N.H.'s 'Drug Czar' Funded For Two More Years

Oct 23, 2015

The state can now begin spending more than $3 million dollars to address substance abuse in the state budget. That’s after the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse on Friday finalized plans for the money.

Of that total, $300,000 will go for more treatment beds, $200,000 for medication assisted treatment and $125,000 will be bound for a pilot program in Keene that works to help those at-risk for addiction.

But the only friction at the meeting was around whether to fund the state’s drug czar position, which was eventually approved for two years. Several questioned the position and the performance of Gov. Maggie Hassan’ pick for the job – Jack Wozmak.

But New Hampshire’s public safety, corrections and health and human services commissioners, who meet weekly with Wozmak, were in favor of keeping it.

“There’s so many gaps that are still not being addressed, and I think our best hope is this position because none of us have the time to do it,” said Public Safety Commissioner John Barthelmes.

Attorney General Joe Foster also supported Wozmak's role. “He brings up ideas, he cross pollinates ideas and we coordinate way better than we otherwise would,” Foster told the commission. 

The overall funding for substance abuse is more than double the amount that was in the last state budget.

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