Fentanyl overdose deaths rising in Massachusetts

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that’s usually prescribed to cancer patients for chronic pain.

Deadly New Drugs
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) -  Heroin-related overdose deaths are down in Massachusetts yet opioid overdose deaths have continued to increase. There were 97 opioid overdose deaths in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin Counties in 2014, rising to 135 in 2015.

The 22News I-Team dug deeper into the state’s opioid crisis and discovered three quarters of the victims who died of opioid overdoses in Massachusetts last year had an illicit drug called fentanyl in their system.

What is fentanyl and why is it so deadly? 22News I-Team reporter Tamara Sacharczyk got answers to those questions and found out what law enforcement is doing to stop the infiltration of opioids in Massachusetts.

See the report on FENTANYL ACCESS, Thursday, May 4 on 22News at 6PM.

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