Officials: Fentanyl Detected in 90 Percent of Mass. Overdose Deaths - NECN

Officials: Fentanyl Detected in 90 Percent of Mass. Overdose Deaths

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    Officials: Fentanyl Detected in 90 Percent of Mass. Overdose Deaths
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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 23: Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City. New York State Attorney General Eric Scheiderman's office announced Friday that authorities in New York state have made a record drug bust, seizing 33 kilograms of heroin and 2 kilograms of fentanyl. According to the attorney general's office, it is the largest seizure in the 46 year history of New York's Organized Crime Task Force. Twenty-five peopole living in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona and New Jersey have been indicted in connection with the case. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

    State public health officials say fentanyl has been detected in 90 percent of the toxicology tests conducted on people who died from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts this year.

    That figure is higher than it's ever been, and the latest report on opioid deaths from the Department of Public Health also shows cocaine is now more likely than heroin to show up in toxicology tests.

    Officials point to those developments as evidence of the changing nature of the deadly epidemic. The agency has issued an advisory to medical providers warning them of an increase in fentanyl-laced cocaine.

    On a more positive note, the report says the overall number of overdose deaths continues to decline and opioid prescriptions have dropped 30 percent since the 2016 launch of a prescription monitoring program.

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