Illegal drugs behind most Massachusetts overdose deaths in 2013, 2014

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BOSTON (AP) — State health officials say illegally obtained drugs were to blame for a majority of the more than 2,000 overdose deaths reported in Massachusetts during 2013 and 2014.

The Boston Globe reports a Massachusetts Department of Public Health study released Thursday found that 85 percent of the 2,212 people who died from overdoses during the two-year period had used either heroin or fentanyl.

Only 8.3 percent of overdose victims who died during that time span had a prescription for an opioid drug.

The report also states that people recently released from prison are 50 times more likely to die from an overdose than the general public.

Additionally, the study found that overdose survivors who used treatment drugs such as methadone or Suboxone are less likely to die from another overdose.


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