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Drug overdoses kill seven more people in R.I. in five days

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Seven more people have died of drug overdoses in Rhode Island since Friday, bringing this year’s total to 45, health officials said. State Health Director Michael Fine announced the deaths Wednesday night at a community forum on overdose prevention, held at Miriam Hospital in Providence. The number of overdose deaths in the state so far in 2014 is twice the average. Fine said the prescription painkiller fentanyl was found in the blood of 28 of the people who died. Fentanyl is being blamed for dozens of recent overdose deaths across the country, including among some who injected a heroin-fentanyl mix.

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