Forum in Boston regarding opioid epidemic

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey are among those planning to participate in a panel discussion on efforts to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

The event is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston.

The panel discussion will also include Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian and Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders.

Opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts appear to be increasing above totals that were high enough last year for officials to deem it a public health crisis, according to statistics released Wednesday.

The state has now confirmed 1,089 opioid overdose deaths in 2014. That represents a 63 percent increase over 2012 (668) and a 20 percent increase over cases for 2013 (911).

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