the Preliminary data from a new report by the Massachusetts Department of Health shows deaths from overdoses of opioids has slightly decreased in the state from 2016 to 2017.In total, DPH estimated that there were 178 fewer deaths by overdose of opiates in 2017 from 2016, an 8.3 percent decrease.”While there are still a lot of work to do, this report is encouraging news that gives us hope that we begin to bend the curve of the epidemic,”, said Gov. Charlie Baker, in a press release.The month-by-month, the estimates of mortality due to opioid overdoses in all respects, from January 2016 to December 2017. (Mass. Ministry of Public Health), It’s not known exactly why fewer Massachusetts residents are dying after a drug overdose. During a presentation on the number, the DPH Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel note that the use of naloxone, the drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, have increased sharply after a decline at the beginning of 2017.Since 2013, there has been a trend to increase the percentage of EMS incidents that are considered related to opioids. (Mass. Ministry of Public Health)Bharel also highlighted a number of statistics on the use of prescribed opioids is down. There was a 30% reduction in the number of opioid prescriptions reported to the state’s prescription monitoring program in the last three months of the year 2017, compared to the first three months of 2015.In addition, the number of patients who have received opioids from four or more doctors or pharmacists in a year has decreased by 56% between 2013 and 2017.But tightening the supply of prescription drugs can push the active users to heroin, and increasingly, fentanyl. The powerful opioid was present in 83% of the deaths in 2017.(Mass. Ministry of Public Health)Baker said the data points to the need to facilitate access to treatment and increased efforts to stop the fentanyl trade, in his statement.”The data clearly shows that we must give law enforcement every possible opportunity to track down this terrible drug and hold accountable those who sell it,” Baker dit.De many other areas need more attention, the Baker administration says. For example, the number of overdose deaths among Latinos has doubled from 2014 to 2016.(Mass. Ministry of Public Health)Bharel has indicated that the state has launched an information campaign addressed to parents of adolescents, Latino, in Spanish, with TV spots, radio, and Facebook.The men and women who are released from prison or jail are at much higher risk of overdose death, of 120 percent, compared to other adults.Bharel, said the Suffolk County House of Correction, later this month, became the sixth correctional facility in the state to take medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and the restoration of the services available within two months of the release. A study of Rhode Island shows a 61% decrease of the post-incarceration overdose deaths after prison in the state has begun to offer CARPET.