Agency Issues "Emergency Rules" In Drug Overdose Crisis

Feb 4, 2014

Rhode Island’s Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals has issued emergency regulations in response to the recent spike in drug overdose deaths.

Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

The state agency says it will train staff at its behavioral health facilities on preventing and responding to drug overdoses. The agency says that training will include how to administer naloxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. Opiates include prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin, as well as heroin. Rhode Island has seen a recent spike in heroin overdose deaths. But overdoses from painkillers have also been on the rise. BHDDH staff are now also required to offer patients with a history of opiate abuse a dose of naloxone to take home when they are discharged from a facility.

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