The state Department of Health announced yesterday that from 2008 to 2011, the number of overdose related fatalities dropped from 512 to 407.
That’s a decrease of 23 percent over four years.
Experts credit 2006 state prescription guidelines with opening the ongoing conversation about pain medication abuse.
State health officer Dr. Maxine Hayes says that health care providers play a critical role in prescribing medication and helping patients safely manage their pain.
She also says that while deaths are decreasing, people should use their influence in communities to ensure that fewer people die from these types of overdoses.