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Baker calls opioid addiction “an unselfish enemy”

Deaths from opioid overdoses in Massachusetts start to level out after a slight decline, as fatal fentanyl infiltrates the illegal…

Deaths from opioid overdoses in Massachusetts start to level out after a slight decline, as fatal fentanyl infiltrates the illegal drug supply according to data released Friday.

The State Institute for Public Health reported 1

,518 confirmed and estimated opioid related overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 1,538 in the period last year.

It’s a barely 1.3 percent drop, which is likely to be erased when more deaths are recorded.

Overdose mortality decreased by 5 percent from 2016 to 2017, but it seems unlikely that a similar decline will be recorded for 2018.

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“This is a relentless enemy,” Governor Charlie Baker said Friday at a forum on the Opioid crisis hosted by the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. “I think one of the things that happen sometimes in public life is that we work with something, then we say we fixed it and then we continue on to something else. This is one where we will need to stay on for quite some time. “

Although the state has increased access to addiction and to overdosage drug naloxone, the presence of the powerful synthetic fentanyl has created strong headwinds against these efforts.

Studies of the drugs in the body of those who exaggerated fat showed that 90 percent had taken synthetic black market fentanyl, the highest proportion ever, during the second quarter of this year. Heroin was present in 37 percent, and prescription painkillers in 17 percent.

Fentanyl is laced in not just heroin without cocaine and other drugs, Baker said on the forum.

“It’s very cheap to do, it’s very easy to move around, and it’s a very important problem,” he said. “Fentanyl was not really part of this conversation when we started four years ago, and it has exploded on stage in a way that completely changes the dynamics of almost everyone.”

Baker, a Republican, said state officials work with local and federal authorities to stop fentanylin flow.

During the spring, Legislature and Baker signed an action that makes it easier to prosecute fentanyl dealers. Last month, Baker submitted legislation aimed at $ 5 million to support a coordinated regional strategy to combat fentanyl by Massachusetts municipal police departments.

Although overdose deaths fell a total of 2017, the death rate grew up for a group – which increased 44 percent among non-Hispanic black men. Dr Monica Bharel, Public Health Commissioner, said the state is conducting public awareness campaigns aimed at black societies.

The state’s latest quarterly report on opioid related deaths also noted:

P ainkiller recipe in the third quarter of 2018 decreased 35 percent compared with the first quarter of 2015.

M age 25 to 34 represents the largest group treated with acute medical services for opioid related overdoses during others
quarter 2018.

During his 20-minute conversation on Friday, Baker emphasized the extensive character of the crisis and noted that it undoubtedly affects the business leaders who participated in the event.

“If you think there are no people in your business that are dealing with the problem, if you have more than 20 people working for you, you’re wrong,” he told all employers in the room. . “Just do not think about this when it comes to those people who actually work directly with their own addiction. Because this affects men and wives and brothers and sisters and sons and daughters and neighbors and coworkers.”

Felice J. Freyer can be reached at feli[email protected] Follow her on Twitter @felicejfreyer . Now Matt Stout at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @mattpstout

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