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Details for Regulation Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Opioid Overdose Reporting [R23-1-OPIOIDR](7738)


Health, Department of

Cannon Building

Regulation Authority

RIGL Chapter 23-1

Purpose and Reason

The Department finds that there is imminent peril to the public health, safety and welfare and that these emergency regulations should be adopted to protect the public health. Specifically the Department finds that: 1. Rhode Island is in the midst of a severe prescription and street-drug overdose crisis. There have been over seventy (70) opioid-related deaths since the start of 2014 in communities all over Rhode Island. Many of these deaths are directly related to the use of fentanyl and heroin, which are opioids. Legal prescriptions for opioids, particularly oxycodone and hydrocodone, have increased in Rhode Island during recent years. 2. The use of oxycodone and other narcotic painkillers, often as a route to heroin addiction, has been on the rise for the last few years in Rhode Island. In promulgating these Regulations the Director finds that it is necessary to public health to attack the abuse of oxycontin, heroin and other opioids in Rhode Island with the same reporting requirements and rigor directed towards controlling the spread of other epidemics and diseases. The gathering of clinical data concerning all overdoses in Rhode Island is the cornerstone of public health, and will inform policy decision and evidence-based practice by identifying risk factors for overdose and targets for access to substance abuse treatment. 3. Under these Regulations, health care professionals and hospitals shall be required to report all opioid overdoses or suspected overdoses to the Department within a forty-eight (48) hour time period. The reporting requirement is immediately necessary to combat the increase in opioid overdoses, reduce overdose deaths and assist individuals already addicted to access recovery and treatment. The reporting data will assist the State in identifying and mapping long-term solutions to ending widespread opiate abuse in the State. Further, the collected information will enable the Department to further understand the burden of the epidemic, the number of lives potentially saved by the use of naloxone by community bystanders, first responders and EMS. At present the only information available concerns opioid-related overdose deaths. To address and fully understand the impact of this public health epidemic the Department needs to understand the risk factors for death among those with similar exposures. This will enable the Department to understand risk factors for death among those with similar exposures or evaluate the potential benefits of programs put in place to respond to the epidemic [e.g. use of intranasal naloxone by EMS-Basics, Police, and harm reduction coalitions, the Good Samaritan Law, and OTC Naloxone (Narcan)]. 4. The Department recently issued Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Opioid Overdose Prevention [R23-1-OPIOID] as emergency regulations. These new Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Opioid Overdose Reporting [R23-1-OPIOIDR] compliment and further the intent of the emergency Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Opioid Overdose Prevention by requiring health care professionals and hospitals to include in their reports whether Naloxone (Narcan) was administered, the total dosage and the patient response.

See concise explanatory statement (above)

Type of Filing

Emergency Adoption


Effective from 04/03/2014 to 08/01/2014

was Renewed by 7862 on 08/01/2014

Notice and Hearing Dates

Notice Date: Notice Not Required

Hearing Date: Hearing Not Required


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Regulation History