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Community Life
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate

Increasing


Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, per 100,000 residents

What does this measure?

Deaths due to opioid drug overdoses expressed as a rate per 100,000 residents.

Why is this important?

In addition to ending a life tragically, a death by drug overdose profoundly affects surviving relatives and friends. Rising drug overdose deaths can reflect increasing rates of addiction, more potent and dangerous substances, inadequate systems to treat and support addicts, and other worrisome trends.

How is our region doing?

In 2020, MetroWest had an overdose mortality rate of nearly 23 deaths per 100,000 residents, representing 737 deaths that year. This was a bit lower than the statewide rate of 30, or 2,106 deaths across Massachusetts that year. The region's 2020 rate was a 183% increase compared to 2007, when it was 8 per 100,000 residents. This increase was slightly below the state level, which also rose substantially (by 200%). Both the region and statewide rates peaked in 2016 and declined slightly through 2019.

Among the region's counties, Worcester had the highest rate in 2020 (33 per 100,000) and also experienced the largest increase since 2007 (263%). The 2020 rates in Middlesex (18) and Norfolk (21) also represented substantial increases since 2007 (144% and 161%, respectively).

There was substantial variation in overdose mortality rates across the region. Rates were relatively high in Hudson (40), Marlborough (36) and Framingham (33). Rates were zero in Westwood, Sudbury, Southborough, Sherborn, Littleton, Lexington, Harvard, Carlisle and Dover.

Notes about the data

Deaths may be accidental or intentional, or this information may be unknown.

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, per 100,000 residents
20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020
Massachusetts10.09.69.88.49.911.014.220.125.730.929.329.229.130.0
Region8.19.08.77.79.29.211.418.223.527.724.424.622.222.9
Middlesex7.57.68.36.18.57.69.717.321.525.221.720.018.918.3
Norfolk8.211.09.88.69.410.311.918.123.630.623.724.218.321.5
Worcester9.09.98.49.910.211.314.219.927.130.030.333.932.132.7
Acton town, Middlesex County0.012.917.029.74.216.90.08.3
Ashland town, Middlesex County0.05.822.822.722.511.216.85.3
Bedford town, Middlesex County0.021.47.142.521.221.228.320.9
Bellingham town, Norfolk County6.011.917.729.423.446.623.211.8
Boxborough town, Middlesex County0.00.00.019.217.20.017.318.2
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0.00.00.00.00.019.138.10.0
Concord town, Middlesex County0.00.00.05.25.210.60.010.8
Dedham town, Norfolk County11.815.719.743.311.919.811.927.6
Dover town, Norfolk County0.00.00.00.016.50.016.30.0
Framingham city, Middlesex County5.715.516.925.211.127.428.233.2
Franklin town, Norfolk County6.115.221.321.26.021.114.79.0
Groton town, Middlesex County9.00.08.90.08.80.017.717.7
Harvard town, Worcester County15.30.00.00.00.015.10.00.0
Holliston town, Middlesex County7.10.034.56.920.46.76.76.7
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County0.018.524.20.016.716.55.410.7
Hudson town, Middlesex County5.15.130.215.120.130.235.239.8
Lexington town, Middlesex County3.06.09.06.00.09.03.00.0
Lincoln town, Middlesex County0.00.00.014.80.00.00.028.5
Littleton town, Middlesex County0.00.00.020.09.99.829.30.0
Marlborough city, Middlesex County7.622.722.610.110.135.322.735.9
Maynard town, Middlesex County0.019.128.40.018.89.417.618.6
Medfield town, Norfolk County0.00.00.07.80.015.50.07.8
Medway town, Norfolk County7.70.07.622.70.022.40.07.6
Milford town, Worcester County7.114.014.041.820.720.713.76.6
Millis town, Norfolk County12.412.312.348.912.124.212.023.6
Natick town, Middlesex County8.519.613.88.319.411.113.913.5
Needham town, Norfolk County0.00.03.33.33.26.43.26.2
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0.023.423.323.323.223.10.00.0
Southborough town, Worcester County0.00.00.09.90.09.919.60.0
Stow town, Middlesex County0.00.014.214.214.10.013.813.9
Sudbury town, Middlesex County0.00.00.00.00.015.315.30.0
Walpole town, Norfolk County12.14.015.927.915.939.819.83.8
Waltham city, Middlesex County14.415.817.525.423.911.224.09.2
Wayland town, Middlesex County0.07.47.314.514.414.47.27.2
Wellesley town, Norfolk County0.00.07.03.53.53.50.03.4
Westborough town, Worcester County0.05.315.921.115.731.35.29.3
Westford town, Middlesex County0.08.30.012.428.88.30.016.2
Weston town, Middlesex County8.48.40.00.016.50.00.08.4
Westwood town, Norfolk County0.013.36.231.20.00.00.00.0

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Notes: Rates per 100,000




Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths
20072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020
Massachusetts6426226385476567339541,3561,7462,1102,0082,0132,0052,106
Region235263256228276279349560727861764772700737
Middlesex11011212491130118152273341402348321304299
Norfolk54736558647082125164213166170129156
Worcester717867798291115162222246250281267282
Acton town, Middlesex County03471402
Ashland town, Middlesex County01444231
Bedford town, Middlesex County03163343
Bellingham town, Norfolk County12354842
Boxborough town, Middlesex County00011011
Carlisle town, Middlesex County00000120
Concord town, Middlesex County00011202
Dedham town, Norfolk County345113537
Dover town, Norfolk County00001010
Framingham city, Middlesex County41112188202124
Franklin town, Norfolk County25772753
Groton town, Middlesex County10101022
Harvard town, Worcester County10000100
Holliston town, Middlesex County10513111
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County03403312
Hudson town, Middlesex County11634678
Lexington town, Middlesex County12320310
Lincoln town, Middlesex County00010002
Littleton town, Middlesex County00021130
Marlborough city, Middlesex County3994414915
Maynard town, Middlesex County02302122
Medfield town, Norfolk County00010201
Medway town, Norfolk County10130301
Milford town, Worcester County244126642
Millis town, Norfolk County11141212
Natick town, Middlesex County37537455
Needham town, Norfolk County00111212
Sherborn town, Middlesex County01111100
Southborough town, Worcester County00010120
Stow town, Middlesex County00111011
Sudbury town, Middlesex County00000330
Walpole town, Norfolk County314741051
Waltham city, Middlesex County9101116157156
Wayland town, Middlesex County01122211
Wellesley town, Norfolk County00211101
Westborough town, Worcester County01343612
Westford town, Middlesex County02037204
Weston town, Middlesex County11002001
Westwood town, Norfolk County02150000

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Notes: Opioids include heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, opioid-based prescription painkillers, and other unspecified opioids.




INDICATORS TREND
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Maintaining
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Increasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
People Without Health Insurance Decreasing
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Increasing
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Maintaining
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Decreasing
School Spending Per Student Maintaining
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Increasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing
Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Business Ownership by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Share of Workers who are Professionals, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Group Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 8 Math by Student Group Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
College Admission Rate, by Race/Ethnicity Decreasing
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Rent, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable


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