drug abuse

Andres Rodriguez / Flickr / Creative Commons

We continue our discussion on the heroin epidemic in the Granite State with a focus on prevention.  Given the record numbers of drug overdoes deaths in New Hampshire, we’ll ask what steps health providers, educators, law enforcement, and other members of the community are taking to stop drug use before it starts.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

As the heroin crisis in New Hampshire continues, and the number of overdoses grows, communities around the state are addressing the issues with increasing urgency.

Douglas Porter via Flickr CC

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill that would give people who report alcohol or drug overdoses immunity from criminal prosecution in certain situations.

A Senate committee is taking testimony on a bill, already passed by the House, on Tuesday. Senators earlier this year sent a similar bill for more study. The bill's sponsors say their intent is to encourage witnesses and victims of drug overdoses to seek medical attention that could save a life.

New Hampshire is in the midst of a drug epidemic. The state’s Medical Examiner’s office says drug-related deaths have risen to a record high of 300 in 2014. To combat the most addictive drugs, lawmakers will consider tripling funding for the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

Of those three things, recovery services are severely lacking in New Hampshire, compared to neighboring states.

  The state’s Medical Examiner’s Office says the number of people who died of drug overdoses in 2014 is up to 300. That’s a record for the state and the number could still climb as ‘cause of death’ is determined for pending cases.

The synthetic opioid fentanyl was identified in a growing number of overdose deaths and even outpaced heroin as the leading cause of drug-related deaths last year. There were 193 drug-related deaths in 2013.

State officials say opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels.

B.A.D. via Flickr CC

As the number of heroin-related deaths and hospital visits rise in New Hampshire, health officials have started a website directory for locating drug treatment services in the state.

The site, www.nhtreatment.org, was developed to help people in need of alcohol and drug abuse treatment find available service providers.

Joe Harding, director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services, said the site also will enable providers who provide treatment to easily register to list their services.

The Economic Impact Of Substance Abuse In N.H.

Dec 17, 2014
Joe Shlabotnik / Flickr/CC

On top of individual suffering, a recent report finds alcohol and drugs also take a toll on workforce productivity and the state’s fiscal well-being -- to the tune of nearly two billion dollars.  The authors say policy makers and business leaders should consider addressing this as way to help bolster the state’s economy.

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ep_jhu

Drug and alcohol abuse put a $1.84 billion strain on the New Hampshire economy in 2012, according to a new study. That figure was almost three percent of the state’s GDP in that same year.

Courtesy Rachel justmakeit via Flickr/Creative Commons

Families in Transition (FIT) provides safe, affordable housing and support services to families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The goal is to help people achieve self-sufficiency. Rebecca moved into Families in Transition housing when her youngest daughter was two months old.

Substance Abuse And Addiction: N.H. Discusses

Oct 29, 2014
http://nhlistens.org/sites/nhlistens.org/files/media/pdf/New_Futures_Final_Report_Final_Web.pdf / New Hampshire Listens

It’s no secret that substance abuse is a huge and growing problem across the United States. And although New Hampshire is often ranked healthier than other states, substance abuse is one area in which we fare worse. For example, the Granite State is well above average in terms of binge drinking and prescription drug abuse, and below average in prevention and treatment. And now, a new initiative this year brought together community members in conversations across the state to discuss these problems, and the biggest barriers to addressing them.

Steve Smith via Flickr CC

New Hampshire doctors are among the nation’s most prolific prescribers of Oxycontin and other opioids, according to a government report released Tuesday that analyzed the state-by-state use of highly addictive painkillers.

The Executive Council has picked an Alabama company to begin collecting data that will help physicians and pharmacists identify patients who may be abusing prescription medications.

The five-year contract awarded to Health Information Designs is the next step in the state’s effort to set up a prescription drug monitoring program, or PMP. Such programs are aimed at “doctor shopping,” in which patients visit multiple physicians for prescriptions that are then filled at different pharmacies.

NHPR Staff

It’s been nearly two years since state health officials announced a major outbreak of hepatitis C at Exeter Hospital. The cause of that outbreak was what's known as drug diversion – a hospital worker stealing drugs and tainting syringes later used on patients.

Courtesy Rachel justmakeit via Flickr/Creative Commons

Families in Transition provides safe, affordable housing and support services to families and individuals who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The goal is to help people achieve self-sufficiency. Rebecca moved into Families in Transition housing when her youngest daughter was two months old.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  About 80% of the people behind bars in New Hampshire have substance abuse issues. It’s a growing problem and one way the justice system is trying to address the problem is with drug courts—where nonviolent offenders have their sentences suspended if they take part in treatment. Five counties now operate drug courts and efforts are underway to start two more in Manchester and Nashua. The program could help reduce recidivism rates.


W.W. Norton

Author Andre Dubus III talks about his new book "Dirty Love"

  • A successful professional hopes to win back his wife after proving her infidelity. A bank clerk crowding in on 30 and hoping for a family moves in with her compulsive, demeaning boyfriend.  A bartender who fancies himself a poet cheats on his pregnant wife, and a pretty teenaged girl gets shamed on Youtube and reaches out for the promise of a new future and a new love on Skype. These characters all live in the faded beach towns and leafy suburbs of the New England coast. They are united by their clumsy attempts at connection and are the subjects of four loosely connected novellas in a new book called “Dirty Love” by Andre Dubus III. The national book award-winning author of “House of Sand and Fog” and “Townie” again presents gritty, frustrated lives on the skids of the American dream... NOTE: Andre's reading and book signing at the New England College has been rescheduled to April 16th due to weather.
MPD

Over the last two days, police in Manchester arrested 30 street-level heroin dealers. Three were on Wednesday and at least 27 on Thursday since 5 o’clock in the morning.


H.GrahamSmith / Flickr Creative Commons

Long a problem in New England and around the country, heroin has recently caused a rise in overdose deaths and drug-related crime, and increased concern over contamination.  We’ll find out what’s fueling this increase, how it’s affecting our region and different strategies states are adopting to combat it.

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Thomas Fearon

With rising need and limited dollars, how best can we use funding? Should we add more acute care hospital beds, boost community services, focus on drug and alcohol treatment or diseases like schizophrenia?

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New Hampshire ranks 5th in the nation for binge drinking and regular marijuana use among young adults.  That’s according to numbers released this month by the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.  But the federal government has awarded some communities grants to focus on prevention.

Heroin in New Hampshire

Jun 13, 2013

The rise in heroin usage in Northern New England has reached alarming levels. Some attribute it to an epidemic in prescription drug abuse, where those addicted to painkillers like oxycodone can no longer afford those pills are switching to a cheaper alternative. In New Hampshire deaths from heroin have increased 6 to 7 times in the last decade. We’re looking at the increased problem of heroin addiction here in NH and what can be done about it.

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