12 Town Hall: How the pandemic is affecting the opioid crisis


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While much of our attention this year has been on the coronavirus pandemic, another public health crisis has continued to claim the lives of our loved ones: the opioid epidemic.

In fact, this past July, more Rhode Islanders died from an overdose than in any other month since the state started tracking that data.

In the video above, 12 News anchor Kim Kalunian hosts a 12 Town Hall taking a closer look at the ongoing opioid crisis. She is joined by R.I. Department of Health Director Dr. Jim McDonald and Dennis Bailer of Project Weber/RENEW to discuss what’s causing the spike, how COVID-19 is playing a role, and what you can do to help.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance with a mental health or substance use disorder, you can call 401-414-LINK(5465) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here for more information.

People with moderate to severe opioid use disorder can access telehealth service for initiation of buprenorphine treatment 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 401-606-5456. Click here for more information.

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