Boston Mass

Overdose Deaths Decline In Massachusetts

While many states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania saw a staggering increase in the number of overdose deaths last year, Massachusetts actually recorded a sizable decline.

As reported by The Telegram of Worcester, the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts fell an estimated 8.3 percent from 2016 to 2017, marking the first year-over-year decline in several years, the Department of Public Health announced Wednesday.

A total of 1,977 people died of suspected or confirmed opioid overdoses in 2017, accounting for 178 fewer deaths than the 2,155 logged the previous year. From 2015 to 2016, the opioid overdose death rate increased 22 percent.

“It is a promising trend that for the first time last year we saw overdose deaths actually decrease,” Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said in a statement. “Today’s report is a welcome development, however, there is so much more work to do to increase access to treatment – particularly for individuals who are Hispanic.”

The Department of Public Health’s data on EMS incidents involving the administration of naloxone, also known as Narcan, show the number of such calls more than doubled from the 8,035 reported in 2013 to 18,355 in 2016.

In the first three quarters of 2017, there were 13,785 EMS incidents involving naloxone, down slightly from the 13,917 in the same period of 2016, according to the DPH data.

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To read more about how overdose deaths in Massachusetts declined last year, please visit Telegram.com.

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