Partners, GE help lead initiative to combat opioid epidemic in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts — one of the states hit hardest by the opioid epidemic — local business leaders, healthcare professionals and elected officials have launched a nonprofit to address the rising rates of opioid abuse in the state, according to the Boston Globe.

RIZE Massachusetts is looking to raise $50 million over the next three years to support care initiatives designed help individuals addicted to opioids adhere to treatment and maintain recovery. The nonprofit has already raised $13 million courtesy of its first donors: General Electric, Boston-based Partners HealthCare, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and the 1199 SEIU healthcare union.

"For too long, medicine has failed to treat addiction as the chronic disease that it is," said David Torchiana, MD, president and CEO of Partners HealthCare. "This effort holds promise because it is focused on the ongoing process of recovery. It is the only approach that will defeat this epidemic."

Opioids kill five times the number of people than car accidents in Massachusetts. Roughly six people die of an opioid overdose every day.

More articles on opioids: 
Report: Premature death rate surges in suburban areas due to drug overdoses 
Physicians and addiction specialists look to marijuana to help solve opioid epidemic 
Sen. McCaskill demands internal documents from 5 leading opioid drugmakers

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