"The rate of opioid-related hospital visits in Massachusetts dropped slightly between 2016 and 2017, the first decline since those numbers were first tracked in 2010, according to a new analysis.
The analysis, released Wednesday by the Health Policy Commission, found that rates of substance exposure in newborns also decreased by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017, along with the 2.3 percent drop in hospital visits.
The number of people dying of opioid overdoses was also on the decline over that time period, falling from 2,100 to an estimated 2,050, according to Department of Public Health data. The commission, in its report, notes that the drop came while the national opioid mortality rate climbed 11 percent, but that the rate in Massachusetts nonetheless remained high compared to other states, at nearly twice the national average."
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