Report Looks At Opioid Crisis In Rural Western Massachusetts

Sep 10, 2019

The rate of prescribing opioids in western Massachusetts has been higher than in other parts of the state. One reason why combating the addiction crisis has been a greater challenge in the region's small and rural communities, according to new research.

Progress on combating the opioid epidemic in Massachusetts has been uneven. While the rate of drug overdose deaths decreased statewide from 2017-2018, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there was a 73 percent increase in the four western counties.

The Massachusetts Health Policy Forum recently released a new report examining the impact of the opioid crisis in small and rural communities in western Massachusetts.

The report was developed by a team led by Constance Horgan, director of the Institute for Behavioral Health at Brandeis University.

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