- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The first round of training to help deal with an increase in accidental drug overdose deaths in Rhode Island is being held this month.

The state agency overseeing behavioral health this week issued regulations requiring training on overdose treatment and prevention for staff in state-licensed behavioral health facilities. The training will include how to administer naloxone, which is used to reverse the effects of a heroin overdose.

Director Craig Stenning says the agency met with providers this week to begin establishing protocols. The first trainings are set for Feb. 21 and Feb. 25.

There were 27 fatal overdoses in Rhode Island in January. State health officials have reported an increase in fatalities associated with fentanyl, a powerful painkiller implicated in a string of Northeast deaths.

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