Massachusetts is home to Plymouth Rock, where the Pilgrims first landed. However, its easy access to the world and to the rest of the American region means that the state also has a growing substance abuse and addiction problem.
In fact, it has one of the worst drug overdose death rates within the United States linked to opioid substance abuse and addiction. Although it has been witnessing a decline in these rates, the problem does not seem to be dissipating.
In spite of its scenic backdrop and deep history, the state has been struggling with a growing substance abuse problem. According to the NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health - for 2014, for instance, more than 13 percent of its residents above the age of 12 years had abused illicit drugs the month before the survey. This number was above the total national averages for the same segment of the population.
In the same way, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services in Massachusetts reported that opioids were linked to the highest number of admissions into an addiction treatment and rehabilitation center in the state. They were followed closely by alcohol.
For people enrolled in these programs and centers, 58 percent were addicted to opioids drugs. Alcohol was responsible for 33 percent of these admissions, while marijuana took up 5 percent of the enrollments. Other drugs of abuse were linked to 4 percent of the admissions.
The opioid epidemic has not left Massachusetts untouched. In fact, the state has been struggling with abnormally high rates of opioid abuse and addiction, as well as the related problems of overdose and fatality.
Most of these overdose incidents are driven by opioid use disorders that underlie the problems that most people struggle with. This is not surprising considering that research studies report that people who are addicted to opioids have the highest risk of suffering a drug overdose as well as of losing their lives. The deaths related to opioids in the state were 4 times higher in 2015 than they had been 15 years before in 2000.
The state of Massachusetts witnessed a drop of 3 percent in the total number of overdose deaths linked to opioid substances between 2016 and 2017. The following year, this number dropped to another 2 percent. However, progress seems to be slowing.
The Department of Public Health also released preliminary data that showed that there was no change between 2018 and 2019 with respect to the total number of overdose deaths among local residents. Medical examiners also reported that 93 percent of these cases had abused fentanyl - one of the most problematic opioid substances available today.
To deal with these drug and alcohol related problems - among many others - there are number of well-established addiction treatment and rehabilitation facilities in the state. If you are addicted to any substance of abuse in Massachusetts, you should consider checking into one of these centers so that you can get the help that you need to overcome the problem.