Rhode Island overdose deaths rise to 78 in 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Health says the number of people who have died of apparent accidental overdoses continues to rise.

Spokesman Jim Palmer says 78 people have died in Rhode Island this year as of Friday. That's an increase of six deaths since they last announced a number 10 days ago.

The health department recently announced new rules that require health care professionals and hospitals to report all opiate overdoses or suspected overdoses within 48 hours.

It has also issued emergency regulations that allow the overdose antidote Narcan to be more widely available, including to law enforcement agencies.

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