Pilot Studies

Over the course of five years, the JEAP Initiative is funding a total of six pilot studies focused on recovery support services, which aim to gather preliminary data to support grant applications to the National Institutes of Health. Below is an overview of our first round of pilot studies, which are taking place during the 2022 calendar year.

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Angela Hagaman, JEAP Trainee

Angela Hagaman, Operation’s Director for East Tennessee State University’s (ETSU) Addiction Science Center (ASC), provides leadership and support for the Center’s interdisciplinary research agenda and collaborates on a number of regional prevention and treatment initiatives. She has lived experience with familial substance use disorder (SUD) and grew up on a tobacco farm in Central Appalachia. In December of 2021, Angela received her Doctorate of Public Health (DrPH) at ETSU. Her dissertation, titled Peer Recovery Support Specialists: Role Clarification and Fit Within the Recovery Eco-Systems of Central Appalachia, will serve as a foundation for future research.

Pilot Study: Measurement Matters: A Peer-Driven Pilot Study to Enumerate the Core Components of Peer Recovery Support Service Delivery in Five U.S. Sub-Regions

Overdose death and the pervasive collateral consequences of substance use disorder (SUD) including justice system involvement, ill-health and personal and family distress have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. Peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) are certified, trained professionals who identify as being in recovery from a SUD and are uniquely poised to engage persons across the service continuum; however, rigorous research on the impact of this expanding field is limited due in part to the wide array of service activities and settings in which PRSS work. This study will engage persons with lived experience of SUD and justice system involvement in the design of a quantitative survey instrument that will enumerate core components of PRSS service delivery which could advance recovery among individuals with SUD and serve as a valuable resource to the wider scientific and recovery community.

Camille Cioffi

Camille Cioffi, JEAP Trainee

Camille Cioffi is a Research Associate at the University of Oregon's Center on Parenting and Opioids and Research Scientist at Influents Innovations. She holds a Ph.D. in Prevention Science from the University of Oregon. Her research focuses on strategies to provide structural, health, and behavioral health supports to pregnant, postpartum, and parenting people with substance use disorder. As a parent in recovery and perinatal loss survivor, her work comes from a parent-centric perspective, centering the pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting time periods as salient opportunities to improve adult health and behavioral health outcomes. 

Pilot Study: Supporting Postpartum Emerging Adults with Substance Use Disorders to Sustain Recovery: Understanding Barriers and Facilitators to Services Utilization    

Postpartum is a critical time point to promote sustained recovery among emerging adults with substance use disorders (SUDs), however, postpartum emerging adults encounter numerous structural, interpersonal, and individual barriers that impede their utilization of SUD services. The proposed project aims to identify barriers and facilitators to services utilization among this population; these barriers and facilitators would then inform the key objectives and mechanisms of an intervention aimed at achieving the dual outcomes of improving recovery capital and sustaining recovery. Thus, the findings from this pilot will be used to create focused, nonjudgmental, comprehensive solutions, especially leveraging recovery support services, to improve the probability that postpartum emerging adults will be able to sustain recovery following pregnancy.

Martha Tillson

Martha Tillson, JEAP Trainee

Martha Tillson is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY) and a Research Data Analyst at the University’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. Her research centers on women’s gendered experiences of substance use/misuse and related risks, with a focus on factors and services that support women’s recovery/remission, particularly at community reentry post-incarceration. This work is motivated and informed by her academic background in psychology and social work, lived experience, and desire to reduce stigma and drug-related harms.

Pilot Study: Examining Peer Recovery Support Services as an Innovative Context for Targeting MOUD Stigma among Justice System-Involved Individuals from the Ground Up

With the ongoing public health crisis of opioid misuse and overdose deaths and its disproportionate impact on individuals with justice system involvement, there is an urgent need to facilitate the use of life-saving medications to treat opioid use disorder (MOUD), yet stigma against the use of MOUD – particularly within recovery communities – hinders its uptake. This study will examine experiences of peer recovery support specialists (PRSS) and their clients navigating MOUD stigma and assess its impact on peer-client relationship quality, in the context of other key factors (e.g., history of arrest and/or incarceration). Findings will be critical to support the development of future interventions in collaboration with PRSS to increase MOUD acceptance and utilization among justice system-involved populations.

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Patrick Hibbard, JEAP Postdoctoral Fellow

Patrick Hibbard is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at OSLC, working with the JEAP Initiative. He studies programs and organizational management in the criminal justice and substance use disorder policy areas, using a variety of methodologies. He is interested in researching and improving programs in these areas, as he identifies as a person with lived experience in both the US criminal justice system and recovery from substance use disorder.

Pilot Study: Treatment Courts and Their Communities: A Rigorous Preliminary Exploration of Criminal and Public Health Outcomes

Treatment courts (TCs) address underlying conditions that lead to crime (such as substance use disorder), currently covering nearly every county in the US, but little is known about their impact on the communities in which they operate. This study explores TC influences on community-level crime, substance use services, and public health outcomes (like overdose deaths), as well as how factors within TCs (number of participants, graduation rates, etc.) alter these outcomes.