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Substance Use Disorder Education Program

Substance Use Disorder in Idaho

Since 2007, Idaho has ranked 49th in doctors per capita and the entire state is designated a Behavioral Health Shortage Area by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Idaho also has exploding population growth, one of the highest in the nation, and subsequently, a growing demand for healthcare. This is especially true when it comes to substance use disorder (SUD).

  • In 2019, the CDC reported an average of 130 opioid-related deaths every day in the U.S. — signifying more people are now dying from opioid use than either car accidents or gun violence.
  • By 2026, there is expected to be a 13% growth in the need for SUD counselors in Idaho, a state where the healthcare workforce is already spread thin.

The limited availability of physicians in Idaho underlines the need for broad-based SUD education for the entire healthcare workforce. Idaho’s current and future healthcare workers need a stronger foundation of SUD knowledge to treat and manage this disease.

No cost education

Learn about Substance Use Disorder and receive a certificate of completion

Health professions students can gain valuable experience with SUD content by participating in the Idaho WWAMI SUD Education Program. Demonstrate your interest and commitment to substance use disorder education in this self-directed program by diving deep into relevant topics such as evidence-based screening, harm reduction, and non-opioid alternatives to pain.

Pills Yellow
Participating in the Substance Use Disorder Ed. Program demonstrates your commitment to combatting a nation-wide healthcare crisis and provides an opportunity to build a professional in-state network once you begin your career.

Idaho WWAMI Substance Use Disorder Education Program

Through video conferencing, recorded lectures, and an online learning hub, students can network with professionals from across Idaho to learn the most current SUD medical knowledge and best practices. The program is self-directed and can be completed in as little as four weeks, though we suggest allowing more time to complete the modules.

Students participating in the SUD Education Program will complete reflection pieces based on ECHO Idaho Opioid Addiction and Treatment sessions.

For each of 16 modules (11 required and five elective), students will complete assigned readings, view previously recorded* sessions from Project ECHO’s Idaho’s Opioid, Pain and Substance Use Disorders Program and complete a 400-800-word reflection piece.

No live, in-person classes are required. This is a self-directed education program.

* Students may opt to engage in live, virtual sessions in place of pre-recorded sessions.

Students will complete asynchronous online modules accessed through Canvas. The course will be open to enrollment from Jan. 4, 2021 through Friday, April 16, 2021. The course ends on May 28, 2021.

There is no cost to participate in this education program.

A stipend of up to $200 is available upon completion of the education program to offset the cost of technology access and/or cost of materials relating to their final project

Upon fulfilling the requirements of the Idaho WWAMI Substance Use Disorder Education Program, students will receive a certificate of completion administered by the North Idaho Area Health Education Center.

Academic credit is available through the University of Idaho. Please contact course organizer Peter Fuerst (, 208-885-7512) to pursue academic credit. Students must be enrolled in the University of Idaho MEDS404 course by Jan. 20, 2021 to be eligible for academic credit. Standard University of Idaho fees for course enrollment apply for these seeking academic credit.

Students must be currently enrolled in a health professions program including, but not limited to medicine (MD/DO/PA), nursing, physical therapy, athletic training, counseling, pharmacy, social work and dentistry.

Students pursuing a degree in counseling, social work, emergency medicine, physical therapy, pharmacology, radiography, dentistry and more are all encouraged to participate.

Please contact Peter Fuerst ( or Liz Bryant ( if you have a question about your eligibility. Limited availability in a parallel course may be possible for students who are not in health professions programs and who enroll in the University of Idaho MEDS404 course. These students are not eligible for the stipend.

Following submission of your application, a course organizer will contact you within seven business days to confirm your enrollment status.

Enrollment for the Spring 2022 cohort (starts in January) will open in late November 2021.

Check back then for the application link.

Questions? Contact Course Organizers

Liz Bryant

North Idaho AHEC Director

Liz Bryant


Peter Fuerst

WWAMI Associate Director of Curriculum

Peter Fuerst headshot


Sponsor Information

This project is/was supported by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number 1H79FG000051, for the WWAMI Medical Education Program (WWAMI) in the total amount of $200,000 for the 2020-2022 fiscal years. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

Contact AHEC

Phone: 208-885-0131