SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – According to the latest information released from the State Department of Public Health, more than 2,100 people in Massachusetts died of an opioid-related overdose last year.
That’s a five-percent increase from 2019 and the first increase in deaths in three years. Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi told 22News he’s not surprised that the number of deaths increased during the pandemic.
“The stresses, the lack of socialization, the depression that has kicked in because of the pandemic, the fact that people lost their jobs, people have been struggling financially, mentally and physically through the pandemic has lead people to self-medicated behaviors of opioid and substance use.”
If you or a family member are struggling with addiction there are resources available. Visit the Opioid Task Force’s website for information.
Black men saw the largest increase with deaths rising by 69-percent. Nationally, CDC data shows drug overdose deaths surged by 29 percent between September 2019 and September 2020.