DPH’s quarterly opioid report
was released last Friday showing that for the first three months of 2018 there were approximately 474 confirmed or estimated deaths from opioids in Massachusetts. This is below the 2017 three-month total of 501 deaths. 2017 was the first year in the past seven in which the death rate for opioids decreased in Massachusetts.
DPH noted in a clinical advisory that between 2014 and 2017 there was an upward trend in opioid-related deaths where cocaine was also present. DPH says that was either because individuals knowingly used cocaine with opioids or they were using cocaine and were unknowingly exposed to highly potent fentanyl that was present in the cocaine.