WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A new degree program is being offered at Cape Fear Community College with a goal of helping those struggling with substance abuse.
Dr. LaTonya Niang is the human services technology program director and she was on WECT's News Now Thursday afternoon to discuss the substance abuse associate in applied science degree program, which launches this month.
"You can't be a part of the field if you're not prepared to work with the population," Niang said of the hands-on aspect of the program. "Fortunately, the people in our program have a strong desire to help persons who are in recovery."
Graduates with the associate's degree will be able to assist in drug and alcohol counseling, rehabilitation with recovering addicts and more.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows people die of fatal drug overdoses in North Carolina at faster rates than 48 other states, meaning people trained in helping addicts are in high demand.
"With the rise in overdoses, there is opportunity for people to get involved," Niang said. "There is a continued need."