Statement from Julie Burns, President & CEO of RIZE Massachusetts

December 13, 2023


RIZE Massachusetts, an independent nonprofit foundation solely dedicated to funding and creating solutions to end the overdose crisis in Massachusetts, is somewhat encouraged by the slight downward trend in the state’s latest report on overdose deaths. The number of losses, however, is still unacceptably high and shows there is much more work to do to end these persistent tragedies of epidemic proportions.

RIZE continues to work with partners on solutions that will save more lives, including recent efforts to establish overdose prevention centers in Massachusetts. The Department of Public Health’s report on overdose prevention centers is helpful because it underscores the need for a legislative solution that provides a legally protected pathway to providers and property owners who are ready to set up programs and communities ready to host them. These centers have already been shown, in other states and countries, to prevent overdose deaths and increase access to treatment.