Newport Hospital To Host Opiate/Heroin Overdose Forum on May 19

Saturday, May 17, 2014
GoLocalProv Health Team

Newport Hospital will be hosting a forum on Rhode Island's opiate/heroin overdose epidemic on Monday, May 19 at 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

91 deaths in 2014

91 people in Rhode Island have died from overdose since the start of 2014. This forum will cover the steps individuals, families, friends, community groups and all Aquidneck Islanders can take to help those struggling with addiction and how they can help to prevent overdose deaths from prescription pain killers and heroin.

The panel includes state and local experts on the ongoing opiate and heroin overdose epidemic.

Senate President Paiva Weed and Department of Health Director Michael Fine are among the panelists. The forum is free and open to the public.

Other participants

  • Fred Trapassi, Jr., Vice President, Phoenix House
  • Frank Spicola, Director, SSTAR of North Kingstown
  • Craig Stenning, Director, Department of Behavioral Healthcare,
    Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH)
  • James Gillen, Director, Anchor Recovery Community Center
  • Michael Rizzi, CEO, CODAC Behavioral Healthcare
  • Elise Reynolds, mother of an overdose victim
  • Tom Coderre, moderator




  • 2009

    Total overdose deaths: 137

    Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 22

    Pharmaceutical drugs only: 84

    Illicit drugs only: 31

  • 2010

    Total overdose deaths: 152

    Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 36

    Pharmaceutical drugs only: 82

    Illicit drugs only: 24

  • 2011

    Total overdose deaths: 175

    Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 41

    Pharmaceutical drugs only: 93

    Illicit drugs only: 41

  • 2012

    Total overdose deaths: 182

    Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 34

    Pharmaceutical drugs only: 85

    Illicit drugs only: 63

  • 2013 (First Half)

    Total overdose deaths: 118*

    Both illicit and pharmaceutical drugs: 23

    Pharmaceutical drugs only: 40

    Illicit drugs only: 55

    *Data only available for first half of 2013



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