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Seed Grant Projects | Funded Teams
Massachusetts Opioid Crisis: Data-driven Approaches for Community Resilience Initiatives


Opioid overdoses claim the lives of six people a day in Massachusetts. Proactively addressing the epidemic via resilience initiatives is a step towards curtailing abuse and deaths. We plan to expand and scale evidence-based efforts to deploy a strategy against opioids, substance abuse, and rising overdose rates. The goal is to prioritize prevention, reduce risk factors, and promote resilient approaches for impacted groups. Study investigators’ strong connections with public-health practitioners and community engagement centers enable the proposed community-based prevention and intervention approaches.


This team has developed a story map offering a spatial perspective on social ties and the opioid crisis in Boston. "Opioid abuse takes lives and profoundly affects surviving family members, friends, and society. Every day more than 89 Americans die from an opioid overdose. In Massachusetts associated medical treatment expenditures reach $340 million annually (CDC, 2016; Sullivan, 2018). In recent years, the opioid epidemic has been impacted by an influx of cheap heroin and the appearance of Fentanyl and Fentanyl-laced illicit drugs (Katz, 2018). Overdoses, fueled by opioids, are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old surpassing gun violence and car accidents (Salem, 2017)."

To view this story map, click the image below or click here.


Additionally, this team has developed a story map offering a spatial perspective on the naloxone component of the opioid crisis in Massachusetts. "Opioid-related overdoses and overdose  death data illustrate how Massachusetts is dramatically impacted by the opioid epidemic, and how it is extending across the state. Data-driven observations subsequently emphasize the disparities in access to naloxone across Massachusetts. Presently, there are nine experiencing multiple overdose deaths per year without pharmacies providing naloxone that could benefit from implementing a Standing Order policy."

To view the story map, click the image below or CLICK HERE.

Average Annual Opioid-related Death Rate



Team Members

Cordula Robinson

College of Professional Studies

Christina Lee

Bouve College of Health Sciences

Francesca Grippa

College of Professional Studies
Earlene Avalon

Earlene Avalon

College of Professional Studies

Daniel Aldrich

Associate Director for the Middle East and Asia Pacific