N.H. House Backs Bill Making Untreated Opioid Dependence a Trigger For State to Intervene

Apr 20, 2016

The New Hampshire House Wednesday backed a measure that would allow the state Division of Children, Youth and Families to investigate parents suspected of having an opioid dependence. 

As written, the bill would exempt parents currently involved in treatment or actively seeking treatment.  

Democrat Skip Berrien of Exeter said this bill would ensure that DCYF can offer services before problems escalate.

“Currently the Division of Children, Youth and Families has no legal basis for intervening with families with untreated substance abuse until a child has experienced gross neglect, physical or sexual abuse,” Berrien told his colleagues on the House floor Wednesday. 

Opponents of the bill argue it could prevent pregnant women battling substance abuse from seeking prenatal care for fear of losing their child. 

The bill passed 203 to 129 and now heads back to the Senate.