Presence of Drug-Free Family and Friends in the Personal Social Networks of People Receiving Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The present study evaluated the presence of drug-free family and friends in the personal social networks of individuals seeking treatment for opioid use disorder, and the willingness of patients to bring these individuals to the treatment program to support recovery efforts. Patients at a community medication-assisted treatment program (n = 355) completed a clinical survey to identify drug-free social network members. Results showed that almost all patients (98%) reported having at least one drug-free family or friend in their personal network (M = 3.7), and that these network members often lived in relatively close proximity to the patient (M distance of closest member =1.8 miles). About a quarter of these individuals (26%) had a history of substance use problems, with 10% of the entire sample currently receiving treatment for a substance use problem. Rates of drug-free network members varied across several baseline characteristics. Most patients (89%) reported a willingness to invite at least one drug-free network member into treatment to support recovery efforts. Mobilizing drug-free network family and friends may provide a pathway to help individuals with substance use disorders access and benefit from community support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016



  • Opioid use
  • Social network
  • Social support
  • Substance use disorder treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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