The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) has issued emergency regulations in response to the recent increase in narcotic overdose deaths in the State. The regulations require training on overdose treatment, including naloxone administration, and overdose prevention for all staff in BHDDH-licensed behavioral health organizations (BHOs). In addition, BHO employees must share the information they've learned with individuals who have a history of opioid abuse or dependence.
"These regulations have been implemented to protect the health and safety of Rhode Islanders and to save lives," said Craig Stenning, Director of BHDDH. "It is critical that staff at behavioral health organizations and individuals struggling with opioid addiction - along with their friends and family members - learn to recognize overdose symptoms, understand the urgency for treatment and know how to respond to the emergency and administer Naloxone when it is medically indicated and clinically appropriate."
The Department is also requiring BHOs to offer patients, with a history of opioid abuse or dependence, naloxone to take home. The rules also mandate that the medication is offered to those in residential and detoxification settings prior to being discharged.
About the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.
BHDDH is committed to assuring access to quality services and supports for Rhode Islanders with developmental disabilities, mental health and substance abuse issues and chronic, long-term medical and psychiatric conditions. In addition to planning for the development of new services and prevention activities, the department's mission includes addressing the stigma attached to these disabilities.