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Though the overall number of drug-related deaths among Massachusetts residents last year was down by 8 percent, to 1,977, over 2016’s toll of 2,155, it’s still estimated to have been the second deadliest year on record, the data shows. Most point to the dominance of fentanyl – a synthetic opioid many times strong than street heroin – in illegal markets as the driving factor.
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Amid drop in overdose deaths, those in recovery say long-term treatment is crucial