Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A new sobering center opens next month at a homeless shelter in Providence. It’s a place where inebriated people who would typically be brought to the emergency room can safely sober up. It's meant to save money and guide those patients toward recovery.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island health officials estimate nearly 20,000 Rhode Islanders are addicted to opioids – whether prescription painkillers or heroin. But only a few thousand are receiving something called “medication assisted treatment.” 

Aaron Read / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island:

Aaron Read / RIPR

There’s new federal funding to help Rhode Island fight the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic. The money is going toward better data collection, first responders and an overdose hotline.

International Overdose Awareness Day / Pennington Institute (Australia)

International Overdose Awareness Day is being observed around the globe Wednesday. New Englanders are marking the occasion with several events.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning states about an uptick in the availability of counterfeit painkillers. These drugs are contributing to the ongoing opioid addiction and overdose epidemic.

The pills are labeled as OxyCodone or Xanax, for example, but could contain varying amounts of a much stronger opioid painkiller called fentanyl. These are illicit drugs, sold outside of pharmacies. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here's what's happening in health in Rhode Island.

  • Eliminate Hep C in RI? Brown researchers project more treatment could reduce hepatitis C by 90% in Rhode Island by 2030.
Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Rhode Island’s prison system is offering drug treatment to more inmates. Until now, only inmates who entered prison on medication for opioid addiction were allowed to continue that medication. And only for 60 days. Now, the Adult Correctional Institutions will continue medication for six months or longer, thanks to an infusion of cash in this year’s state budget. 

Staff photo / RIPR

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse co-authored a major package of addiction legislation that just passed the House and Senate. It’s called the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA. And it addresses a range of issues, from preventing addiction among student athletes to helping veterans avoid incarceration. But many of the measures it authorizes have yet to be funded.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here's what's happening in health care in Rhode Island, including stories about addiction treatment, intellectual disabilities, medical marijuana, outdoor recreation, antibiotic resistance, and more:

Aaron Read / RIPR

Your weekly briefing about what's happening in health care: opioid legislation, depression treatment, special needs, and child welfare.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Obama administration has announced new rules that would let doctors treat more patients addicted to opioids. That could help Rhode Island, where access to treatment is limited.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

New research from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows Rhode Island is leading the nation when it comes to reducing painkiller prescriptions. State officials attribute the drop to education for doctors and patients about the risk of opioid overdose.

Rhode Island Dept. of Health, Brown University School of Public Health

State health officials are expanding efforts to tackle the opioid overdose epidemic. They’ve launched a web site – - to track overdose, addiction, and treatment statistics. And the state is re-launching a $100,000 public awareness campaign about getting help for addiction. 

RIPR file photo

The International Conference on Opioids is underway in Boston today. Rhode Islanders are well represented at the event dedicated to educating doctors about the dangers and benefits of these painkillers.