GRIM FIGURES
What are opiods?
The term "opioid" designates a class of drugs derived from opium or manufactured synthetically with a chemical structure similar to opium. Heroin is a naturally derived opioid. Other opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin), fentanyl, morphine, meperdine, methadone and codeine, are used therapeutically for the management of pain and other conditions. These products may be diverted from pharmaceutical purposes and used illicitly.


Fatal heroin overdoses
Between Jan. 1, 2005 and Aug. 31, 2006, there were 74 opiate-related deaths in the greater Brockton and Taunton region, according to a review of death certificates filed with local town and city clerks. The total deaths will be higher than the town-by-town breakdown since some of those who overdosed and died did not live in the area. The following is a breakdown of the number of local residents who died of fatal heroin overdoses.
Fatal heroin overdoses
2004 2005 2006 Total
Abington 2 1 1 4
Avon 0 0 0 0
Bridgewater 2 2 0 4
Brockton 4 12 3 19
Carver 1 0 0 1
East Bridgewater 0 1 0 1
Easton 1 1 0 2
Halifax 0 1 0 1
Hanover 0 1 0 1
Hanson 1 0 0 1
Holbrook 0 1 0 1
Kingston 0 0 0 0
Lakeville 0 0 0 0
Mansfield 1 0 0 1
Middleboro 0 2 0 2
Norton 0 1 0 1
Pembroke 0 1 0 1
Plymouth 1 3 0 4
Randolph 0 0 1 1
Raynham 1 1 0 2
Rockland 0 1 0 1
Stoughton 1 0 0 1
Taunton 3 6 4 13
Wareham 1 0 1 2
West Bridgewater 0 1 0 1
Whitman 0 1 1 2
Source: Community death certificates



Overdoses treated by hospital

The following shows emergency room visits for opioid-related abuse/dependence and poisoning treated by selected local hospitals.

Overdoses treated by hospital
Hospital 2003 2004 2005 Total
Brockton Hospital 318 328 349 995
Caritas Good Samaritan 193 209 173 575
Jordan Hospital 112 107 127 346
Morton Hospital 165 131 138 434
South Shore Hospital 158 150 192 500
Tobey Hospital 18 11 18 47
Total 964 936 997 2,897
Source: Mass Department of Public Health



Total opiod-related abuse, dependence and poisoning cases sorted by residence

The following chart shows the total number of cases treated by any acute-care hospital emergency department in the state.

Total cases treated
Patient's residence 2003 2004 2005 Total
Abington 20 31 40 91
Avon 7 2 7 16
Berkley 4 2 9 15
Braintree 49 48 44 141
Bridgewater 31 42 34 107
Brockton 248 292 269 809
Canton 39 33 35 107
Carver 14 14 14 42
Cohasset -- -- -- 5
Dighton 13 17 10 40
Duxbury 8 12 6 26
E. Bridgewater 15 16 15 46
Easton 16 18 37 71
Hanover 11 8 12 31
Hanson 9 12 14 35
Hingham 7 10 13 30
Holbrook 20 19 30 69
Hull 39 40 22 101
Kingston 7 5 7 19
Lakeville 3 9 2 14
Mansfield 15 13 15 43
Middleboro 51 22 28 101
Norton 15 16 36 67
Norwell 2 6 7 15
Pembroke 15 13 17 45
Plymouth 42 41 53 136
Plympton 7 3 11 21
Quincy 290 275 265 830
Randolph 45 43 37 125
Raynham 15 12 21 48
Rehoboth 2 8 4 14
Rockland 35 33 28 96
Scituate 4 17 23 44
Sharon 5 11 5 21
Stoughton 36 39 35 110
Taunton 132 121 114 367
Wareham 22 10 13 45
W. Bridgewater 5 5 11 21
Weymouth 107 148 123 378
Whitman 33 27 32 92
Total 1,439 1,493 1,502 4,434
-- cells which total fewer than 10 cases are suppressed
Source: Mass Department of Public Health