drug abuse

Health Care
9:10 am
Wed June 18, 2014

New England Governors Gather To Tackle Growing Drug Abuse Epidemic

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

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

Read more
The Pulse
12:27 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

The Bottom Health Stories of 2013

Lots of news organizations, including this one, are ticking off the year's top 10 stories. I'd like to run through some of Rhode Island's bottom health stories, meaning the ones least likely to have appeared on radar screens - but which should have. And don't worry: there's some good news in here too!

In no particular order:

Read more
Health Care
3:58 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

State Lawmakers: Close Gaps In Rx Monitoring Program

State lawmakers are looking at ways to strengthen Rhode Island’s prescription drug monitoring program. They say there are too many gaps in the current system that allow people to abuse prescription drugs.

Read more
Education
9:01 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Prescription Drug Abuse On The Rise On College Campuses Across The Country

University of Rhode Island psychology Professor Lisa Weyandt studies the effects of prescription drug abuse on college students.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

College students have long been known to experiment with drinking when they’re blowing off steam, and even use illegal drugs like marijuana.

But a growing number of college students are now turning to prescription drugs to get ahead academically.

The drugs, like Adderall, are used legally to treat conditions like Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, and they’re increasingly common on college campuses around the country.

Read more
Health Care
8:44 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Doctor's Prescription Pads May Be Part Of RI's Drug Overdose Problem

State health officials say they don’t know why Rhode Island has the nation’s 13th highest rate of accidental deaths caused by illicit drug overdoses.  They say doctors may be part of the problem.

Twenty-eight year old Ross Ricciarelli is a recovering heroin  addict. He got started on Vicodin and progressed to Percocette. When prescriptions became hard to come by he started shooting up.

"I was prescribed them at one point and I really had no idea that it was going to just take me down roads that I never would have imagined that I would have gone down," said Ricciarelli.

Read more
Health Care
1:10 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

RI Using Some Promising Tools to Combat Overdose Deaths

A new report finds that while deaths from prescription drug overdose have doubled in Rhode Island, the state has implemented many of the measures experts say can prevent those deaths.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse, One Log In At a Time

Prescription bottles
Credit US Marine Corps / via Wikimedia Commons

For Rhode Islanders between 15 and 44 years old, the leading cause of death is accidental drug overdose, usually involving prescription painkillers.  State health leaders are calling it an epidemic. There’s growing evidence that tracking the number of pills doctors prescribe to potential abusers might ease the problem. But Rhode Island’s fledgling prescription drug monitoring program is just getting started.

The dark side of opiates

Read more
Health Care
4:24 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

RI Health Dept. Identifies Killer Synthetic Drug

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.

Read more
The Pulse
4:03 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Drug Overdose Deaths; Tracking Opioid Prescribers

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Opioids are narcotic painkillers, and they include popular drugs with brand names like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Demerol. Heroin is another. And while the former have eased the pain of many, all of these drugs are potential killers. They're incredibly addictive. And prescription drug overdose deaths, according to what many health care providers and experts tell me, have reached epidemic status in Rhode Island.

Read more
The Pulse
4:22 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Marijuana, Addiction Hot Topics on Smith Hill

There's lots going on, legislatively speaking, in the world of addiction and especially marijuana (including the fake kind). At stake: whether marijuana will be legalized (it's already approved for medical use in the state) and whether fake marijuana will be banned.

Read more