Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, but it’s the second most densely populated. Substance abuse is generally increasing quickly in New England, but this problem is particularly severe in Rhode Island. The high employment rate in Rhode Island is one of the most significant factors for its substance abuse problem, despite the generally favorable economic conditions in the United States in 2018. Additional factors also contribute to the high rate of substance abuse in Rhode Island.

Top Rhode Island Drug Rehab Centers

The largest cities in Rhode Island are Providence, Warwick, Cranston, and Pawtucket, so most rehabs will be in these cities. However, some of the best Rhode Island rehabs are located in smaller towns.

Phoenix House (Exeter)

Phoenix House primarily provides detox services, with stays lasting up to seven days. Clients are monitored by registered nurses 24 hours a day.

Adcare Hospital (Warwick)

This location of Adcare Hospital focuses on outpatient care, although other locations provide inpatient and medical detox services. They serve clients with a range of addiction levels and drug dependencies.

Doric Center (Cranston)

Doric Center provides outpatient behavioral health counseling for a variety of issues, including substance abuse. They serve teens and adults.

The Galilee Mission (Providence)

The Galilee Mission is a residential substance abuse treatment facility for adult males. It’s licensed by the State of Rhode Island and gives priority to residents of South County.

Rhode Island Treatment Programs

Rhode Island drug rehab programs may be classified into inpatient and outpatient programs. Inpatient treatment generally living at the facility full time, whereas outpatient treatment means that you only visit the facility for a specific purpose.

Rhode Island inpatient drug rehab services are further classified into short and long-term programs. Short-term programs are generally no more than 30 days, with the first week or so typically dedicated to the detoxification, or detox, phase of the treatment program. Short-term programs generally focus on the physical aspects of substance abuse, including basic healthcare practices that are often neglected during heavy drug use. Long-term programs are typically two to three months in duration and focus more on the psychological aspects of drug dependency. These programs primarily consist of counseling and therapy sessions, including the development of life skills and support systems.

Outpatient treatment services are scheduled for specific times, allowing you to continue fulfilling your daily responsibilities by living at home. These services primarily include counseling and receiving medication, although the format and intensity of the session. The general focus of outpatient services is on education and establishing a support network.

Rhode Island Drug Laws

The Rhode Island state legislature passed a series of bills in 2016 that address the misuse of opioids in that state, especially prescription drugs. These bills imposed stricter prescribing limits and drug monitoring requirements. They also included treatment reforms and new insurance mandates.

Illicit drug use has a strong correlation with other crimes, which leads to additional incarceration. It also plays a significant role in recidivism and often leads to an inter-generational problem with incarceration. The state legislature is also attempting to pass a series of bills that will reform criminal justice in Rhode Island, which will generally reduce prison sentences for drug users.

The primary justification for these bills is the economic benefit they will provide to the state. Incarceration is generally very expensive, especially in Rhode Island where real estate is scarce. Fewer inmates will ultimately decrease property taxes and reduce the crowding out of the private sector in Rhode Island.

These criminal justice reform bills had the support of many community leaders as well as conservative and liberal politicians. It passed the Senate in 2016 and was supported by the governor, but it was killed in the House. Supporters of criminal justice reform planned to re-introduce an expanded version of this package at the next legislative session in 2017.

Specific Concerns in Rhode Island

The 2016 Family Prosperity Index (FPI) ranks Rhode Island last in overall family health and illicit drug use. The rate of illicit drug use in Rhode Island has always exceeded the national average when measured as a percentage of the population. However, the growth of illicit drug use over the past two decades is cause for particular concern. The 2016 FPI shows that the use of illicit drugs in the United States increased by 19 percent between 2002 and 2014, while the increase for Rhode Island during that period was 37 percent. Lowering the rate of illicit drug use in Rhode Island to the national average would mean that 46,000 fewer people would suffer from this problem.

Rhode Island Drug Statistics

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) statistics on drug use that are specific to Rhode Island. About 15,980 Rhode Islanders between the ages of 12 and 20 admitted to binge drinking within the past month in 2016. Binge drinking is the consumption of at least five alcoholic drinks for males and four for females within a two-hour period. An alcoholic drink can be 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Approximately 4,050 Rhode Islanders were diagnosed with illicit drug use disorder in 2016, with 405 receiving treatment. Illicit drugs include illegal drugs as well as prescription drugs used in a way not directed by a doctor. About 7,250 Rhode Islanders were diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorder in 2016, with 310 receiving treatment. Approximately 9,220 Rhode Islanders were diagnosed with substance use disorder in 2016, with 430 receiving treatment. A substance is generally defined as anything with a significant psychoactive effect.

Government Services

The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) is empowered as the single authority for both mental health and substance abuse in Rhode Island. The Division of Behavioral Healthcare Services (DBH) is under the BHDDH and has the overall responsibility for administering a state-wide system for the intervention, treatment, and prevention of substance abuse. The DBH is comprised of two services, including Mental Health Services and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Services.

The DBH’s specific responsibilities include assessing Rhode Island’s treatment needs and current capacity in addition to managing the state’s contracts and grants. It also provides guidance for treatment facilities and the public. Additional responsibilities of the DBH include implementing policies for substance abuse treatment and recommending options for service delivery.

Signs You May Need Rehab

Physical dependency on a drug is the most obvious indication that you need to enter rehab. Physical signs primarily include withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking your drug of choice, usually within a few hours. These symptoms can vary by drug, but they generally include headaches, nausea, and cramps. The long-term effects of alcohol abuse include damage to the liver, heart, and brain. Prolonged stimulant use can also damage the cardiovascular system.

The signs of psychological drug dependency are more difficult to identify, but they’re usually more significant. The most common sign of a psychological dependency is usually when people close to you advise you to stop using drugs. Other signs include negative consequences in your life due to drug use, including the loss of your job or a personal relationship.


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