Massachusetts has big issues when it comes to substance abuse. Below are the drugs that are responsible for the most substance abuse treatment admissions in the state, as listed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

#1: Heroin

Heroin is an illicit opioid drug. With the rise of the opioid crisis, Massachusetts has been hit very hard. As addicts seek out an opioid fix, heroin use is skyrocketing due to stricter laws regarding prescription painkillers.

Consider these startling facts about heroin abuse in Massachusetts:

  • Over 50% of people admitted to treatment centers in the state in 2017 listed heroin as their primary drug of abuse.
  • Heroin-related deaths decreased by 25% from 2015-2017 in Massachusetts. 466 people died in 2017 from heroin-related overdoses.
  • Almost 50% of people admitted to treatment in the state in 2017 reported having used needles in the past year.

#2: Alcohol

Alcohol may not be an illicit drug, but it is a highly abused one in Massachusetts. Alcohol abuse is notoriously difficult to track, as many people with serious problems do not seek treatment.

Furthermore, dangerous drinking habits like binge drinking and overly-frequent drinking do not carry the same negative social stigma as using many other drugs.

Thus, many people with major alcohol use disorders do not realize the extent of their problem before it is too late. The statistics tell much of the story when it comes to alcohol abuse in Massachusetts:

  • Nearly a third of all the state’s treatment center admissions were primarily due to alcohol in 2017.
  • Almost a quarter of all residents, including nearly half of people aged 18-25, reported having engaged in binge drinking in the month prior during a 2014 survey.
  • Over half of the people admitted to treatment in Massachusetts in 2017 said they had abused alcohol in the year prior.

#3: Prescription Opioids

Prescription opioid abuse is a major issue in Massachusetts. People who are addicted to opioids will do anything to get their fix, and one way they commonly seek out a high is by purchasing prescription narcotics on the black market.

Check out the stats on prescription opioid abuse in Massachusetts:

  • ‘Other opioids’ aside from Heroin were the third-leading cause of substance abuse treatment admissions in the state in 2017.
  • As of 2017, Massachusetts had one of the nation’s lowest prescribing rates for opioid pain relievers. The state wrote about 40 prescriptions per 100 residents, compared to the national rate of almost 60 prescriptions per 100 people.
  • Still, 321 people died in 2017 from overdosing on prescription opioids.

#4: Fentanyl

Fentanyl is an extremely powerful and dangerous synthetic opioid which is having devastating effects in Massachusetts and elsewhere. Because of its strength and the fact that it is being made and sold on the black market, opioid users are seeking it out without realizing how easy it is to overdose.

Despite the progress being made in the battle against heroin and prescription opioid abuse, fentanyl is making the opioid crisis worse in Massachusetts. Some shocking statistics on fentanyl abuse in Massachusetts are:

  • The number of deaths involving synthetic opioids in the state increased from 67 to 1649 from 2012 to 2017, mainly due to fentanyl.
  • Fentanyl has been blamed by numerous articles and reports for the rise in opioid overdoses.

#5: Crack/Cocaine

Cocaine is a powerful illicit drug that gained in popularity in the U.S. during the 1980’s. Many people do not realize how common crack and cocaine abuse still is today. In Massachusetts, the drug still has a strong presence.

Cocaine is very dangerous by itself, but some users mix it with fentanyl, creating a deadly concoction that can easily lead to overdose. To make matters even worse, some cocaine being sold in Massachusetts is actually laced with fentanyl. Consider the following about Cocaine abuse in Massachusetts:

  • Cocaine is the fourth-leading cause of substance abuse admissions in Massachusetts, but its abuse is widespread. Nearly 30% of all people admitted to treatment reported having used cocaine in the year prior, even if it was not their primary reason for seeking help.
  • The leading cause of overdose in Massachusetts is cocaine mixed with fentanyl.

Get Treatment for Substance Abuse in Massachusetts

There is no such thing as drug abuse that is ‘under control’. Get on top of your problem now and put your drug use in the past. Call your local treatment center today to begin the path towards recovery.



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