Illegally Obtained Drugs Are To Blame For A Majority Of Mass. Overdose Deaths In 2013 And 2014

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On Thursday the governor's office released a new analysis of the state's opioid epidemic, focusing on overdose deaths from 2013 to 2014.

Among its findings:

-- Opioid-related deaths have increased by 350 percent in Massachusetts in 15 years.

-- In 2013-'14, opioids accounted for more than a quarter of all fatalities in the 18-24 age group. For people ages 25-34, opioids were responsible for more than a third of all deaths.

-- Prescription drugs may fuel the epidemic, but illegally obtained substances — like heroin and fentanyl — are more closely linked to overdose-related deaths.

-- In 2013 and 2014, opioid-related deaths were recorded in two-thirds of Massachusetts municipalities.

Marylou Sudders, the secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, joined WBUR Friday morning to discuss the report's findings.

This segment aired on September 16, 2016.


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Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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