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Thursday, April 7, 2022

Health Dept. issued Public Health Alert for Charlestown due to surge in drug overdoses

Major spike in ODs spurs warning

Here is the DOH statement:

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals (BHDDH) issue this ROAAR Alert due to increased non-fatal opioid overdose activity for Region 10 (Westerly, Charlestown, Narragansett, New Shoreham, North Kingstown, and South Kingstown).

From March 27, 2022 to April 2, 2022, Region 10 was over the pre-established opioid overdose threshold.

  • RIDOH's Opioid Overdose Integrated Surveillance System, which tracks weekly overdose activity across the state, detected six reports of individuals receiving emergency department (ED) care for a suspected opioid overdose.
  • The weekly opioid overdose threshold for this region is four ED reports.

During the same time period, Region 3 was at the pre-established threshold for opioid overdose activity.

  • Region 3 (Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield, North Smithfield) had less than five reports* of individuals receiving ED care for a suspected opioid overdose.
  • The weekly opioid overdose threshold for this region is three ED reports.

The ROAAR notification system is initiated when a Region exceeds a pre-established threshold during a seven-day period. As a result, a public health advisory is issued to alert Rhode Islanders of increased drug overdose activity. Key stakeholders receiving this alert include public health and healthcare professionals, first responders, harm reduction organizations, municipal leaders, Rhode Island Health Equity Zones (HEZ), and Community Overdose Engagement (CODE) Collaboratives

DOH also makes these recommendations"

If someone you care about is using drugs, you can do some important things to help. • Learn the signs of an overdose & how to respond. • Have the overdose reversal medicine, naloxone (Narcan®), readily available. Free naloxone: