Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

County Health Rankings 2015 / Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has released its annual County Health Rankings, and Rhode Island's counties (Providence in particular) seem to be faring worse than the national average on a few measures, and much better on a few, too.

Lawmakers are being asked to decide the fate of HealthSource RI, the state’s online health insurance exchange. At issue is how to pay for it, or whether to scrap it. And plenty of voices are weighing in on the conversation. The latest claims state officials were told years ago that building an exchange wasn’t viable but did it anyway.

State health officials said they don’t know why Rhode Island has the nation’s 13th highest rate of accidental deaths caused by illicit drug overdoses.  But they said 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 Percocete. 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.