NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and the Associated Press
NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's health director says the state is on pace to record 360 overdose deaths in 2014, almost twice the number logged just two years ago.
The Newport Daily News reports Dr. Michael Fine is linking the problem to heroin that has been laced with the drug Fentanyl.
Fine, speaking at a forum at Newport Hospital, said there were 92 overdose deaths in Rhode Island in the first quarter of the year.
In 2012, the last full year for which the department has statistics, there were 182 deaths. He says the number has been rising steadily since 137 were recorded in 2009.
Fine says the state has issued a series of emergency regulations, including making the opiate antidote Narcan available to all doctors and emergency room physicians.
Shutterstock/Stephen B. Goodwin