Emergency Response Data

Note: We update this information quarterly.

Note: Here we use data from Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). Specifically, we examine suspected overdose data from the 48-hour reporting system and data for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) runs. All 48-hour reporting data represents suspected Emergency department (ED) visits for opioid overdoses. All EMS data represents data for suspected opioid-overdose related EMS runs.


Emergency Medical Services (EMS) respond to 9-1-1 calls for overdose across Rhode Island.

When EMS respond to a 9-1-1 call, data is collected about where and when the incident occurred, as well as who needed help. These data provide timely and comprehensive information about where and when nonfatal opioid overdoses are occurring around the state. A case definition was created to identify if the 9-1-1 call was related to an overdose, determined by: the primary and secondary impression, whether or not an overdose term was mentioned in the case narrative or chief complaint, and if naloxone was administered.

Source (RIDOH)

 


Overdoses happen everywhere in Rhode Island.

The data shown below reflect cases submitted to this anonymous 48-hour reporting system since January 2016. The Department of Health requires every health professional and hospital in Rhode Island to report all opioid overdoses or suspected overdoses within 48 hours, under regulation 216-RICR-20-20-5. Rhode Island was the first state to create such a system. We track these data in a timely and comprehensive manner, allowing the state to monitor metrics effectively.

Source (RIDOH)

 

Source (RIDOH)

After an overdose, recovery is possible.

Emergency Departments (EDs) offer services to patients who have overdosed, including peer recovery support. Certified peer recovery specialists (also known as a “recovery coaches”) are trained to support patients who have experienced an overdose and have lived experience with substance use or mental health conditions. Peer recovery coaches from AnchorED are on-call to meet with patients and Substance Abuse and Misuse Teams (SMART) are embedded within some EDs, like Rhode Island Hospital. These trained staff are on-site and ready to connect overdose patients to counseling, basic needs, harm reduction resources, and treatment and recovery support services.

Below we can see that after an overdose many people are connected to recovery services, such as counseling or naloxone. Together, these programs work to provide help to patients who experience an overdose.


Most emergency department visits for suspected overdoses occur among adults who are 25 years and older and among males.

This is consistent with what we see with our data on opioid deaths. While emergency department visits for suspected overdose were lower in 2020 compared to 2019, the number of overdose-related deaths has not gone down.

Source (RIDOH)

 



Source (RIDOH)