The RI Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force was created to....

propose a strategic plan that puts forth the most impactful initiatives in the areas of prevention of opioid addiction, reversal of opioid overdose, treatment of opioid addiction, and recovery to reduce addiction and stop overdose death in Rhode Island. 

Governor Raimondo announces the creation of the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force at Anchor Recovery Center in Pawtucket, RI. Photo credit: Kristin Gourlay / RIPR. 

Governor Raimondo announces the creation of the Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force at Anchor Recovery Center in Pawtucket, RI.

Photo credit: Kristin Gourlay / RIPR. 

 

OVERVIEW

Rhode Island has the nation’s highest rate of illicit drug use per capita, and state-wide nonmedical use of prescription opioids ranks far above the national average among both youth and adults. 

In RI, from 2009 to 2012 there was a 32.8% increase in overdose deaths; within 2 years, this rate doubled (65% increase), rendering an overall 119% increase in overdose deaths from 2009 to 2014. Last year, in 2014, there were 239 apparent accidental drug overdose deaths. Of those, 208 (90%) of the 231 screened cases involved at least one opioid drug and/or opioid medication. 83 (37%) of the 225 screened cases involved fentanyl. These apparent accidental drug overdose deaths were among people who appeared to be using in 31 different cities and towns in Rhode Island, affecting men and women of all ages and ethnicities, and four towns in Massachusetts.

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Approach & process

Our approach, which was built on existing infrastructure and progress of groups in the state, was:

  • Data driven, evidence-based
  • Expert, substantive role of strategic plan team
  • Community-informed
  • Strategic, impactful
  • Measurable initiatives

This is not the "kitchen sink" approach. Our efforts are targeted at identifying the components for prevention, treatment, reversal, and recovery that will SHIFT THE EPIDEMIC CURVE of overdose deaths.

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