addiction

Health Care
4:18 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Are Rhode Islanders Aware Of The Dangers Of Fentanyl?

Rhode Island is still grappling with soaring numbers of drug overdose deaths, many of them involving the painkiller fentanyl. It's not clear the message about the dangers of fentanyl is reaching those at risk.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Murder Charges For Selling Drugs Stop Overdose Deaths?

A providence man has been charged with murder for selling drugs to a woman, who subsequently overdosed.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

A Providence man has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge for selling the illicit drug fentanyl - a potent painkiller sometimes laced in heroin - that led to a woman’s overdose death. It’s the first time Rhode Island prosecutors have brought murder charges in connection with an overdose death. But the trend is taking hold nationwide.

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Health Care
2:43 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Health Dept. Ad Campaign Features Rhode Islanders In Recovery

Jonathan Goyer shares his story of addiction and recovery in the health dept.'s new campaign "Addiction is a disease. Recovery is possible."
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials have rolled out a new campaign against drug addiction. The campaign debuts as the state faces more grim statistics: 232 Rhode Islanders died from apparent accidental drug overdoses in 2014, the same number as in 2013.

You may see their faces on buses, or hear their voices in public service announcements. They’re people in recovery from addiction. They include Jonathan Goyer, a former addict turned recovery counselor. He said  it will take more than advertising to fight drug addiction.

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Health Care
4:18 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

ER-Based Coaches Connect Overdose Survivors To Treatment

An empty bed in the Rhode Island Hospital emergency department.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A six-month-old program to help overdose survivors get connected with addiction treatment is getting some results, according to the state’s behavioral health agency. The program puts recovery coaches on call in emergency rooms throughout Rhode Island to reach out to survivors before they’re sent home.

The recovery coaches are trained peer counselors, in recovery from addiction themselves. They try to link overdose survivors with addiction treatment, and educate them about preventing another overdose.

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The Pulse
2:26 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Ever Sign An Agreement With Your Doctor?

At a public hearing yesterday at the Dept. of Health, doctors, dentists, physician assistants, and advanced practice nurses voiced their opposition to the department's proposed regulations governing the prescribing of opioids. The new rules would require prescribers to sign a fairly lengthy agreement with patients, alerting them to the risks of taking prescription painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, and agreeing to certain kinds of monitoring. Many health care providers feel these agreements aren't necessary and that, in fact, they're patronizing.

What do you think?

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Health Care
3:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Proposed Rules Could Change Painkiller Prescribing

Donna Policastro, representing Rhode Island nurses, says the proposed regulations are unnecessary.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials are considering new regulations governing how health care providers prescribe painkillers. So far this year, 212 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses, most involving opioids, according to the health department.

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The Pulse
2:46 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Addicts Convicted On Drug Crimes Face Barriers After Release

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says he hopes legislation to boost funding to treat addiction will move forward this week. Whitehouse and colleagues from both sides of the aisle hosted addiction experts on Capitol Hill this morning to learn more about the challenges that remain for addicts even in recovery.

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Health Care
4:44 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

RI, CT Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Linked

Rhode Island and Connecticut's prescription drug monitoring programs will now share information, including the monitoring of opioids like oxycodone (pictured).
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island and Connecticut are now able to share prescription drug data across state lines. Linking the states’ prescription drug monitoring programs is designed to help doctors spot possible abuse and addiction.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

At The Crossroads, Part 2: Finding Hep C Infections Before It's Too Late

Credit Jake Harper / RIPR

Hepatitis C infects an estimated five million Americans, nearly 20-thousand Rhode Islanders among them. And most of them don’t know it. But many are about to find out. It takes about 20 years for most people to notice any symptoms from hepatitis C, and it was about that long ago most people got infected. Now doctors in Rhode Island and throughout the country are noticing a wave of patients with the kind of advanced liver disease hepatitis C can cause.                                                                               

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Health Care
3:20 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

School Nurses Dealing With Overdose Epidemic, Too

A package of nasal naloxone, or Narcan, doses. The drug can reverse an opioid overdose in seconds, if used in time.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

School nurse teachers in Rhode Island say they need to have an opioid overdose rescue drug called Narcan on hand in schools. That’s one of several findings of a first-ever survey of school nurses about the use of opioids like prescription painkillers in schools and experiences with overdoses in schools. Overdose educator and University of Rhode Island pharmacy professor Jef Bratberg presented the findings. He says it’s not surprising that schools are affected.

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