The heroin overdose "epidemic" continues in Rhode Island as state health officials have announced that another 11 people have died following accidental overdoses this month.
Since Jan. 1, there have been 38 fatal overdoses in the Ocean State. Twenty-seven were reported in January, up significantly from January 2013 when 18 died. Rhode Island Department of Health Director Dr. Michael Fine is calling the situation an "epidemic."
The increased deaths have been attributed to fentanyl - a powerful painkiller that has been found in 25 of the 33 cases investigated thus far.
To combat the surge in overdoses, the Rhode Island State Police plan to undergo training in the use of naloxone (also known as Narcan) - a drug used to counter heroin overdoses.