Inside the Numbers: SouthCoast Opioid Overdose Deaths in 2017
BOSTON — State health officials say deaths related to opioid overdoses in Massachusetts are on the decline, but that may not necessarily hold true on the SouthCoast.
The state Department of Public Health issued its quarterly report Tuesday. It estimates five percent fewer opioid-related deaths during the first three months of 2018, as compared to the same period a year ago. For all of 2017, the state reported 2,016 confirmed or estimated deaths, 133 less than in all of 2016.
While the report shows opioid-related overdoses are on the decline in New Bedford and Fall River, as well as in three local suburban communities, the number of overdose deaths rose in three SouthCoast suburbs from 2016 to 2017.
New Bedford had 55 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017, down from 62 in 2016. Fall River had 63, down from 84.
But Acushnet had double the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017 (four) as in 2016 (two). Freetown had three overdose deaths in 2017, after not having any in 2016. Westport had five opioid-related fatal overdoses in 2017, up from just one in 2016.
Fairhaven had four opioid-related overdose deaths in both 2017 and 2016.
Lakeville and Marion each had just one opioid-related overdose death in 2017, the same each town had in 2016. Rochester continued its trend over the past three years with zero.
Dartmouth had three fatal overdoses in 2017, compared with seven in 2016. Mattapoisett dropped from two deaths in 2016 to just one in 2017, and Wareham dropped from 17 down to 16.