use risk and create intervention programs for preventing or ameliorating high-risk behaviors related to substance use. It will include training to craft and evaluate disease prevention and health promotion recommendations and help guide public health policies.

“SDSU and UC San Diego have a long history of co-jointly offering cutting edge, high-demand programs," said María Luisa Zúñiga, program co-director of the JDP and associate professor in SDSU’s School of Social Work.

"This new doctoral program is designed to train the next generation of researchers to lead interdisciplinary research efforts that will meaningfully address substance use issues of national and global impact. Our graduates will be highly sought after in fields including medicine, social work and public health, as well as research firms and governmental health departments,” continued Zúñiga.

A unique opportunity

The new joint doctoral program is the 14th such program offered by SDSU and  UC San Diego. Others include highly acclaimed programs in public health and clinical psychology.  
Funding from SDSU Division of Academic Affairs and College of Health and Human Services will cover tuition fees and a teaching associate stipend for four students per year for up to four years. Students will spend the first year of study at SDSU, the second at UC San Diego and subsequent years working with faculty from both campuses.

For more information on the joint doctoral program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Use, visit the program website.