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HEALTH Announces Updated Drug Overdose Numbers

Today the Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) reports the latest numbers on apparent accidental drug overdose deaths, use of Narcan by Rhode Island Emergency Medical Services, and prescribed controlled substances.

Since January 1, 2014, there have been 188 apparent accidental drug overdose deaths, 8 of which occurred in the month of November.

Of the total number of apparent accidental drug overdose deaths since January 1, 2014, 163 (90%) of the screened cases involved at least one opioid or medication. At least 64 (36%) of the screened cases involve Fentanyl.

These apparent accidental drug overdose deaths have taken place in 31 different cities and towns in Rhode Island affecting men and women of all ages and ethnicities:

136 men and 52 women ranging in age from 20 to 65. 37 people in their twenties, 56 people in their thirties, 45 people in their forties, 43 people in their fifties, and 7 people in their sixties; 167 people were white, 20 were black, and 1 was Asian.

Naloxone (Narcan) is an emergency antidote to opioid overdose. It can be used in emergency situations to potentially reverse the effects of drug overdoses. Since January 1, 2014, Rhode Island Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has administered 1413 doses of Narcan. From April 2nd – October 31st, emergency departments in Rhode Island reported to have administered Narcan 95 times.

Data from Rhode Island's Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), which are available to the public on the Department's website, continue to demonstrate that the amount and volume of prescribed controlled substances is not decreasing. In October, 114,869 individuals filled a prescription for a schedule 2, 3, or 4 drug in Rhode Island. Likewise, in October alone, 1.2 million doses of stimulants, 1.6 million doses of schedule 2 pain medicines, and 5.5 million doses of benzodiazepines were prescribed.

For more information on drug overdoses: For more information on controlled substance usage:

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