opioid

Kristin Gourlay

Currently, Rhode Islanders seeking treatment for opioid addiction must have their doctors coordinate with insurance companies before they can get prescriptions for medications like Suboxone and buprenorphine. These drugs treat patients suffering from opioid dependence.

Aaron Read / RIPR

The number of deaths from heroin and other opioids continues to rise in New England. That's according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

RI Drug Overdose Deaths Higher Than Reported In 2015

Dec 14, 2016
Aaron Read / RIPR

State health officials say they missed more than two dozen victims of accidental opioid overdose in prior reporting on last year, and the undercount continued into the current calendar year. The problem appears to stem from data entry errors.

A spate of high profile police shootings have drawn attention to the way police respond to people dealing with mental illness. 

The Pulse: Opioid Crisis May Fuel Rise In Elderly Abuse

Jun 9, 2016
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

A recent report from Massachusetts shows the number of cases of elderly abuse is on the rise. Experts attribute that to the state’s opioid addiction crisis, which leads some addicts to take financial advantage of or abuse older family members.

For this week’s The Pulse, we speak with Division of Elderly Affairs Director Charles Fogarty to learn how Rhode Island could be facing a similar problem.

Aaron Read / RIPR

State lawmakers will consider a suite of bills Tuesday aimed at fighting opioid addiction and overdose. 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

An increasing number of pregnant women are in treatment for opioid addiction. They face a heart-wrenching dilemma: stop taking the medication that’s helped them stay sober, or risk a baby born in withdrawal.

Now, researchers want to know if they can predict how severe that withdrawal will be, and whether they can head symptoms off before they get worse. And they're recruiting mothers like Ashley to help them answer those questions.

Med Students Join Fight Against Addiction, Overdose

Dec 22, 2015
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Brown University’s medical school has teamed up with Rhode Island Hospital to teach future doctors how to address opioid addiction and overdose. They’re using a nearly $1million federal dollar grant to create a new curriculum.

And the need could not be more urgent. Just last week the Centers for Disease Control reported that half a million Americans have died from accidental drug overdoses in the past 15 years, mostly involving prescription painkillers and increasingly heroin.

RI Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force

To tackle an epidemic at the population level, you need data. Lots and lots of data. That's especially true with our state, and our nation's, opioid addiction and overdose death epidemic. Scientists need to know who's using? Where? When? Why? How do they get started? Who supplies them? What else were they taking when they died? What are the other factors in their lives or communities contributing to the problem? 

Group Proposes Four Strategies To Curb Overdose Deaths

Oct 22, 2015
RI Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force

Can Rhode Island cut opioid deaths by a third in three years? That’s the goal of the state’s new strategic plan on addiction and overdose.

Overdose Prevention Task Force Gives Glimpse Of Plan

Oct 13, 2015
Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force holds its next public meeting Wednesday morning to present the beginnings of a plan to combat overdose deaths.

R.I.P. Jim Gillen, Champion Of Recovery

Jul 19, 2015
Jim Gillen

I first met Jim Gillen, who died over the weekend after a long battle with cancer, a couple of years ago. I was reporting on skyrocketing rates of opioid addiction and overdose. And if you wanted to know about addiction and recovery in Rhode Island, you sought out Jim.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Veterans Health Administration has stepped up efforts to fight drug overdose deaths and prescription painkiller addiction.

Veterans are more likely to suffer from chronic pain than others, and opioid painkillers have been a mainstay of treatment.

RIPR FILE

Accidental drug overdose deaths continue to increase in Rhode Island. That’s some of the discouraging news public health experts delivered at a Rhode Island Public Health Association event.

Doctors who want more experience treating addiction can apply for a new training program at Rhode Island Hospital. The hospital has just won accreditation from the American Board of Addiction Medicine for a new fellowship – one of just 27 addiction medicine fellowships in the country.

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