The Family Involvement in Recovery Support and Treatment (FIRST) Research Network is a NIDA-funded (1R24DA051946; PI: Hogue) multidisciplinary collaborative dedicated to promoting family integration in treatment and recovery services for youth with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders (SUDs).

    What we do

    FIRST aims to maintain a sustainable network of clinical research, measurement, and mentoring opportunities.


    Research activities promote family integration in medication for OUD and other treatment services with the goals of increasing engagement and engendering supportive networks for youth recovery. FIRST focuses on provider training and systems improvement at multiple levels: behavior specialists, physicians, support staff, and organization.


    Measurement activities focus on enhancing remote-access family-oriented recovery support services (helplines, family peer coaching, text messaging, online peer support groups and chat rooms, self-driven e-learning curricula) by developing multidimensional metrics for service engagement and outcomes.


    Mentoring activities focus on growing the field of research on family involvement in youth SUD services by providing opportunities for junior-level investigators to develop research projects and advance professional interests within mission. The catalyst for mentoring activities is the FIRST Scholars program, a two-year program with a competitive application process that provides funding to support completion of a pilot grant project. FIRST Scholars participate in quarterly mentorship meetings with other Scholars, mentors, and Steering Committee members; and attend and present their progress at FIRST National Advisory Board meetings as well as network meetings with other NIDA-funded recovery research centers.

    Who we are

    FIRST’s Steering Committee and National Advisory Board members collectively have expertise in diverse fields of practice, scientific study, clinical and intervention foci. Board members also have expertise in areas germane to supporting network sustainability including addiction health policy, clinical resource dissemination, behavioral health business operations, and peer-to-peer support.

    Call to Action
    FIRST Scholars

    We will fund projects on a rolling basis for $10,000 to $20,000 per award, depending on the scope of work. Priorities include focus on involvement of families and concerned significant others in substance use services for youth ages 13-25. Projects examining opioid use disorders and/or recovery support services are especially welcome.

    Request applications


    FIRST focuses on provider training and systems improvement among behavior specialists, physicians and their support staff. Outcomes of this work is available from life science journals and other publications.

    Conceptual framework for telehealth strategies to increase family involvement in treatment and recovery for youth opioid use disorder

    This article presents a conceptual framework for telehealth strategies that can be adopted to increase family involvement across a four-stage continuum of youth OUD treatment and recovery.
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    Youth OUD treatment during and after COVID: Increasing family involvement across the services continuum

    This commentary describes a conceptual framework for engaging and retaining youth and families across four stages of MOUD services: Preparation, Initiation, Stabilization, Remission & Recovery.
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    Family involvement in treatment and recovery for substance use disorders among transition-age youth: Research bedrocks and opportunities

    This article presents a narrative review and conceptual framework for research on family involvement across the continuum of substance use disorder (SUD) services for transition-age youth (ages 15–26).
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    May 2021