New England Governors Gather To Tackle Growing Drug Abuse Epidemic

Jun 18, 2014

New England governors met this Tuesday, in a one-hour closed session to discuss the region’s response to opioid problem.

Oxycodone, one of the prescription drugs that is leading the regional epidemic of abuse.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Every state in New England has been touched by the growing problem of opioid addiction and spike in drug overdose deaths.  In Rhode Island alone, department of health data show the number doubled from 2009 to 2012, and has continued to increase.  Five out of the six New England state governors, Maine couldn’t make it, gathered at Brandies University in Waltham Mass. Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee says they began outlining regional actions to battle the problem.

“Prescription drug monitoring, that’s very important, but also treatment centers and how we can cooperate with each other for people that want treatment, and what neighboring states can do," said Chafee.

Chafee says the state plans to continue collaborating with other New England states to tackle the problem of opioid addiction, and they are scheduled to meet again next month. He says the group hopes to add New York state to the network as well.

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