The state of Massachusetts is currently experiencing its opioid-related epidemic amongst a countrywide opioid epidemic. This ever-growing opioid crisis is one of the most complex challenges that our healthcare professionals, government, and families in our state are facing right now. It is unfortunate to say that this epidemic is something that is far from over. It is very likely to get worse before it gets any better. Massachusetts has one of the highest opioid-related death rates in the entire country and we are still in a very vulnerable position. According to MTF:
In 2016, Massachusetts had the fourth-highest rate of opioid-related deaths in the nation at 30.2 per 100,000 of population, trailing only Ohio (33.6), New Hampshire (36.3), and West Virginia (45.2). Opioid-related deaths nearly quadrupled during the second and third waves in Massachusetts, increasing steadily from 560 in 2010 to 2,154 in 2016.
The main reason for the dramatic increase in opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts is due to the increased use of heroin and the growing prevalence of fentanyl. Nearly 90 percent of all opioid-related deaths in 2018 were fentanyl-related. Fentanyl is extremely potent and takes only the smallest amounts to kill someone. It would only take about 25 kilos of Fentanyl to wipe out the entire state of Massachusetts. Drug dealers will often add fentanyl to other drugs, like heroin, to make the drug more potent, daring them back for more.
What Is Being Done to Fight Opioid Addiction In Massachusetts
Massachusetts has taken many steps to target this epidemic. New regulations have been implemented such as continuing medical education for providers that prescribe pain medication as well as checking IDs at the pharmacy before distributing prescriptions. Doctors are also doing what they can to limit the amount of opioid medication that they are filling so that less is available. Patients in Massachusetts are also now being required to undergo an assessment for prior drug abuse before receiving any kind of opioid prescription. As a result, we are now showing one of the lowest percentages of adults filling prescriptions for opioids. While all of these steps help lower the abuse and addiction to prescription opioids, it doesn’t help much for the use of illicit opioid drugs like heroin and fentanyl. By increasing the availability of Narcan, a drug used to reverse overdoses, and increasing availability to treatment programs, it is hoped this will prevent more deaths in the long term. While opioid addiction in Massachusetts is an issue that affects countless communities, there are steps being taken to fight back against the deadly disease.
What Makes Opioids So Addictive?
Opioids are one of the most addictive substances available. All it takes is one time of use to be addicted. This is because the effects of opioids are quick and powerful and once a person uses for the first time, they will often continue the use in an attempt to chase that initial feeling again. This results in reckless behavior like using more at a time and more often. Opioids create a feeling of calmness, pleasure, and numbness. As opioid use continues, the chances for an overdose get greater as the doses taken must get larger to get the same feeling. If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of addiction, being part of a statistic in this opioid epidemic does not have to be the end of your story. You can be treated and you can recover from your addiction and lead a happy, fulfilled life. Our location here in Cohasset, MA, provides a top tier level of care for each of our patients. Our team of qualified professionals is available 24/7 to answer any questions or concerns you may have. It is time to put the pain and misery of addiction in your past and rebuild your life into something you are proud of. Now is the time to make the change. We want to help you do it!