West Virginia University Potomac State College will offer a Mental Health and Addiction
Studies major starting this fall for individuals who are interested in a helping profession. Earning
an associate of arts degree will allow graduates to either enter the workforce or pursue an
advanced degree such as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mental Health and Addiction Studies on
the Morgantown campus.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey
on Drug Use and Health, 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance
use disorder in 2017. That same year, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental
health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders. Drug abuse and addiction
cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare
expenses, and crime-related costs according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Potomac State College’s Mental Health and Addiction Studies major will provide a broad
knowledge base in mental health, prevention, intervention, and community impacts, with a focus
on addiction treatment and recovery. Courses will include psychology, sociology, child
development, and family studies, among others.
The Mental Health and Addiction Studies major qualifies graduates for entry-level jobs in
addiction, mental health and family support services. This major also offers a counseling
preparatory focus providing a direct path to the bachelor’s degree in the same major on the
Morgantown campus. Graduates may also eventually pursue graduate studies in counseling,
social work, public health or other health-related disciplines.
Mental health and addiction professionals are in greater demand than ever before. According to
the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in these fields is expected to grow 23%, a much
faster rate than most other occupations. The median annual wage for substance abuse, behavioral
disorder, and mental health counselors was $48,520 in May 2021.
“With its well-rounded curriculum, Potomac State College’s new Mental Health and Addiction
Studies major prepares students for fulfilling careers that lead to individual, family and
community transformation,” said Cassandra Pritts, chair of the College’s Division of Liberal
For further information or to enroll, contact Enrollment Services at email@example.com or call