DOH: Opioid deaths decline 5% in 2017

OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS declined 5.1 percent year over year in Rhode Island. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/KIYOSHI OTA
OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS declined 5.1 percent year over year in Rhode Island. / BLOOMBERG FILE PHOTO/KIYOSHI OTA

PROVIDENCE – Opioid deaths in Rhode Island decreased 5.1 percent year over year in 2017, according to the R.I. Department of Health Monday.

There were 319 opioid-related deaths in Rhode Island in 2017, compared with 336 in 2016.

Non-fentanyl-related opioid deaths declined 17.7 percent year over year to 116 in 2016 from 141 in 2016.

In an earlier report, Rhode Island’s opioid deaths had been on pace for a 9 percent decline through the first eight months of 2017.

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RIDOH reported that accidental overdose deaths from drugs prescribed totaled 58 in 2017. Deaths that were classified as accidental overdoses that involved prescription drugs and illicit drugs totaled 86 deaths. Solely illicit drug related drugs totaled 175 deaths in 2017.

Illicit drugs overdoses declined from a recent peak of 214 deaths in 2016. Accidental overdoses from both illicit drugs and prescription drugs increased from 66 deaths one year prior. Accidental prescription drug overdoses remained about level, rising 2 deaths from 56 deaths one year prior.

Fentanyl-involved deaths increased 4.1 percent to 203 in 2017 from 2016.

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.

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