Opioid-related deaths decline by 10 p.c in Mass.


fentanyl /Associated Press

A vile of fentanyl seized in a drug raid.

The variety of individuals dying from opioid overdoses in Mbadachusetts dropped by a shocking 10 p.c in the course of the first 9 months of this yr, in contrast with the identical interval in 2016, in response to new knowledge that gives mounting proof the opioid disaster could also be easing.

The report from the state Department of Public Health is the second consecutive documentation of a decline in opioid-related overdose deaths. In August, the state reported that deaths have been down 5 p.c within the first six months of the yr.

Still, the loss of life toll stays excessive, with some 1,470 lives misplaced to opioid overdoses from January via September.

“This new report exhibits some development strains which can be transferring in the proper route as we work to combat the opioid and heroin epidemic in Mbadachusetts, however there are nonetheless too many individuals dying from overdoses,’’ Governor Charlie Baker mentioned in an announcement.

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Synthetic fentanyl bought illegally continues to be the main consider overdose deaths, with the drug present in eight out of 10 deaths for which a toxicology display screen was carried out. Prescription opioids have been current solely 16 p.c of the time.

“Stemming the tide of this opioid epidemic is an enormous enterprise and it’ll take time to deal with the struggling that underlies addictions,’’ Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders mentioned in an announcement. “We proceed to give attention to a robust public well being method of prevention, intervention, therapy, and restoration and to strengthen the therapy system.’’

Felice J. Freyer could be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @felicejfreyer

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