State health officials say they have solved the mystery of a synthetic drug that’s now killed 12 people.
Department of Health officials say those who died appear to have been intravenous drug users. Most came from northern Rhode Island. It took the department’s own scientists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an independent testing lab to identify the drug the deceased were injecting. It’s a synthetic opioid called acetyl fentanyl, similar to morphine. It’s man-made, illegal, and doctors don’t prescribe it.
In April, Rhode Island’s first medical marijuana dispensary – the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center - opened for business in Providence. This weekend, the second is scheduled to open in Portsmouth. We visited the Greenleaf compassion center as workers rushed to finish the stylish interior.
The marijuana might be medical, but the retail space is anything but.
For the first time, Rhode Island’s insurance commissioner has directed health insurers to disclose what they pay for health care services. But that information won’t necessarily be directly available to patients.
Rhode Island’s online marketplace for health insurance is taking shape in preparation for October 1st. That's the date the exchange is scheduled to be up and running with a variety of new health plans to choose from.
Newport residents received notice this week that levels of some cancer-causing chemicals in their water have exceeded what’s allowed by the federal government. It’s no emergency, but the city is upgrading its treatment facilities to prevent possible long term health effects.