- Associated Press - Thursday, June 29, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A bill requiring health care professionals to discuss the dangers of opioid addiction before prescribing the medication is headed to the governor for her signature.

Lawmakers on Wednesday approved the bill, which was prompted by the growing number of opioid overdoses and deaths.

According to state public health officials, 336 Rhode Island residents died of accidental drug overdoses last year, up from 290 deaths in 2015.

If signed by the governor, patients would be told about the risks of developing an addiction and the potential for overdose or death, as well as adverse risks of concurrent use with alcohol or other medications.

The General Assembly has passed other measures to address opioid abuse. The state operates a prescription drug monitoring program and has made an overdose reversal drug more available.

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