Rhode Island sees a spike in drug overdose deaths

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Health says there has been a spike in the number of drug overdose deaths.

The department reported Friday that there were 17 apparent accidental drug overdose deaths from July through the first week of August. There was one drug overdose death in June. The numbers are still preliminary, pending the final toxicology reports.

The department says Rhode Island is experiencing a “prescription drug and street-drug overdose crisis.”

There have been 127 apparent accidental drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island so far this year. Ninety five of those deaths have been confirmed as drug overdoses. According to the health department many involved the opioid fentanyl and heroin.

The department says emergency medical personnel have administered 932 doses of an emergency antidote to opioid overdose since January.

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