2,000+ People Died From Opioid Overdoses in Massachusetts Last Year - NBC Boston

2,000+ People Died From Opioid Overdoses in Massachusetts Last Year

Find NBC Boston in your area

Channel 10 on most providers

Channel 60 and 8 Over the Air

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    While the rate of deaths has slowed, the number of them is rising, with more than 2,000 opioid-related deaths estimated last year. no description

    (Published Thursday, May 11, 2017)

    Massachusetts officials report more than 2,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses last year, as the focus of the epidemic continues to shift toward the synthetic drug fentanyl.

    [CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT]

    Quarterly data from the Department of Public Health also shows as many as 479 opioid-related deaths in the first three months of 2017.


    Boston had the most opioid-related deaths of any city or town in 2016 with 196, followed by Lowell with 63, Fall River with 62, Worcester with 56, New Bedford with 55, Lynn with 47, Quincy and Brockton with 42 apiece, Springfield with 41 and Weymouth with 38.

    [OPIOID-RELATED OVERDOSE DEATHS, BY TOWN]

    Fentanyl was present in nearly 70 percent of the deaths last year, a nearly four-fold increase from just two years earlier.


    By contrast, heroin was present in about one of three deaths last year, compared to as many as three of four in 2014.

    Photo credit: Massachusetts Department of Public Health

    Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders calls fentanyl "the killer on the streets right now."

    She also notes fewer deaths related to prescription opioids, a sign that a new prescription monitoring program is working.


    Get the latest from NBC Boston anywhere, anytime:

    App

    Download our FREE app for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.