New overdose and opioid treatment guidelines introduced for RI hospitals

Local News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A complete set of standards for treating overdose and Opioid use has been established across all hospitals and emergency departments in Rhode Island.

The guidelines, as a part of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, are the first of its kind in the country.

According to a statement, each facility must:

  • Give the antidote naloxone to all patients at risk.
  • Educate all patients who are prescribed opioids on safe storage and disposal.
  • Provide comprehensive discharge planning to people who have overdosed.
  • Screen all patients for a substance-use disorder.
  • Report all overdoses within 48 hours to RIDOH.
  • Offer peer recovery support services.

While all hospitals are required to meet these standards, they will initially only be judged through self-assessment on a three-tier scale.

As a facility’s capacity to treat opioid-use disorder develops, that facility can apply for a higher designation from the state.

At least 329 Rhode Islanders died of drug overdoses in 2016.

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