PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Health reports 323 people died of an overdose in 2016, with another 39 so far in 2018 – local casualties of the national opioid epidemic, which addiction nonprofit Addiction Policy Forum aims to curb with the recent expansion of its Addiction Resource Center to cover information about treatment facilities and health care providers in Rhode Island.
“With new resources included in the ARC database to help connect Rhode Island residents to local services, we hope to see these numbers decrease as more patients and families access the help they need,” said Jessica Hulsey Nickel, Addiction Policy Forum president and CEO.
Rhode Island addiction resources are mapped out by county at the ARC, which is hosted within a comprehensive, interactive website geared toward helping individuals and families struggling with addiction learn about substance use disorders and access critical resources. This platform dispels harmful myths about addiction by presenting the science behind the disease in easy-to-read formats, guiding concerned individuals through a self-assessment tool, helping to develop a proposed action plan and providing a database of local treatment providers.
The ARC also includes a resource line staffed by addiction counselors, licensed social workers and peer-recovery support advocates that provide callers with substance use disorder-related information, education on treatment options and support. Rhode Island residents can call the line at 1-833-301-HELP (4357), Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
“With an almost 10 percent increase in overdose deaths between 2015 and 2016, it is clear that Rhode Island needs additional resources to help save more lives. I am excited that the ARC has been expanded to fill in the gaps of additional help needed in Rhode Island,” said Mitch Weintraub, chair of Addiction Policy Forum’s Rhode Island State Chapter.
Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Borkowski@PBN.com.