PROVIDENCE, R.I. — State health officials say nearly half of all patients hospitalized in Rhode Island for drug overdoses in the first six months of this year refused to speak with a recovery coach.

The information was released this week Wednesday during a meeting of the Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force.

The Rhode Island Department of Health says during the first six months of this year, 757 people who overdosed showed up at hospital emergency rooms around Rhode Island. Of those, nearly 500 overdose survivors were asked while in the hospital if they wanted to speak with a recovery coach, and 45 percent refused the offer.

Some said people who overdose may be ashamed.

Experts say the high refusal rate thwarts state efforts to curb the opioid epidemic and fatal overdoses.

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