Education & Outreach

We are training the next generation of health care providers and researchers and educating the community with the latest information on pain and substance use disorders.

Our goal is to prepare future physicians and health care professionals to adequately manage both chronic pain and substance use disorder.

Through our unique paraprofessional training programs, we are increasing the number of behavioral health paraprofessionals trained to work with children and families impacted by opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders in Southern Arizona counties. PeerWORKS will establish relationships with community partners and promote experiential and collaborative training through team-based models of care in integrated, primary care, and interprofessional health settings.

Since its inception in 2020, the Comprehensive Center for Pain and Addiction and our members have:

  • started a new Addiction Fellowship with regular seminars and training in the College of Medicine – Tucson’s Departments of Psychiatry and Family and Community Medicine;
  • spearheaded the development of a minor degree in substance use disorder, and;
  • committed to a mission of certifying all medical students in pain and substance-opioid use disorder.

Project FUTRE

The goal of Project FUTRE is to increase the number of behavioral health paraprofessionals who are trained to work with children and families impacted by opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders in Southern Arizona counties.


The goal of PeerWORKS is to increase the number of peer support specialists by recruiting and training a diverse workforce prepared to serve children, adolescents and transitional-aged youth and work in communities with high behavioral health disorder treatment needs.

Arizona Rural Opioid Response-Implementation

A collaboration with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers launched a state-wide substance use training and technical assistance with a goal of addressing barriers to accessing substance use disorder treatment, including opioid use disorder.

Arizona Cannabis Education

AzCANN is a community education program. Trainings, workshops and video content are tailored for the general public as well as health care and social service professionals and reflect the diverse experiences, cultures and languages in Arizonan communities.

Past Events

"Making a difference in the opioid epidemic through partnership," presented by the University of Arizona Health Sciences in association with the National Center for Wellness and Recovery at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences

Presentations by researchers from both universities highlighted the unique partnership between the two institutions in the areas of discovery and development of new drug candidates for the treatment of addiction and chronic pain, as well as community education and educational efforts around opioid and cannabis use.

Topics included:

  • Ongoing collaborative efforts to discover new molecules that can be developed as medication-assisted treatments for opioid use disorder and for treating chronic pain,
  • The development of therapies to overcome negative-affect states, including depression and anhedonia, that often accompany opioid addiction and chronic pain and that can lead to relapse,
  • Innovative research on the treatment of pain in women and the use of phototherapy for the management of pain,
  • Programs focused on increasing the workforce to help individuals and families affected by opioid use disorder.

View Presentations

This one-day workshop was for those who provide care for mothers with substance use disorder, infants with neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome or neonatal abstinence syndrome, and families caring for mothers and infants experiencing these challenges.

View Conference Archive