RIZE Massachusetts Creates ‘Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit’ to Support People with Opioid Use Disorder

April 8, 2021

Foundation Will Demonstrate Resource in Online Event with Attorney General Maura Healey

BOSTON (April 8, 2021) – RIZE Massachusetts, an independent nonprofit foundation working to end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, today announced the release of the “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit,” an online resource for people seeking opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment and recovery services and their loved ones.  The “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit” will be officially unveiled during an online event with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. 

People living with OUD and their allies understand that pathways to recovery are difficult to navigate and can be fraught with stigma and injustice.  In addition to the discrimination people in recovery often face, they must also contend with limited access to the services they need in order to stay alive.  The “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit” is designed to empower individuals who may not have access to accurate information – often through no fault of their own – to manage their addiction and begin to recover safely.  It is accessible online at www.rizema.org/yourrights/,  prints easily, and is available in English and Spanish.  Today’s event will include stories from individuals in recovery and a demonstration of the resource.

“For so many in our community living with opioid use disorder, the thought of recovery and the obstacles to getting there are daunting,” said Julie Burns, President and CEO, RIZE Massachusetts Foundation.  “The ‘Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit’ will help many people better understand their rights to gaining access to treatment, housing, employment, and other supports.  The system is complicated but there are resources where you can get help.”

“It’s imperative that people seeking treatment for opioid use disorder can easily access accurate information about how to get help,” said Attorney General Maura Healey.  “We applaud RIZE for leading this effort to ensure that we meet people struggling with OUD where they are and support them in successful pathways to recovery.  This resource is also a useful tool for counselors, clinicians, family members and others as they work to support treatment and recovery efforts.”

The “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit” explains varied treatment options, including clinical interventions, peer-based recovery support, and harm reduction.  It also includes facts about an individual’s legal rights, self-advocacy tips and resources on the topics of families, housing, education, employment, and the justice system that are important to understand.  Each chapter addresses a social determinant of health that impacts an individual’s recovery from OUD, as well as their overall well-being.  For example, in the employment chapter, it explains that most individuals have the right to take up to 20 weeks off work to get treatment for OUD without losing their job.

The “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit” was developed through RIZE’s Together in Recovery: Supporting Informed Decisions initiative that was launched in April 2019 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.  The Together in Recovery Advisory Committee and Change Team, comprised of advocates, clinicians, and public officials, helped create the “Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit” as a means to improve support for individuals living with OUD.

“Too often we hear about people struggling with recovery because they do not have, or were never provided, important information to make informed decisions about treatment or their quality of life,” said Maryanne Frangules, Executive Director, Massachusetts Organization for Addiction and Recovery.  “We were excited to work with RIZE and other partners on the ‘Your Rights in Recovery Toolkit’ to help correct some of the wrongs that people living with opioid use disorder face and empower them to self-advocate.”


About RIZE Massachusetts

RIZE Massachusetts is an independent nonprofit foundation committed to achieving zero stigma and zero deaths related to opioid use disorder by investing in meaningful solutions and employing broad perspectives that will save lives, reduce harm, and end the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts.  For more information, visit www.rizema.org.