The number of deaths related to opioid overdoses in Massachusetts continued to soar in 2016, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) underlined in its latest report.
According to the newly released DPH report, nearly 2,000 opioid-related deaths occurred in Massachusetts last year. Unintentional overdoses accounted for a total of 1,465 deaths, while 469 to 562 deaths were suspected to be caused by opioid-related issues.
The report also revealed that fentanyl played a role in as many as three-quarters of the fatalities recorded last year.
Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement, "The opioid epidemic continues to threaten individuals and families all across Massachusetts and the country. Our administration will continue our intense focus on fighting this epidemic by further increasing treatment options and expanding support."
In 2015, the state recorded an estimated 1,751 deaths due to opioid overdoses, including suspected opioid-linked deaths. In 2014, the state saw 1,379 deaths from opioid deaths.
The state governor's office claims that state spending on opioid addiction prevention and treatment has been increased 50 per cent since Gov. Baker took office in January 2015.