For the first time in 15 years, new data shows fewer people died of opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts.
Michael Botticelli, the director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse, said 594 people died of morphine or heroin poisoning in the last year for which there is data, 2008. That's a decrease compared to 2007.
"What's really encouraging is that even though the number of deaths is still incredibly high, we saw a decrease in deaths by 43 over 2007," Botticelli said.
"This is an indication to us that we think many of the strategies that we've implemented in reducing drug abuse and intervening in overdoses might be taking hold."
There are more significant reductions in cities where friends and family members of addicts have been trained to administer a drug to counteract an overdose.
This program aired on December 8, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.