Report: Nearly 1,500 opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts in 2016

Heroin deaths decrease, but fentanyl deaths rise

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – New statistics from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health show opioid-related deaths in the state are on the rise.

The report estimates that opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts rose for a sixth consecutive year, with fentanyl being involved in as many as three-quarters of the fatalities.

The figures released by the Department of Public Health show 1,465 confirmed unintentional overdose deaths in 2016, with another 469 to 562 suspected opioid related deaths awaiting a final review.

The Department of Public Health’s data found that opioid related deaths rose 26% from 2014 to 2015. In Springfield, the number of unintentional overdose deaths doubled in that one-year period.

The report found a decline in the number of deaths blamed on heroin, but that was offset by an increase in fentanyl-related deaths.

Related: Report shows opioid deaths on the rise