Rhode Island was among the original 13 colonies that formed the United States. Its history is accentuated by the colonial villages and scenic coastal regions that continue attracting residents and visitors alike. However, many of these people struggle with substance abuse and addiction - which often prevents them from living a fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.
Prescription opioid and opiate pain relief medications as well as heroin are some of the most common substances of abuse among the people who enroll in addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers in Rhode Island.
According to the state's Department of Health, opioid drugs claimed more than 257 lives in 2015 alone - as a result of a drug overdose. This number was higher than the total number of lives that were taken by homicides and motor car accidents.
Further, the state led the rest of the country in terms of the rates of illicit substance abuse and addiction in 2013. Further, drug overdoses that led to fatal outcomes in this state were the highest in the rest of the larger New England region.
The increasing availability of prescription opioids is now considered to be driving up these numbers as well as contributing to the drug epidemic that Rhode Island has been struggling with.
Apart from opioids, marijuana is commonly abused among the residents of this state. Although the recreational use of this substance is illegal, many people tend to abuse it. They do so at rates that rival those where the drug is legal.
In 2014, for instance, it was reported that close to 19 percent of the entire population of Rhode Island had abused marijuana at least once within the year. This number was higher than that reported in Oregon - which was at 18.9 percent - but lower than the 19.4 percent that was reported in Washington.
Most of the marijuana in the state is supplied by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. However, law enforcement officials have been arresting other offenders in the state for cultivating the drug on a commercial basis.
The NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - also reported that drug overdose fatalities had been increasing between 2009 and 2016 in Rhode Island. By the end of the study period, deaths caused by a drug overdose were higher than those arising from suicide, motor car accidents, and homicide - combined.
Opioid drugs comprise the largest substance abuse threat in Rhode Island. They include synthetic opioids like fentanyl and its analogs, prescription opioid and opiate pain relief medications like Vicodin and Percocet, and heroin.
26.7 lives were lost to a drug overdose involving opioids in 2016 for every segment of 100,000 people. This number was higher than the national average of 13.3 fatalities for a similar segment.
If you have been diagnosed with a substance abuse and addiction problem in Rhode Island, the best decision you can make is to enroll in a licensed, accredited, and high quality addiction treatment and rehabilitation center for help in overcoming this issue.