drug czar

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: June 2, 2017

Jun 1, 2017

After more than ten hours of debate, the New Hampshire Senate passes a GOP-crafted state budget along party lines. The N.H. House will vote on the plan next week. Three significant pieces of voting legislation are up for a final vote in the House.   Former Manchester Police Chief David Mara takes over as the Governor's Advisor on Addiction and Behavioral Health, known as the "drug czar".  Mara currently serves as interim police chief in Portsmouth. 

CREDIT SARA PLOURDE / NHPR

The State's so-called "drug czar" is stepping down. 

James Vara, who held the position for the past year, has been nominated by Gov. Chris Sununu to serve as Chief of Staff for the Attorney General. The Executive Council must approve Vara's new position at next week's meeting.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan signed an executive order Wednesday calling for the creation of the state’s first ever committee designed to analyze drug overdose deaths. 

Peter Biello for NHPR

Thirty-eight-year old James Vara is about to become the state's so-called Drug Czar. For another few weeks, he'll be wrapping up his work as a Senior Assistant Attorney General at the Department of Justice, but when he starts his new position, he'll be taking a leading role in solving a problem that killed more than four hundred people in New Hampshire last year: the state's opiate addiction crisis.

Jim Cole/Associated Press

Governor Maggie Hassan named a drug prosecutor to be the state's new 'Drug Czar.' James Vara helped draft newly enacted legislation to stiffen penalties for Fentanyl distribution.

State Drug Czar Will Resign

Jan 15, 2016
Josh Rogers/NHPR

Jack Wozmak says with the legislature presently focused on the opioid crisis, now is a good time for him to step down as the state's so-called "drug czar." (Click here to read his resignation letter.) 

PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

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.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Since appointed by Governor Hassan to lead the fight against an epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse, Wozmak has faced some political pushback and a budget impasse. We’ll talk with him about that and hear his plan for marshaling the state’s resources to tackle drug abuse and overdose deaths.

GUEST:

  • Jack Wozmak – New Hampshire’s senior director of Substance Misuse and Behavioral Health for the Governor’s Office, also known as the state’s ‘drug czar.’
     

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Lawmakers Wednesday approved a $112,500 grant to fund the state's so-called "drug czar" through December, providing some stability to what has been a politically contentious issue in recent weeks.

FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

New Hampshire’s drug czar has released his initial recommendations on how the state can combat its growing opioid problem.