Thursday, June 9, 2022

Opioid deaths continue to rise in MA "It’s pretty terrifying"

"THE NUMBER OF OPIOID overdose deaths in Massachusetts rose by 9 percent in 2021, a worrying number in a state that had started seeing some success in addressing the opioid epidemic when COVID-19 hit and reversed that progress. 

“These are sobering and devastating statistics,” said Deirdre Calvert, director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "
Continue reading the CommonWealth Magazine article

"More people died of opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts last year than in any previous year, according to a grim new report out Wednesday that reflects both the mental health toll of the pandemic and the pervasiveness of fentanyl-contaminated drugs.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s twice-yearly opioid report showed that opioid-related deaths surged by 9 percent in 2021, to an all-time high of 2,290 lives lost. That is lower than the 15 percent increase seen nationally. But Massachusetts continues to have a high rate of overdose deaths compared to other states, the 17th highest in 2020, the most recent year for which state-by-state comparisons are available."
Continue reading the Boston Globe article (subscription may be required)

"However, according to the State data, Franklin's situation was trending in a better direction. Some 7 people lost their lives in 2018 , 5 in 2019,  3 in 2020, and 3 in 2021.

"Today's report underscores the harmful impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and the scourge of fentanyl have had on those struggling with addiction, and we are committed to continuing our work with the Legislature and our colleagues in the addiction and recovery community to boost access to services and treatment," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement."
Continue reading the Franklin Observer article

At the end of August 2021, there was an event on the Town Common in recognition of the 2104 opioid deaths in MA during 2020. Stay tuned, it is likely there will be a similar event at the end of August 2022.

2104 purple flags on the Town Common to acknowledge the opioid deaths in 2020
2104 purple flags on the Town Common to acknowledge the opioid deaths in 2020

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