Opioid related overdose deaths on the decline in Massachusetts

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BOSTON– The rate of opioid-related overdose deaths fell in Massachusetts, nearly five-percent from its peak in 2016, despite the increase of fentanyl as a cause of opioid-related overdose deaths.

The information is based on the most recent quarterly opioid surveillance report released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

In 2019, the opioid-related overdose death rate was 29 per 100,000 people, compared to 30.5 per 100,000 people in 2016. Preliminary data shows that in 2019, there were 2,023 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths, while for the same period in 2016 there were 2,097 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths.

While fentanyl opioid-related overdose deaths remains high at 93 percent from January to September 2019, the rate of heroin or likely heroin present in opioid-related overdose deaths has dropped since 2014.

Learn more about the statewide response to the opioid crisis. To get help for a substance use disorder, visit www.helplinema.org or call the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline at (800) 327-5050.

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