PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Foundation is providing a $250,000 grant to purchase thousands of opioid overdose prevention kits until a more sustainable source of state funding is in place.
The grant announced recently to the University of Rhode Island will enable the Community First Responder Program at its College of Pharmacy to purchase approximately 3,000 Narcan kits for distribution to community-based recovery and harm reduction organizations across the state, the foundation said in a statement.
There is a critical need for the kits. Supplies of Narcan, which is also known as naloxone, are seriously depleted as drug overdoses rise.
According to state Department of Health figures, 384 Rhode Islanders died of a drug overdose last year.
“Narcan kits are a simple solution to a deadly problem. While our funding will save lives, it’s just a large, yet critically needed, ‘band aid’ until a sustainable funding source is put in place,” foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg said.
The funding will provide about a two-month supply of Narcan.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in the state.