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RI DOH Releases Monthly Accidental Drug Overdose Death Data; Will Hold Second Community Forum

On Monday evening, continuing its efforts to build healthier communities and help Rhode Islanders who are struggling now, Governor Gina M. Raimondo's Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force invites the public to attend a community forum and contribute ideas and feedback for addressing Rhode Island's addiction and overdose crisis. The forum, the second of two convened by the task force, will focus on the stigma of addiction and overdose and include panel discussions with leading experts in the field.

"In order for everyone to make it in Rhode Island, we need to address the stigma of addiction and drug overdose, and invest in prevention and treatment," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "In the last ten years, drug overdoses have claimed more lives than motor vehicle crashes, falls, firearms, and fire combined. This is an issue that affects every community in Rhode Island, and it will take all of us working together to reverse the trend."

Additionally today, in accordance with its regular data reporting policy, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH) is releasing the latest data on confirmed accidental drug overdoses in Rhode Island. The data show that accidental drug overdose continues to be an issue of pressing public health concern in Rhode Island, across all age groups and particularly among men.

Tests to confirm drug overdose deaths can take two or three months to be completed. For this reason, the number of confirmed drug overdose deaths in August, September, and October are significantly lower than other months in 2015.

The data released today are as of October 21, 2015. Additional data are available online.

The task force will deliver a strategic plan to Governor Raimondo in early November. There will be time at the meeting on October 26 to discuss the plan.

The first community forum was held on September 28. Attended by approximately 50 people, the highly productive first meeting was focused on Medication-Assisted Treatment.

WHAT: Overdose Task Force community forum

WHO: Daniel Raymond, Policy Director, Harm Reduction Coalition Colleen Barry, Ph.D., M.P.P., Associate Professor, Associate Chair for Research and Practice, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

WHEN: Monday, October 26, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Buttonwoods Community Center, 3027 W. Shore Road, Warwick

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