Report: Massachusetts opioid-related overdose deaths decreased in first nine months of 2018


BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts opioid-related deaths decreased in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 2017, according to a Massachusetts Department of Public Health report released Friday.

The DPH reports that there have been a total of 1,518 opioid-related deaths so far this year, compared to 1,538 deaths in the first nine months of 2017.

The report also found that the presence of fentanyl in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths is continuing to rise– reaching an all-time high at 90 percent in the second quarter of 2018. At the same time, the DPH reports that heroin present in those deaths is decreasing.

“The opioid epidemic, fueled by an all-time high level of fentanyl, remains a tragic public health crisis responsible for taking too many lives in Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “While there is much work left for all of us to do, we are encouraged that overdose deaths and opioid prescriptions continue to decline as searches on the Commonwealth’s Prescription Monitoring Program increase.”

To read the full report, click here.

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