Community Life
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate


Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, per 100,000 residents

What does this measure?

Deaths due to drug overdoses expressed as a rate per 100,000 residents.

Why is this important?

In addition to ending a life tragically, a death by drug overdose profoundly affects surviving relatives and friends. Rising drug overdose deaths can reflect increasing rates of addiction, more potent and dangerous substances, inadequate systems to treat and support addicts, and other worrisome trends.

How is our region doing?

In 2018, MetroWest had an overdose mortality rate of nearly 25 deaths per 100,000 residents, representing 778 deaths that year. This was a bit lower than the statewide rate of 30, or 2,033 deaths across Massachusetts that year. The region's 2018 rate was a 206% increase compared to 2007, when it was 8 per 100,000 residents. This increase was larger than at the state level, which also rose substantially (195%). Both the region and statewide rates peaked in 2016 and declined slightly through 2018.

Among the region's counties, Worcester had the highest rate in 2018 (34 per 100,000) and also experienced the largest increase since 2007 (278%). The 2018 rates in Middlesex (20) and Norfolk (24) also represented substantial increases since 2007 (168% and 193%, respectively).

There was substantial variation in overdose mortality rates across the region. Rates were relatively high in Bellingham (47), Walpole (40) and Marlborough (35). Rates were zero in Westwood, Weston, Stow, Lincoln, Groton, Dover, and Boxborough.

Notes about the data

Deaths may be accidental or intentional, or this information may be unknown.

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths, per 100,000 residents
Acton town, Middlesex County0.012.917.
Ashland town, Middlesex County0.05.822.822.817.011.3
Bedford town, Middlesex County0.
Bellingham town, Norfolk County6.011.917.729.423.446.6
Boxborough town, Middlesex County0.
Carlisle town, Middlesex County0.
Concord town, Middlesex County0.
Dedham town, Norfolk County11.815.719.743.37.919.7
Dover town, Norfolk County0.
Framingham city, Middlesex County5.715.516.925.211.126.0
Franklin town, Norfolk County6.115.221.321.26.021.1
Groton town, Middlesex County9.
Harvard town, Worcester County15.
Holliston town, Middlesex County7.
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County0.018.524.20.016.716.4
Hudson town, Middlesex County5.
Lexington town, Middlesex County3.
Lincoln town, Middlesex County0.
Littleton town, Middlesex County0.
Marlborough city, Middlesex County7.622.720.110.112.635.2
Maynard town, Middlesex County0.
Medfield town, Norfolk County0.
Medway town, Norfolk County7.70.07.622.70.022.3
Milford town, Worcester County7.114.010.538.320.720.6
Millis town, Norfolk County12.412.312.348.912.224.2
Natick town, Middlesex County8.519.613.88.319.411.0
Needham town, Norfolk County0.
Sherborn town, Middlesex County0.023.423.323.323.223.0
Southborough town, Worcester County0.
Stow town, Middlesex County0.
Sudbury town, Middlesex County0.
Walpole town, Norfolk County12.14.015.928.015.939.7
Waltham city, Middlesex County14.415.817.525.423.89.5
Wayland town, Middlesex County0.07.47.314.514.414.4
Wellesley town, Norfolk County0.
Westborough town, Worcester County0.05.315.921.115.726.1
Westford town, Middlesex County0.
Weston town, Middlesex County8.
Westwood town, Norfolk County0.

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Notes: Rates per 100,000

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths
Acton town, Middlesex County034714
Ashland town, Middlesex County014432
Bedford town, Middlesex County031633
Bellingham town, Norfolk County123548
Boxborough town, Middlesex County000110
Carlisle town, Middlesex County000001
Concord town, Middlesex County000112
Dedham town, Norfolk County3451125
Dover town, Norfolk County000010
Framingham city, Middlesex County4111218819
Franklin town, Norfolk County257727
Groton town, Middlesex County101010
Harvard town, Worcester County100001
Holliston town, Middlesex County105131
Hopkinton town, Middlesex County034033
Hudson town, Middlesex County116346
Lexington town, Middlesex County123203
Lincoln town, Middlesex County000100
Littleton town, Middlesex County000211
Marlborough city, Middlesex County3984514
Maynard town, Middlesex County023021
Medfield town, Norfolk County000102
Medway town, Norfolk County101303
Milford town, Worcester County2431166
Millis town, Norfolk County111412
Natick town, Middlesex County375374
Needham town, Norfolk County001112
Sherborn town, Middlesex County011111
Southborough town, Worcester County000101
Stow town, Middlesex County001110
Sudbury town, Middlesex County000003
Walpole town, Norfolk County3147410
Waltham city, Middlesex County9101116156
Wayland town, Middlesex County011222
Wellesley town, Norfolk County002111
Westborough town, Worcester County013435
Westford town, Middlesex County020372
Weston town, Middlesex County110020
Westwood town, Norfolk County021500

Source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Notes: Opioids include heroin, illicitly manufactured fentanyl, opioid-based prescription painkillers, and other unspecified opioids.

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Increasing
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Increasing
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Decreasing
Reports of Domestic Violence Maintaining
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Increasing
Households Without Vehicles Maintaining
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Increasing
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Decreasing
Average Charitable Contribution Maintaining
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Increasing
Crimes Against People Decreasing
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Increasing
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Increasing
Language Diversity Increasing
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Decreasing
People with Disabilities Maintaining
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Maintaining
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Decreasing
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Maintaining
Prekindergarten Participation Increasing
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Decreasing
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Increasing
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Increasing
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Maintaining
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Maintaining
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Maintaining
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Increasing
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Increasing
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Increasing