Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches First-of-its-Kind Community Grantmaking Program for Substance Use Disorder

Administration will distribute over $5 million annually to help historically underserved municipalities and organizations access Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund grant funding
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches First-of-its-Kind Community Grantmaking Program for Substance Use Disorder

Cecille Joan Avila, Media Relations Manager

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced the launch of a first-in-the-nation community grant program for substance use disorder (SUD) prevention, recovery, and treatment. The administration is investing more than $5 million annually in this grantmaking program, with the goal of increasing the equitable allocation of Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund (ORRF) grants to organizations and municipalities that otherwise could not apply for funding. RIZE, a public-private partnership focused on ending the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, has been selected to build and operate the program. 

RIZE will proactively reach out to potential grantees and support them through the grantmaking process. Grantees will be municipalities and organizations in communities disproportionately impacted by the overdose crisis, who face capacity or resource challenges in hiring dedicated grant writers or pursuing external funding. By creating this new pathway to statewide opioid abatement funding, the administration aims to further increase equitable access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services. 

"People in Massachusetts have experienced the heartbreak and pain brought on by substance use disorder and how much it has hurt those we care about deeply," said Governor Maura Healey. "This program is the next step in finding creative and constructive ways to give people access to the resources they need and meet them in communities where they have the most support, leading to greater success in recovery."

"Improved accessibility to resources for municipalities allows us to combat the opioid crisis at both the state and local level," said Lieutenant Governor Kimberley Driscoll. "The only way to effectively help those so devastated by substance use disorder is to collaborate with those who know their communities best, and RIZE will allow the infusion of direct funding that is so desperately needed to serve people across the state."

Expected to launch this spring, the grantmaking program aims to fund more than 30 grantees in its initial year, with awards ranging from $50,000-$150,000 over a period of 18-24 months. Examples of projects that could be funded include: support for children and family members who have lost a loved one to opioid overdose; support for individuals, including young people, who may be at risk for opioid use disorder and/or overdose; support for individuals in recovery and their family members to promote family healing, increase recovery capital, and support long term recovery; and support for other community-based efforts designed to address opioid use disorder and reduce overdose deaths.  

"We recognize that realizing equity in our health outcomes requires equitable distribution of resources to community and grassroots organizations who may have the skillset, lived experience, and local knowledge, but may lack the ability to compete effectively for grant/foundation support for their work.  With the support of the ORRF Advisory Council, we are explicitly targeting this gap in directing funds to small, community-based organizations with expertise in reaching hard-to-reach populations," said Undersecretary of Health Kiame Mahaniah. "We are hopeful this effort will level the playing field for community organizations, catalyze pilot programs to test new approaches and treatment, and diversify the pool of providers available to fight the challenge of SUD in our communities."

"We know that funding community-driven initiatives is a critical part of our strategy to address the harms caused by the opioid epidemic and are excited to partner with RIZE Massachusetts to bring this initiative to life," said Deirdre Calvert, Director of Addiction Services for the Department of Public Health. 

"This funding represents people who have lost their lives and families that have been torn apart by the opioid overdose crisis, and we accept and embrace the awesome responsibility of putting these resources to work to once and for all end this epidemic," said Julie Burns, President and CEO of RIZE Massachusetts. "RIZE has been the leading grant maker in this space for more than six years, and we deeply appreciate the Healey-Driscoll Administration placing their trust in us."

The Opioid Recovery and Remediation Fund (ORRF) was established in 2020 to receive and administer funds from certain legal settlements relating to allegations brought against companies in connection with the opioid crisis. Over the next 18 years, Massachusetts can anticipate $1 billion to be received through the settlements and used for substance use prevention, harm reduction, treatment, and recovery. 40% of this funding is allocated for municipalities and the other 60% goes directly to the ORRF. To this point, the fund has received over $101 million from opioid settlements, including $62 million in FY23. The community grant program will be funded by the portion of settlement funding that goes to the state. 

RIZE was selected following an RFR process because of its breadth of experience and unique focus on community grantmaking. RIZE will collect community input on the grantmaking process, develop a strategy to reach potential grantees, and create customized, strategic learning opportunities to deepen knowledge and build grantee organizational capacity. In addition to funding, grantees will receive training and technical assistance related to program implementation and sustainability planning.


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches First-of-its-Kind Community Grantmaking Program for Substance Use Disorder

  • Executive Office of Health and Human Services 

    The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is comprised of 11 agencies and the MassHealth program. EOHHS seeks to promote the health, resilience, and independence of the nearly one in every three residents of the Commonwealth we serve. Our public health programs touch every community in the Commonwealth.
  • Help Us Improve  with your feedback

    Please do not include personal or contact information.