PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The Rhode Island Division of Well being (RIDOH) is sounding the alarm over a major spike in nonfatal overdoses throughout the final week.

Well being officers reported Wednesday that 40 individuals overdosed this previous week alone, 21 of which occurred in Windfall.

“That is the second-highest week we’ve had up to now within the final 12 months, so it’s noteworthy,” RIDOH Medical Director Dr. James McDonald mentioned.

The Well being Division issued a public health advisory for the capital metropolis after reviewing final week’s knowledge.

McDonald believes the rationale for the uptick is probably going attributable to fentanyl.

“It’s fentanyl that’s driving this,” he defined. “It’s not the fentanyl you’re getting within the hospital or while you’re having your colonoscopy. It’s the identical drug, however it’s not that. It’s ilicit fentanyl that’s manufactured in different nations.”

McDonald mentioned drug sellers are probably mixing fentanyl into the capsules they’re distributing, which makes them stronger and rather more deadly.

Underneath the general public well being advisory, McDonald mentioned quite a lot of methods are used to succeed in those that are affected.

“Telling somebody to not do medication is like telling somebody with diabetes, ‘nicely, simply don’t be diabetic,’” McDonald defined. “It’s a lot tougher than that.”

There are a number of issues these battling opioid dependancy can do to guard themselves, together with carrying the overdose reversal drug naloxone and having one other particular person with them whereas utilizing.

“It’s a difficult time,” McDonald mentioned. “For those who’re a beloved one and you already know somebody who’s battling opioid use, they don’t want your judgement. What they do want is a bit of assist stepping into remedy.”

In Windfall, McDonald mentioned these in search of assist can go to one of many metropolis’s 12 Safe Stations, the place they will get related to a number of sources.

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