A broad range of professionals, training opportunities, and regional differences exist in the addiction study field worldwide. This educational variety poses a challenge in proposing a precise classification of study programs at the higher education and university levels to meet the criteria of quality control-based treatment for those in need.
This study aimed to reflect the broad spectrum of professionals integrated into the addiction field and propose a matrix of training and study programs at the higher education and university levels, organising their characteristics and criteria in the first version of a possible typology.
A secondary analysis of earlier internet surveys was conducted, focusing on specific formats, models, profiles of study, and other training programs developed and provided by higher education institutions and universities.
We defined six basic types of higher and university education according to three criteria: level of studies and degree/certificate awarded; target applicants/ disciplines (general or specialised studies), and the main scope of the program and its graduates’ profiles. From these criteria, we propose a structured and clear typology of existing educational options to make addiction education transparent for new applicants and those already working in the field.
Defining educational opportunities and proposing a typology presents a starting point for improving understanding of education and training options in addiction studies. The proposed typology offers potential for setting minimum standards for each academic level, reducing stigma, and increasing the importance of substance use disorder prevention and treatment.