Officials: Overdose deaths drop 4% in RI


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The task force formed to combat the opioid crisis in Rhode Island said it’s had some successes, but there’s still much more that needs to be done.

Governor Gina Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force met at the Department of Administration Wednesday to review what strategies the state will employ in the years to come to prevent opioid overdoses and help those affected by them.

Some of those strategies include more engagement with the community and changing public attitudes about addiction and recovery.

Health officials say there was a 4% decrease in the number of overdose deaths last year and they hope to continue that trend until they reach 0%.

“We’re certainly not doing a victory lap around the 4% decrease in overdose deaths,” Raimondo’s Senior Advisor Tom Coderre said. “There are still too many Rhode Islanders dying.”

Officials said bringing communities together is ultimately the best way to end the opioid crisis once and for all.

“We are making some progress, and we know we are doing some things that are working,” Coderre said.

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