HCN News & Notes

Opioid-related Overdose Deaths Continue to Decline in Massachusetts

BOSTON — Opioid-related overdose deaths continued to decline overall year over year in Massachusetts, according to the latest quarterly opioid-related deaths report released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

“While there is still a lot of work to do, we are encouraged to see opioid-related deaths declining and prescriptions for Schedule II drugs significantly decreasing through our reconfigured prescription monitoring program,” said Gov. Charlie Baker. “Our administration was pleased to see the Legislature act on a bill to crack down on fentanyl and now urge them to pass the CARE Act to expand access to treatment and continue the momentum we have against this epidemic.”

The quarterly report found that, for the first three months of 2018, opioid-related overdose deaths declined by an estimated 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} over the first three months of 2017, according to preliminary data. The report also found that the total number of estimated and confirmed opioid-related deaths for 2017 is 2,016, which is 133 fewer deaths than the 2,149 estimated and confirmed deaths in 2016, or a 6{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} decline.

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