With national and local headlines about overdoses, fentanyl, and xylazine, it’s important to know about the risks of substance use and the local drug supply. In this week’s Public Health Out Loud podcast, Dr. Philip Chan is joined by Dr. Alexandra Collins and Dr. Rachel Wightman, who are leading a new research study at the Brown University School of Public Health and Warren Alpert Medical School called testRI.
The research team tests drug residue samples from used paraphernalia collected at overdose hotspots and donated from individuals or community organizations across Rhode Island. The results of the toxicology testing are shared via near-real-time updates including harm reduction mobile outreach teams, the State’s overdose data and resource website, Prevent Overdose RI, social media, and direct communications to primary care and behavioral health providers to help people understand what’s in the supply and how it may be impacting overdose rates in Rhode Island.
Listen to the episode to also learn about how to recognize the signs of an overdose and what you can do to respond. To learn more about this innovative research and Rhode Island’s drug overdose epidemic, visit PreventOverdoseRI.org.