Rhode Island, the Miriam, and Newport Hospitals will be handing out overdose prevention kits to patients at risk. The kits are just one piece of a larger program designed to combat opioid overdose deaths.
The hospitals will distribute overdose kits to patients who have been brought to their emergency rooms because of an overdose. That kit will include Narcan – a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose – in the form of a nasal spray.
But hospital officials say they’ll also spend time educating the patient about opioids like prescription painkillers and heroin, and then connect them with addiction counselors.
More than 140 Rhode Islanders have died so far this year from an accidental overdose. The state’s health department says Narcan, or naloxone, has been used by emergency medical teams more than a thousand times so far this year to rescue overdose victims. The rescue drug is also available without a prescription at Walgreens and CVS pharmacies around the state.