RICARES - Advocacy



In June of 2017 RICARES issued our initial report to the community. We gave an overview of the events leading, and actions taken, to address the accidental opioid overdose death epidemic in our state. This second report will list some new actions taken by the Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force (GTF).

  • We will state our perspective of some problematic aspects of the present treatment landscape.
  • We will urge the GTF to rapidly add to and enhance the existing harm reduction efforts and will list a range of specific recommendations.
  • We continue to be moved and inspired by the family members of victims who have decided to speak out and fight back.

Take time to read: RICARES Report To The Community

William White writes, “Through their stories, they are debunking the myth that only bad people from bad families die of drugs. They are saying to their lost loved one, ‘We will not let stigma and shame silence the speaking of your name; we will honor what you meant to us and turn our grief into something of great value to others.'”

RICARES Report to the Community: The Opioid Accidental Overdose Death Epidemic

RICARES logo in box

This report responds to the questions: How did we get here? What is being done now? What can be done? RICARES spent time in the community with folks directly affected by addiction and the overdose epidemic to explore these questions.

~“Corporate America let their profits get in the way of public health.” ~former head of the DEA Office of Diversion Control

~We view recovery as the most critical, but least emphasized, element of the Task Forces strategies. This is due in part to the relative dearth of recovery research. It is also due in part to the failure of those of us in recovery to adequately educate the public and policy makers about recovery.

~In Nashville, the drug court is attached to a 100 bed long-term residential center, where people are put in treatment for as long as two years. This saves Tennessee $32,000 over what it costs to house an inmate.

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Monica and Steve

Rhode Island Communities For Addiction Recovery Efforts (RICARES) is a grassroots alliance of individuals in recovery from substance use disorder.

Monica Smith, Executive Director, and Steve Gumbley, Board Member, discuss how the organization’s approach includes many pathways leading to a healthy lifestyle.

Man Holding Sign

Thank you Representative Perry and all of the recovery community who came together to make sure the Good Samaritan Act was reinstated.

§ 9-1-27.1 Good Samaritan – Immunity from liability.

No person who voluntarily and gratuitously renders emergency assistance to a person in need thereof including the administration of life saving treatment to those persons suffering from anaphylactic shock shall be liable for civil damages which result from acts or omissions by such persons rendering the emergency care, which may constitute ordinary negligence. This immunity does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross negligence or willful or wanton conduct.

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R.I. Enacts “Ban-the-Box” Law, Limiting Employer Inquiries into Applicants’ Criminal Histories

Voting Ban the Box

Effective January 1, 2014, a new law in Rhode Island will ban employers from inquiring on job applications about the criminal histories of applicants. Under the new law, most employers will have to wait until at least the first job interview to ask about convictions. Rhode Island law previously only prohibited inquiries into arrests or charges. On July 16, 2013, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law an amendment to the Rhode Island Fair Employment Practices Act. The amendment, at R.I.G.L. § 28-5-7(7), makes it an unlawful employment practice “[f]or any employer to include on any application for employment . . . a question inquiring or to otherwise inquire either orally or in writing whether the applicant has ever been arrested, charged with or convicted of any crime,” subject to limited exceptions.

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Lady holding gravestone sign

Members of the Rhode Island Recovery Community came together on a cold January afternoon to provide a visual expression of our overdose epidemic in the State to members of the legislature. The hope of this demonstration was both to insure that the Good Samaritan Bill protecting people who call 911 in the case of an overdose from prosecution, did not get lost, and to expand protections to those on probation and parole.

Overdose is an epidemic in Rhode Island that takes the lives of our friends and loved ones struggling with addiction. The Recovery Community came out in force for this powerful demonstration of the devastation left behind by overdose. Addiction is a disease, recovery is possible.

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