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What Drugs Are Responsible for the High Rate of Overdose Deaths in Massachusetts?

Created On Monday, 21, October 2019
Modified On Tuesday, 01, September 2020

Most of the drug-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts were because of opioids. During 2018 there were 1,617 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) estimates there will have been close to 400 more added to this number. When compared to 2016, however, there was a 2% decrease in the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017. In 2018, there was an estimated 6% decrease in opioid-related deaths from 2016. Fentanyl is connected to most of the opioid-related deaths in the state, which is a synthetic opioid that has effects similar to heroin.

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Among the total opioid-related deaths in 2018, 89% had a positive screen result for fentanyl. During that same year, heroin was present in around 34% of opioid-related overdose deaths. Cocaine was discovered in around 48% of the deaths, and benzodiazepines were present in approximately 38% of the drug-related deaths. However, since 2014, the rate of heroin present in opioid-related deaths has been decreasing. When opioids are described in overdose deaths, it includes heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, opioid pain medication, and other unspecified opioids. These drugs are responsible for most of the drug-related overdose deaths throughout the state of Massachusetts.

If you are struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction in the state, there are effective treatment options to help. Opioids addicts require a medical detox, followed by inpatient treatment, such as long-term or short-term programs. Opioid addiction is an on-going problem within the state, but local authorities and community organizations implement prevention programs and support evidence-based treatment to help people.


Nickolaus Hayes - Author

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