Providing Access to Addictions Treatment, Hope, and Support (PAATHS)


Overall, Massachusetts has high rates in many categories of substance use compared to the nation as a whole. Based on National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) state-level estimates, Massachusetts ranks among the 10 states with the highest rates of adult substance abuse measures in: (a) Past month illicit drug use age 18-25. (b) Past month use of an illicit drug other than marijuana in the 18-25 age group. (c) Past year cocaine use in the 18-25 age groups. (d) Past month alcohol use age 26+.[i] Boston and the surrounding region suffer an especially significant substance abuse burden.

Three years of NSDUH data indicate that of the 15 largest metropolitan areas, Boston had the 5th highest reported rates of illegal substance use (8.5%). Boston ranked 3rd in reported binge alcohol use.[ii] Sub-state data indicate that the city’s rates of reported alcohol and illicit drug dependence are at least 25% higher than any other region of the state.[iii]

[i] SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues At-a-Glance 2009.

[ii]SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, The NSDUH Report: Substance Use in the 15 Largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas 2002-5.

[iii] SAMHSA, Office of Applied Studies, Massachusetts State Treatment Planning Areas.

The PAATHS Peer-to-Peer Project will be implemented through the current system-of-care model at Boston Public Health Commission’s (BPHC) Bureau of Addictions Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Support Services. The further integration of peer-led services in BPHC’s treatment programs and the development of new collaborations with community-based organizations will allow us to enhance our ability to provide employment, housing, social support and other recovery support services within our culturally competent substance abuse treatment services, creating a single system of treatment and recovery supports.

In partnership with Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery, (MOAR) the project will enhance peer support for these clients during both treatment and recovery processes, developing a Resource and Drop-in Center to provide post-treatment peer-led recovery supports. Finally, with MOAR’s expertise and the recovery support infrastructure to be developed through the PAATHS Project, MOAR and BPHC seek to build the capacity of treatment and recovery support programs across Boston to engage peer support to improve client outcomes.

Collaboration with Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) , Bureau of Substance Abuse and Massachusetts Organization for Addiction Recovery

To identify class-specific facilitators and barriers to suicide prevention for each subgroup utilizing CBPR. Guiding questions: What are subgroup perceptions of the severity of suicide problems? What are the barriers and facilitators for the development of prevention programs?


Funded by Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)


The overall goal of the project is to enhance substance use treatment and recovery outcomes for a minimum of 210 predominantly Latino and African American Men and Women ages 18 and older with a history of co-occurring (substance abuse and mental health) disorders.

Project Team

Alisa Lincoln - Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research, Northeastern University

Dr. Alisa K. Lincoln
Principal Investigators

Claudia Santelices

Claudia C. Santelices
Associate Research Scientist
Northeastern University

Suzanne Garverich

Suzanne Garverich
Program Manager, IHESJR
Northeastern University

Mariana Nicolls

Mariana Nicholls
Northeastern University

Atsushi Matsumoto
Northeastern University

Christopher Rogers

Christopher Rogers
Northeastern University