Vancouver Island University has graduated it’s first batch of Addiction Studies Certificate students.

The class was developed by Psychology Professor Doctor Elliott Marchant and the program is intended to be taken as part of a degree or to supplement a degree.

One of the 10 classes is on pharmacology, which would help graduates looking for careers in counselling, criminology, or social work.

“The idea is that somebody who graduates from the pharmacology class should be able to sort of understand what’s going on in somebody’s brain when someone is using a drug or who has been using a drug excessively over a period of time,” Marchant says.

Marchant says the certificate is designed to help people understand the complexity of addiction.

“As a teacher, you know, we always want our students to understand more.”

Marchant says he started the program because he wanted to teach students that addiction is not a simple problem that can be explained by one theory. It’s the only program of its kind in Western Canada.

More on the program can be found at programs.viu.ca/addiction-studies-certificate.