Referral, Engagement, Coaching, and Overdose preVention Education in Recovery

Mission: To provide and evaluate a promising new model of recovery support using Peer Recover Coaches (PRCs) for people with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) coming out of detox from Boston Treatment Center and Dimock.

The goals of Project RECOVER are the following:

  1. Link, engage, and retain PWIO in outpatient MAT for a minimum of six months through a progressive series of interventions delivered by Peer Recovery Coaches (PRCs).
  2. Increase access to lifesaving overdose education and naloxone rescue kit distribution to patients and members of their social networks after detoxification treatment, when patients are at increased risk of overdosing.
  3. Link and engage patients completing detoxification in addiction-friendly primary care practices where they can access comprehensive care services for the prevention and treatment of acute and chronic diseases, including HIV and hepatitis B and C, as well as behavioral health needs.

What is a Peer Recovery Coach?: A PRC is one who has lived experience in addiction and have extensive experience and knowledge regarding substance use recovery, through state level training that they receive (Recovery Coach Academy).

What does a Peer Recovery Coach do?: PRC’s link patients with OUD to outpatient treatment, including medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD), primary care, and other support services such as legal and housing services. Because of their unique experience having lived experience, PRC’s have a great understanding of what is needed in the recovery process.

What is unique about Project RECOVER?: Project RECOVER has a focus on racial/ethnic minority patients, particularly with Black/African American and Latinx populations, which have noted lower treatment rates with less success according to the Massachusetts chapter 55 data. The study seeks to examine how having culturally and linguistically compatible recovery coaches can bridge the gap with these populations.

Research on PRC’s is limited and in its early stages. Project RECOVER aims to better understand the effectiveness of PRC’s in linking and engaging those coming out of detox or other recovery services with further treatment and care.

Recovery Coaching


Community Partners

Overdose Education



Principal Investigator

Ricardo Cruz, MD, MA, MPH


Alissa Cruz, MPH, Program Manager,

Eric Lozada, Peer Recovery Coach Supervisor

Nakita Haywood, Recovery Coach

Tyshaun Perryman, Recovery Coach

Kimberley Hutter, Research Assistant

General Contact Information



This project is housed within the Department of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center and funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health