Rhode Island: Substance AbusePage 11 of 12

9. Concluding Remarks

Under Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island in 2016 became the first state in the country to offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to prison inmates, and it has since seen a steep decline in the number of overdose deaths among former inmates. Between 2016 and 2020, Rhode Island established 14 Centers of Excellence in various locations, each offering a high standard of care for opioid use disorder, including MAT in conjunction with other evidence-based treatments (Burke & Sullivan, 2020).

In 2017 the state formed a partnership with Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School to incorporate training in addiction treatment into the curriculum and allow graduates who remain in Rhode Island to earn automatic waivers to prescribe buprenorphine in lieu of standard training requirements. This program became the model for a provision of the federal Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018, which similarly enables any graduate of a medical school that incorporates an approved addiction curriculum to apply for a buprenorphine waiver upon graduation without further training (Burke & Sullivan, 2020).