Updated on May 18, 2024
2 min read

Updated Drug and Alcohol Statistics for Rhode Island

Rhode Island is confronting a significant drug and alcohol abuse crisis, with the state experiencing high rates of overdose deaths, youth substance use, and excessive alcohol consumption. This article presents an overview of the current state of drug and alcohol use in Rhode Island, highlighting alarming statistics on the opioid epidemic, youth substance use, and the challenges in providing adequate treatment and recovery services.

  • In 2022, 434 Rhode Islanders died of accidental overdose deaths, similar to the 435 deaths in 2021.1
  • Fentanyl was involved in 75% of fatal overdoses, while cocaine was involved in 50% of fatal overdoses.1
  • A total of 863 overdose deaths attributable to opioids occurred between 2016 and 2019.2

Overdose Deaths

Rhode Island has been greatly impacted by the opioid epidemic, with a high number of overdose deaths in recent years.

  • In 2022, 434 Rhode Islanders died of accidental overdose deaths, similar to the 435 deaths in 2021.1
  • There was a 13% decrease in overdose deaths between the first six months of 2022 and the second six months of 2022.1
  • Fentanyl was involved in 75% of fatal overdoses, while cocaine was involved in 50% of fatal overdoses.1
Rhode Island chart 1

While the decrease in overdose deaths is encouraging, the high rates of fentanyl and cocaine involvement highlight the need for continued efforts to address the opioid crisis.

Alcohol Use and Related Issues

Alcohol use, particularly among youth, is a significant concern in Rhode Island.

  • 11.2% of youth in Rhode Island binge drink, compared to 11.2% nationally.3
  • 13.2% of adolescents aged 12–17 used alcohol in the past month.4
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Youth Substance Use

Monitoring youth substance use is crucial for developing targeted prevention and intervention strategies.

  • The Youth Risk Behavior Survey monitors health behaviors among youth, including alcohol and drug use.5

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Additional Statistics

Other substance use trends and challenges in Rhode Island include:

  • A total of 863 overdose deaths attributable to opioids occurred between 2016 and 2019.2
  • Higher rates of opioid overdose deaths occur in urban areas of Rhode Island.2
  • The average annual rate of naloxone kits distributed per 100,000 residents was 548.6

The statistics presented in this article underscore the severity of the drug and alcohol abuse crisis in Rhode Island. From the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic to the concerning levels of youth substance use, it is clear that urgent action is needed to address these issues. By investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery services, and promoting collaboration among community stakeholders, Rhode Island can work towards supporting those struggling with addiction and creating a healthier future for all its residents.

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Updated on May 18, 2024

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