Since its founding in 2017,
has made tremendous progress as the only foundation dedicated solely to ending the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.
The Boston-based nonprofit has built a collaborative network of medical experts, employers, educators, benefactors, community groups, elected officials, health care payors and, most importantly, individuals and families who have been devastated by opioid use disorder. RIZE has invested more than $5 million in dozens of organizations and communities that are on the front lines battling this public health crisis.
So much progress for RIZE in just three years -- and then the coronavirus pandemic hit. While the opioid epidemic has not disappeared in the ubiquity of COVID-19, the urgency to contain it has certainly been diminished in the public consciousness and de-prioritized in press coverage.
RIZE was ready to respond. In the last few months, RIZE distributed nearly $500,000 in grants. A
supported nonprofits across Massachusetts, while a
went to Boston residential treatment programs and was supported by the Boston Resiliency Fund. RIZE CEO Julie Burns was interviewed by
WBZ NewsRadio (1030 AM)
twice to discuss the critical need to continue the fight against opioid use disorder during the pandemic.
RIZE remains relentless, and recognizes that COVID-19 is hitting people with opioid use disorder particularly hard. It is threatening their access to harm reduction or treatment services, among other risks.