Institute for Community Research
Drug Treatment Clinic Implementation

Drug Treatment Clinic Implementation

Translation of the Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) for Drug Treatment Clinic Implementation


Translation of the Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) for Drug Treatment Clinic Implementation

This three-year study sought to translate the Risk Prevention Partnerships (RAP), an efficacious community intervention designed to diffuse HIV/hepatitis/STI risk reduction through substance-user networks, for use in substance abuse treatment clinics. Strong evidence of the project’s efficacy when tested in a community research setting suggested the importance  and timeliness of moving it to real-world applications. This Institute for Community Research, which developed and tested the original RAP intervention, and the Hartford Dispensary, a substance abuse treatment clinic, partnered to translate RAP for implementation in community substance abuse treatment clinics, while adhering to the theoretically and empirically identified core components of the RAP model, and to pilot it in one of the dispensary clinics. In doing so, this project sought to understand how the RAP intervention needed to be modified to fit the clinic context, while retaining sufficient integrity and fidelity in relation to the original design such that it achieved the same or similar outcomes among PHA trainees and their contacts, and to learn what happened when it was piloted in the clinic setting. Project staff also sought to develop needed pre-implementation measures of clinic and community readiness and context to prepare for implementing the interventions, as well as process and fidelity measures specific to the adapted RAP-clinic design for use when implementing the intervention in other clinics.


Read the Project Abstract here.

Final Report

Read the final project report here.

Peer Health Advocate (PHA) Curriculum

See the curriculum for training Peer Health Advocates (PHAs) here.

Project Products: RAP Flipbook and PHA Encounter Forms

See the RAP Flipbook here.

See the PHA Encounter Forms here.


Weeks, .M R., Kostick, K., Li, J., Dunn, J., McLaughlin, P., Richmond, P., Choudhury, S., Obidoa, C., Mosher, H. I., Martinez, M. (2015). Translation of the Risk Avoidance Partnership (RAP) for implementation in outpatient drug treatment clinics. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 47(3):239-247. PMID: 26098970. PMC4698960.

Kostick, K., Weeks, M.R., & Mosher, H.I. (2014). Participant and staff experiences in a peer-delivered HIV intervention with drug users. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 9(1):6-18. PMID: 24572079; PMC4318632.

Publications used to inform this project:

Dickson-Gomez, J., Weeks, M.R., Convey, M., & Li, J. (2011) Social psychological dynamics of enhanced HIV risk reduction among peer interventionists. Journal of Community Psychology, 39(4): 369-389. PMID25414528; PMC4235224.

Li, J.H., Weeks, M.R., Borgatti, S., Clair, S., and Dickson-Gomez, J. (2012) A social network approach to demonstrate the diffusion and change process of intervention from Peer Health Advocates to the drug using community. Substance Use and Misuse, 47:474-490. PMID22428816; PMC3740960.

Convey MR, Dickson-Gomez J, Weeks MR, and Li J. (2010). Altruism and peer-led HIV prevention targeting heroin and cocaine users. Qualitative Health Research. 20 (11):1546-1557. PMID: 20639354. PMC3566981.

Weeks, M.R., Convey, M., Dickson-Gomez, J., Li, J., Radda, K., Martinez, M. and Robles, R. (2009). Changing drug users’ risk environments: Peer Health Advocates as multi-level community change agents. In: Schensul, J.J and Trickett, E., eds. Multi-Level Community Based Culturally Situated Interventions, Special Issue, American Journal of Community Psychology 43 (3/4): 330-344. PMID: 19326208. PMC2883050.

Weeks, M.R., Li, J.H., Dickson-Gomez, J., Convey, M., Martinez, M., Radda, K., and Clair, S. (2009). Outcomes of a Peer HIV Prevention Program with Injection Drug and Crack Users: The Risk Avoidance Partnership. Substance Use and Misuse, 44: 253-281. PMID: 19142824. PMC2896279.

Weeks, M.R., Dickson-Gomez, J., Mosack, K.E., Convey, M., Martinez, M., and Clair, S. (2006). The Risk Avoidance Partnership: Training active drug users as Peer Health Advocates. Journal of Drug Issues 36(3): 541-570. PMID: 19337568. PMC2662598

Dickson-Gomez, J., Weeks, M.R., Martinez, M. and Convey, M. (2006). Times and places: Process evaluation of a peer led HIV prevention intervention. Substance Use and Misuse 41(5): 669-690. PMID: 16603454.

Dickson-Gomez, J., Weeks, M.R., Martinez, M. and Radda, K. (2004). Reciprocity and exploitation: Social dynamics in private drug use sites. Journal of Drug Issues, 34(4): 913-932.