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Opioid addiction does not discriminate. The crisis in Massachusetts affects people from all backgrounds. The widespread nature of the epidemic makes addressing it an especially challenging task because the path to opioid addiction has different starting points from person to person.
Many victims are young, often in their 20s or 30s. This epidemic touches all demographics: farmers and musicians, lawyers and construction workers, stay-at-home moms and the homeless. Young people of Massachusetts are especially at risk. In 2015, roughly two out of every three people in Massachusetts who died from opioids were younger than 45.
In Natick, between 2014 and the first half of 2018, the average age of individuals that lost their life to opioids was 36 years old.
In terms of race and gender, most individuals in Massachusetts who have died of an opioid overdose are white and male, but those demographics do not fully represent the many women and people of color who have also lost their lives to opioid overdose. Additionally, although data suggests that fatal overdoses can happen to individuals from all levels of education and occupation, Natick and many other communities in Massachusetts are seeing higher rates of fatal overdose among individuals who work in the trades.