Opioid-related overdose deaths falling in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — Opioid-related overdose deaths are continuing to fall in Massachusetts.

Governor Charlie Baker is expected to release his plan to address the opioid crisis Tuesday, including new legislation and administrative actions.

A report released Monday by the Department of Public Health found that the 1,470 estimated and confirmed overdose deaths in the first nine months of 2017 represented a decline of about 10 percent compared to the 1,637 deaths in the first nine months of 2016.

It’s the second quarterly report estimating a decline.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker said that while the report is encouraging, there are still too many people in Massachusetts dying from opioid-related overdoses.

The report found fentanyl continues to be a major factor fueling the crisis.

The rate of fentanyl present in the toxicology of opioid-related overdose deaths continues to rise, even as the rate of prescription opioids and heroin present in opioid-related overdose deaths continues to fall.