Recovery Research Networks


The Research Need 

Recovery from opioid use disorder is an ongoing process of finding a path to a healthy lifestyle. Though effective treatments can help, they may not be able to address the loss of jobs, homes, relationships with families and friends, or the effects of justice system involvement that often accompany the disorder. Recovery support services provide a variety of non-clinical services over the long-term, but their effectiveness has not been adequately studied. Also emerging are clinical continuing care services to address retention on treatment using medications for opioid use disorder that also require further research.

About the Program 

This program advances research on the effectiveness of recovery support services in three ways. First, it creates multi-stakeholder networks (researchers, payors, providers, people in recovery) to build infrastructure to set research agendas; build tools, methods, and relationships; and train researchers needed to generate strong evidence about what works. The Helping to End Addiction Long-term® Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative®, will support networks addressing peer recovery support, recovery community centers, active recovery communities, continuing care, or integrated networks of care.  

Second, the program supports research to prepare for clinical trials testing specific services, including peer interventions to help individuals continue or resume medications for opioid use disorder.   

Third, it supports the Consortium on Addiction Recovery Science (CoARS), which coordinates research activities, develops cross-project activities, and prepares for a national organization dedicated to continuing this work. 

Open Funding Opportunities

There are no Open Funding Opportunities at this time.

Program Details

To date, through the Helping to End Addiction Long-term Initiative, or NIH HEAL Initiative, NIH has contributed $13.9 million to fund nine awards.

Research Examples

Research examples supported by this program include: 

  • Engaging with diverse stakeholders, including people in recovery, payors, providers, and researchers to determine research priorities 
  • Developing and pilot-testing valid and reliable instruments to use in recovery support services research  
  • Developing and sharing uniform or pooled data sets that can be used for recovery support services research 
  • Developing trial designs and study protocols 
  • Preparing for clinical trials to test the effectiveness of specific interventions 
  • Addressing recovery support services developed for specific populations (such as young adults, individuals with co-occurring mental disorders, and individuals experiencing health disparities) 

  • Clemson University – South Carolina 
  • East Tennessee State University – Tennessee 
  • Maryland Treatment Centers, Inc. – Maryland 
  • Massachusetts General Hospital – Massachusetts 
  • Oregon Social Learning Center, Inc. – Oregon 
  • Partnership to End Addiction – New York 
  • Public Health Institute – California 
  • University of Connecticut School of Medicine – Connecticut
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore – Maryland
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio – Texas

Funded Projects

Planning Grant for a Multi-Site Trial to Examine the Effectiveness of Recovery Community Centers Serving Black Communities to Support Persons Using Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Sep 19, 2022
CoARS Administrative Supplement
Sep 19, 2022
Peer Recovery Innovation Network (PRIN)
Sep 19, 2022
Peer Recovery Support Services for Individuals in Recovery Residences on MOUD
Sep 19, 2022
Enhancing Effectiveness Research on Recovery Housing for Persons Prescribed Medication for Opioid Use Disorder
Sep 19, 2022

Closed Funding Opportunities

HEAL Initiative: Planning Grants for Efficacy or Effectiveness Trials of Recovery Support Services for Individuals Treated with Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (R34 Clinical Trial Optional)
Dec 29, 2021
HEAL Initiative: Research Networks for the Study of Recovery Support Services for Persons Treated with Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (R24 Clinical Trial Optional)
Dec 29, 2021