Overdose Death Rate in Massachusetts Exceeds National Average

Mass overdose deaths soar

The existence of overdose “hot spots” around the country is a phenomenon that’s been occurring for quite some time throughout the opioid crisis. These “hot spots” are concentrated areas around the country where overdoses and death rates are higher due to various causes. Recently, one such area happens to be basically the entire state of Massachusetts, where the overdose death rate appears to be higher than in most other parts of the nation.

A new federal report was recently released that showed how bad the problem really is in Massachusetts. Last year the state saw 31.8 deaths per 100,000 people. That’s a stark difference to the national average of 21.7 per 100,000. Actually, it’s roughly 10,000 overdose deaths higher than the national average, which is awful, but I can personally attest to the intense opioid problem in the state, considering I lived through it.

According to one of the latest CDC reports, the overdose death rate in the Bay State is the 10th worst in the country. As time goes on, the problem gets worse due large in part to the increase of the availability of synthetic, ultra-strong opioids like fentanyl and the many fentanyl analogs that are floating around and finding their way into the American drug supply. Additional data from the CDC shows the increase in overdose deaths from these laboratory-synthesized drugs has risen exponentially since 2013. A study that was published earlier this year in the American Journal of Public Health also shows prescription opioid deaths were five times higher in 2016 as compared to 1999 when the opioid crisis was in its infancy.

Opioid crisis at its worst

More and more data is coming out that empirically shows how the crisis is worsening as time goes on. It’s not an opinion or an assumption, it’s a fact. A representative from the Massachusetts Medical Society said, “We must continue to work to expand the availability of appropriate treatment, including expanded coverage for evidence-based non-opioid pain treatment options. Fentanyl is present of 90 percent of fatal drug overdoses in our state, so we will continue to work with all concerned parties on increasing efforts to prevent fentanyl-induced overdoses."

As the problem deepens in Massachusetts, the rest of the country is following suit right behind it. If we don’t amend the problem and come up with quick, workable solutions, most of the entire country is going to fall victim to this problem. We can no longer sit back and wait for someone else to fix it. It’s our responsibility to take a stand and not just rest on our laurels hoping someone else comes up with some bright idea that will fix everything. This is our country. These are our families that are getting addicted. It’s our children who are dying. We need to fix this. It doesn’t matter what it takes or what we have to do, but we need to clean up the mess the opioid problem has caused. No one else is going to do it. This is our responsibility.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.