Apr 23, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Opioid Overdose Death Cases Soared

Feb 22, 2017 03:30 PM EST

Fentanyl is an opioid medication prescription which is used to reduce severe pain from cancer. But the fentanyl that causes the death of a lot of people was sold illegally, and it is sometimes mixed with heroin.

An addiction specialist, Dr. Ruth Potee, from the Franklin Recovery Center in Greenfield, said that in the past year the effectiveness of the drug as well as opioid has increased, also led to an increasing number of deaths. The way Potee describes their area situation, they are in need of more clinics that will be able to assist every patients since there are only seven available methadone clinics western Mass.

Potee stated that, "Every methadone clinic in western Massachusetts is chock a block full, and the wait lists are six to eight weeks. Six to eight weeks is a guaranteed death, or dozens of deaths. This is not a time for 'not-in-my-backyard' with methadone treatment."

As reported in CDC, the Department of Public Health in Massachusets has released a preliminary data that the number of deaths due to opioid overdose was estimated to be 24 percent higher compared to last year's statistic. The reported numbers of deaths blamed from the use of heroin were declined, while those from the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl-related deaths had increased.

"The opioid epidemic continues to threaten individuals and families all across Massachusetts and the country," according to Charlie Baker, the Republican Gov. Baker swore that his administration would continue to add treatment options for those people who are suffering with addiction while giving support to the law enforcement in arresting drug traffickers or pushers who are selling these addictive and deadly drugs according to the report in Mass.

The governor signed into what he called the most comprehensive law in the nation to fight opioid addiction suffering that includes a seven-day limit on first-time prescriptions for opiate painkllers. People frequently get addicted to heroin after first getting attached into painkillers that were either prescribed or taken illegally.

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