drug overdose

Punching Judy via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/3WYLgF

People who use heroin or other opioids will now be able to obtain a prescription for an emergency treatment that can reverse the effects of an overdose.

Nalaxone was previously only available to police officers and emergency medical providers trained in its use. On Tuesday, Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill into law that removes Nalaxone – which is sold under the trade name Narcan - from the state’s list of controlled substances, making it available to drug users and the friends and family of people with a history of opioid abuse. 

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.

Indie Photos / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire officials call it a public health epidemic: record numbers of Granite Staters are overdosing and dying because of opioid drugs, especially heroin.   We’ll find out how this problem grew so quickly, and the state’s responses to it, including a relatively new prescription drug monitoring program.

GUESTS:

  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.

New Hampshire lawmakers say they’re thinking outside the criminal code when it comes to the designer drug known as Spice and may consider consumer protection laws such as labeling requirements.

A study committee met for the second time Thursday to look into ways to create a statewide approach to banning the substance, which has proven to be a challenge through conventional legislation.

Courtesy image/Manchester PD

Governor Maggie Hassan has declared a state of emergency in the wake of more than 40 synthetic marijuana overdose cases since Monday.

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice, has been linked to a jump in overdoses in Manchester and Concord. The powers of Governor Hassan’s executive order to seize the drug sold ostensibly as incense in corner stores, applies only to the bubblegum-flavored variety of a brand called ‘Smacked!.’ Health Commissioner Nick Toumpas says other brands called ‘Green Giant’ and ‘Crazy Monkey’ may also be dangerous.

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.

GUESTS:

(Photo courtesy RealBollywood.com)

A reflection on reactions to the pop singer's death this past weekend.