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Health officials: Opioid-related deaths drop nearly 11%

August 21, 2019

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts Department of Public Health report shows the number of people who have died of opioid-related overdoses fell nearly 11% in the first six months of 2019.

The Boston Globe reports the preliminary data was compared to the same period last year, which details a downward trend that started in 2017.

The report also documents how overdose deaths are on a decline despite the growing presence of illicit fentanyl in the drug supply.

Fentanyl was found in 92% of the people who died of overdoses and were tested, the highest rate to date.

Gov. Charlie Baker calls the drop in the latest numbers a sign of “continued progress.”

Baker says the state is working to invest more than $246 million into prevention, treatment, recovery and education solutions to the issue.

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