PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Four more people have died of suspected drug overdoses in Rhode Island in the last week, bringing the total this year to 49.
Health Department Director Michael Fine said Wednesday the number of people who have died of accidental overdoses in the first eight weeks of the year is about twice the normal rate. He said more resources should be devoted to prevention and treatment to address a "very significant" overdose problem.
Fine provided the new numbers in an address before members of the General Assembly on the state of the state's health.
Fine cited progress in some areas of public health, including declining rates of breast cancer and lung cancer, and a teen pregnancy rate that's been cut in half in the last five years.