For many individuals with substance use disorders, finding accurate information about how or where to seek treatment poses an enormous challenge. A new online toolkit developed by Rize Massachusetts aims to eliminate those barriers.

The toolkit, which Rize unveiled Thursday alongside Attorney General Maura Healey, compiles a wide range of resources on topics including treatment pathways, milestones for the recovery process, and protected rights for people in recovery, all connected on a single platform.

"All of this information exists somewhere, but in about 800 different places and often lost in pages upon pages of lots of jargon and medical jargon," said Kelly Danckert, a training associate with Health Resources in Action.

The toolkit is available in English and Spanish, and it also links directly to the state's substance use hotline to ensure users can get any remaining questions answered.

In addition, the site includes resources for loved ones and others who interact with people with substance use disorders. Employers, for example, can learn about how best to support any workers who are in long-term recovery.

Healey said the easy-to-use site is an important resource, particularly for families whose struggles with addiction have been exacerbated by more than a year of strain under the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Public Health indicated there were 1,517 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2020, 33 more than in the first nine months of 2019.

"We need to do all that we can for those who are suffering and for their families," Healey said. "This toolkit is going to help do just that." 

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