The dark shadow of the opioid overdose epidemic continues its deadly spread across Massachusetts, killing people in both big cities and small towns.
The latest data released by the state show that at least one opioid-related overdose death was reported between 2012 and 2014 in 263 of the state’s 351 municipalities, or about 75 percent of them, records from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health show.
Statewide, 1,089 people, or 16.5 per 100,000, were killed by opioids last year.
Some communities have been hit particularly hard by the epidemic, the town-by-town numbers show.
Everett had 23 opioid overdose deaths last year, giving the city a rate of about 55 such deaths per 100,000 people.
Neighboring Revere and Lynn saw high death totals and per capita rates as well — 22 and 37 deaths, and rates of 41 and 42 per 100,000, respectively.
The southeast portion of the state, including parts of Cape Cod and Fall River, also have seen high numbers of opioid deaths in proportion to their population.
Meanwhile, some towns in the Northeast corner of the state have seen a sharp rise in such deaths in the past few years.
Haverhill had 11 opioid-related deaths in 2012, 8 in 2013, and 24 last year. Lawrence saw its opioid death toll rise from 6 and 9 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, to 22 last year.
Matt Rocheleau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele