- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 13, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Two Rhode Island hospitals are distributing the anti-overdose drug naloxone to patients who are treated for an opioid overdose or are at risk of one.

Care New England Health System said Wednesday that Butler Hospital in Providence and Kent Hospital in Warwick are distributing naloxone, also known as Narcan.

Kent started on Aug. 1. Butler began giving Narcan kits to patients discharged from its alcohol and drug inpatient unit in April. It previously gave them to other patients as of last fall.

First responders in Rhode Island were already using Narcan, which is now being used by state police and some municipal police departments.

Health officials have reported 127 overdose deaths this year and called the problem an epidemic.

Memorial Hospital is also developing a Narcan program.

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