BOSTON (AP) — State public health officials say fentanyl has been detected in 90 percent of the toxicology tests conducted on people who died from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts this year.
That figure is higher than it’s ever been, and the latest report on opioid deaths from the Department of Public Health also shows cocaine is now more likely than heroin to show up in toxicology tests.
Officials point to those developments as evidence of the changing nature of the deadly epidemic. The agency has issued an advisory to medical providers warning them of an increase in fentanyl-laced cocaine.
On a more positive note, the report says the overall number of overdose deaths continues to decline and opioid prescriptions have dropped 30 percent since the 2016 launch of a prescription monitoring program.