Rhode Island’s department of health director doctor Michael Fine plans to brief state lawmakers Wednesday on the state of the state’s health.
Fine will update lawmakers on the state’s progress on certain health indicators. Smoking rates are down to about 17 percent. New cases of HIV are falling. But since his last briefing for the General Assembly, Fine said, the needle hasn’t moved in the right direction on another major health challenge – drug addiction and overdose.
“Drug overdose death is what’s keeping us up at night. That’s our single biggest slippage," said Fine.
More Rhode Islanders have died from opioid overdoses, mainly from heroin laced with a powerful painkiller called fentanyl, since the beginning of this year than the same time last year. Fine also says he plans to update the assembly on progress toward reducing premature births and curbing incidences of heart disease.
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