By Felice J. Freyer on May 12, 2021

Massachusetts took a number of steps to try to stave off a large increase in the number of overdoses during the COVID crisis.


Opioid-related overdose deaths increased by 5 percent in Massachusetts last year and rose dramatically among non-Hispanic Black men, as the pandemic erased the state’s recent progress in combating the addiction crisis.

In its semiannual report, released Wednesday, the state Department of Public Health revealed that there were 2,104 opioid deaths in 2020 — 102 more than 2019 and two more than the peak year of 2016.

The death rate per 100,000 among Black men surged the most, up 69 percent. (In contrast, the statewide increase per 100,000 was a modest 5.2 percent.) And while their increase wasn’t as steep, Hispanic men continued to have the highest rates of overdose deaths in Massachusetts.

Read more via Boston Globe >>