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Health Care Leaders Discuss Rise In Opioid Deaths

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   There was a big spike in opioid deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In Massachusetts, where fatal drug overdoses had been declining year-to-year, there was a 5 percent increase in 2020.  Overdose death rates for Black men increased 69 percent.

     Recently, Jessica Collins, director of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts participated in roundtable with other health care leaders and Democratic U.S. Senator Ed Markey.

    They discussed treatment and the public health response to the opioid crisis.

     WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Collins.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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