BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts health officials said Wednesday the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the state fell an estimated 5% from its 2016 peak.
The decline comes despite the growing presence of the synthetic opioid fentanyl as a driver of opioid-related overdose deaths, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.READ MORE: Woman Arrested For Allegedly Stabbing Morton Hospital Worker In Taunton
In 2019, the opioid-related overdose death rate was 29 per 100,000 people. In 2016, it was 30.5 per 100,000 people.
According to the report, there were 2,023 confirmed and estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019. For the same period in 2016, there were 2,097 confirmed opioid-related overdose deaths.READ MORE: Can You Mix And Match COVID Vaccine Booster Shots? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your Questions
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said the latest information “demonstrates that focused investments in substance misuse are having an impact, but there is still a lot of work to do to curb the opioid epidemic in our communities.”
The presence of fentanyl in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths remains high at 93% from January through September of last year.
The percentage of opioid-related overdose deaths where prescription drugs were present declined from 2014 through 2016, and has remained stable since. Prescription opioids were present in about 13% of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019.MORE NEWS: Retired Hudson, New Hampshire, Police Sgt. Donna Briggs Killed By Hit And Run Driver
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