FIRST Research Network

Family Involvement in Recovery Support & Treatment

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.


Consortium on Addiction Recovery Science (CoARS) is a national network of science, practice, advocacy, and community partner experts devoted to building the evidence base and research infrastructure for addiction recovery support services. It is part of the HEAL Initiative Recovery Research Networks. CoARS facilitates collaboration across various NIH research and practice groups addressing addiction and related health problems.

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.

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.


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.