Impact Areas

The opioid overdose crisis impacts every community in Massachusetts, from our neighborhoods to our workplaces. It is a complex problem and the solution requires a comprehensive and flexible approach. No one policy or program alone is sufficient to address the magnitude of the crisis. RIZE serves as a convener and connector of key stakeholders based on trusted relationships and credibility among practitioners, researchers, decision-makers, community leaders, and people affected by addiction.


RIZE’s multifaceted strategy is designed to address the complexity and enormity of the crisis and will only be effective if it is based on the evolving realities on the ground. We listen to and learn from each other, monitor the success of our collaborations, and hold each other accountable toward a common vision of “zero stigma. zero deaths.” Our work is iterative, designed to both support and expand upon our areas of focus in a manner that maximizes impact.

We organize our work into three focus areas – investing in community, generating knowledge, and convening for action. The interconnectedness of this work has also produced cross-cutting strategies that respond to all three focus areas.

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Investing in Community

We support comprehensive, compassionate, and sustainable approaches across the care continuum. Learn more about our grant programs below.

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Generating Knowledge

We fund and promote independent research and evaluations of programmatic or policy interventions to increase visibility, expand the evidence base, and inform policy. Review our publications here.

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Convening for Action

We build stronger networks by bringing together a diversity of organizations and individuals dedicated to ending the overdose crisis. Stronger networks create space for finding common ground and creating unexpected and novel approaches. View our past and upcoming events here.

Current Programs

Our key grantmaking programs demonstrate how we are disrupting the status quo by selecting, supporting, and scaling the most effective and innovative programs available today and putting them to work saving lives.

Comprehensive Place-based Response to the Opioid Crisis

Access & Equity, Workforce

To provide greater coordination and improved service delivery at the municipal level for those suffering with substance use disorder.

  • Grant Total Award: $310,500
  • Grantees: Chelsea – Community Action Programs Inter-City, Everett Fire Department, Malden Public Health Department, Medford Health Department, Office of Prevention and Outreach; Metropolitan Area Planning Council

HaRT Continuing Education Units

Harm Reduction, Workforce

To develop two, 90-minute continuing education courses for social workers about the principles and practices of harm reduction.

  • Grant Total Award: $37,775
  • Grantees: National Harm Reduction Coalition and the National Association of Social Workers, Massachusetts

    HaRT Scholars Program

    Harm Reduction, Workforce

    To create a specialized internship program – the first of its kind in the country – that will develop a pipeline of social workers who are trained in harm reduction.

    • Grant Total Award: $812,419
    • Grantees: Bridgewater State University: Boston College; Simmons University;
      Evaluator: Northeastern University’s Public Evaluation Lab

    Identifying Opportunities to Innovate and Promote Best Practices in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment within Pharmacies

    Harm Reduction, Workforce

    To survey pharmacists to better understand current attitudes, knowledge and practices in serving people with OUD. Findings to inform innovative investments in pharmacies and pharmacists as a key intervention point in the OUD care continuum.

    • Grant Total Award: $175,000.00
    • Grantee: Commonwealth Medicine University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

    Innovations in Anti-Racism to Address the Opioid Crisis

    Access & Equity

    To improve access to addiction treatment by reducing the stigma and structural barriers faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

    • Grant Total Award: $967,200
    • Grantees: Boston Public Health Commission; Casa Esperanza; Codman Square Health Center; Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts; Evaluator: Cambridge Health Alliance, Health Equity Lab

      Insights and Solutions – Investigator Led Research

      Access & Equity

      To initiate research and data analysis to increase access to treatment for opioid use disorder and contribute to developing the evidence base

      • Grant Total Award: $468,265
      • Grantees: Boston Public Health Commission/Institute for Community Health; Brandeis University, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

        Together in Recovery

        Access & Equity

        To foster an accessible, integrated treatment and recovery network in Massachusetts that champions evidence-based approaches, supports multiple pathways to recovery, and puts people in charge of their treatment choices.

        • Total Award: $320,322
        • Vendor: C4 Innovations

        Understanding & Bolstering the Harm Reduction Workforce in Massachusetts

        Harm Reduction, Workforce

        To identify, quantify, and understand the harm reduction workforce and build capacity, support practitioners/harm reductionists in their current roles, and provide educational opportunities for growth.

        • Total Award: $70,000.00
        • Grantee: Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management

          Enabling Health: Enhancing Harm Reduction Services in Massachusetts

          Access & Equity, Harm Reduction

          To expand existing harm reduction services and build an infrastructure to offer clinical addiction services within non-clinical settings.

          • Grant Amount: $1,808,555.25
          • Grantees: AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod; Greater Lawrence Family Health Center; HRH413, Kraft Center for Community Health; Life Connection Center

          Saving Lives, Improving Health: Redesigning Opioid Use Disorder Care

          Access & Equity

          To expand the system of low threshold community-based, on-demand treatment and support long-term treatment to improve health and quality of life.

          • Total Award: $2,796,816.00
          • Grantees: Boston Health Care for the Homeless; Brockton Neighborhood Health Center; Lynn Community Health Center. Community HealthLink (Year-one only) Cambridge Health Alliance (Design only) Center for Human Development (Design only)
          • Evaluator: Institute for Community Health