Massachusetts state police are reporting more than 200 suspected heroin overdose deaths during the first three months of 2015 - figures that do not even include the state's three largest cities.
According to statistics provided by the state police, there were 72 suspected deaths in the month of March: 54 men and 18 women. The average age of those who died was 36.
State police say they don't keep the records of suspected heroin deaths in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.
Gov. Charlie Baker has created a 17-member task force to address the state's heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis, which he has called a public health emergency.
The governor and other administration officials are scheduled to attend a public meeting of the panel at the Statehouse on Thursday.