drugs

New Hampshire police say they've arrested seven people in an ongoing effort to break up the drug trade in Nashua.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

National politicians, local law enforcement and education officials met in Manchester Friday to promote the importance of early childhood education in the state’s fight against opioids.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire has invested millions of dollars into curbing its opioid epidemic. But progress has been slow. That’s pushed some state policymakers and others to get creative.

This week, in a three-part series called “Alternatives,” NHPR’s Paige Sutherland reports on some less traditional approaches.

CREDIT CREDIT SUPERFANTASTIC / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

First responders in Manchester are noticing a change since the city banned smoking in downtown parks.

Chris Hickey, with the Manchester Fire Department, says there's been a reduction in overdoses from the synthetic marijuana known as Spice.

Courtesy of FACEBOOK

Communities across New Hampshire are holding vigils Thursday evening to honor the hundreds of lives lost in the state's drug epidemic. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Manchester and Laconia have seen a recent spike in drug overdoses but officials say it's not because there’s a new, stronger drug on the streets.

Substance abuse services across New Hampshire will be getting more than $1 million in new funding from the state. The Executive Council unanimously approved the move Wednesday in Keene.

Courtesy of The Friendship House

By next fall, the North Country will have a new residential drug treatment facility offering 32 beds. Construction is expected to start next month.

FILE

A new report shows that the increased use in substance misuse in New Hampshire has cost the state more than $2.3 billion.

That's an uptick of more than half a billion dollars from four years ago, the last time this study was done.

  New Hampshire's law granting certain immunity to people who report drug overdoses is poised to stay in place for the indefinite future.

A law signed last session would've repealed the immunity law, sometimes known as a "Good Samaritan" law, in 2018. But lawmakers are moving to repeal the repeal, meaning the law will stay on the books.

Senators say the legislation is saving lives as New Hampshire continues to deal with an opioid crisis. Nearly 500 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, a record high for the state.

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Human beings spend a lot of time satisfying primal urges, but relatively little talking about or studying them. On today’s show, what we can learn by studying hedonism.

Also, hell can mean a bad day, other people, or a threat to sinners, but it wasn’t always so. We'll talk about how hell has evolved, from a place of flaming torture, to tangible horrors here in the real world.

And, at the height of the Ebola epidemic last fall, the hardest hit areas in West Africa not only struggled with containing the virus, but respectfully burying the dead. We’ll take a look at how funeral rites were handled during history’s worst epidemics.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

When it comes to fighting the drug crisis, Chris Sununu has said, broadly, that he wants to promote “aggressive” drug prevention education programs and to expand treatment availability for people struggling with addiction.

But this week Sununu called for more aggressive penalties and enforcement when it comes to drug trafficking.

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America's opioid crisis has local, state and federal officials scrambling - which is why the DEA decided to ban Kratom, an Asian  plant with an opioid-like effect, as a schedule one drug. But some researchers and users say it could help addicts get kick addictive drugs. Today, crackdown on Kratom - the drug you hadn't heard of until last week.

Plus, walk into a pre-school or elementary school today and you won't find peanut butter, but you'll likely see a few sets of twins ...we'll look at twinning patterns throughout human history, and why the proportion of twins in the population continues to ebb and flow.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A substance abuse treatment facility in Franklin, Farnum North, has added 42 more inpatient beds. And with help from donations, the center can now start treating patients who lack insurance. 

Fuse809 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], / via Wikimedia Commons

If you could take a pill that would enhance your concentration, increase your productivity, and reduce your stress levels, would you do it? Or is that cheating? On today’s show, the science and ethics behind a growing class of so-called "smart-drugs". 

Plus, a portrait of bias: in the aftermath of the great depression, the WPA commissioned hundreds of interviews with former slaves and descendants of slaves and recorded their stories as part of the Federal Writer's Project. However, the circumstances under which the interviews were collected have given researchers pause.

via UFL.edu

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program finally got off the ground in April, with the opening of the state’s first cannabis treatment center. Three of the four state-licensed dispensaries are now operating, and more than 1,100 people with serious illnesses are approved to use the drug.

But many, if not most, of the New Hampshire residents who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana won’t be able to legally obtain it.

Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to spend nearly $2 million on body scanners for state prisons and county jails is heading to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk. Senators approved the legislation Thursday on a party line vote.

Republicans, like Andy Sanborn of Bedford, told colleagues that making anyone who sets foot in a jail or prison prison pass though scanners is a way to deal with an obvious problem.

Flickr

After much debate, the New Hampshire Senate Thursday voted to keep the state’s so-called drug forfeiture fund alive.

Under current law money or assets seized in a criminal drug bust are put into a special fund used to combat future drug crimes. 

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It's known on the street as Ecstasy, MDX, or Molly, but MDMA is now being tested as a way to treat the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic PTSD. Today, one of the premier drivers of MDMA research brings his mission to fund clinical trials to New England.

Then, fans of Downton Abbey know that it takes a well-oiled domestic staff to keep a British estate looking pristine. We’re taking deeper look into the history of British servitude...and cleaning.

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You might be surprised to learn that America’s murder rate has been steadily declining for more than two decades. Despite the drop, the number of murder cases being solved has remained flat.

On today’s show, technology, trust, and why cops aren't solving more murders. Plus, a grieving mother turns to art to remember her daughter, and other victims of New Hampshire’s heroin epidemic.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House wrapped up its second day of the new legislative session Thursday after voting on dozens of bills and even hosting a few GOP presidential candidates.

Former Governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore was the first candidate to join the House as part of a month-long series leading up to the presidential primary on February 9.

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The life of a 'repo man' is always intense; just imagine the stakes on the high seas. On today’s show, we’ll dive into the murky world of maritime "repo men", hired to recover ships stolen and scrubbed to hide their identity by gun runners, human traffickers, and pirates.

Then, for nearly 50 million U.S. workers, drug tests are a condition of employment. We'll look into the costs and efficacy of random drug testing. 

12.30.15: "Heroin: Cape Cod, USA" & What to Talk About

Dec 30, 2015
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Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re in an elevator and your boss steps in. You scan your brain for something clever to say and come up with…bupkis. On today’s show we'll get some tips on how to get a good conversation started with anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Then, conversations between the deaf and hard of hearing rely on near constant eye contact, which turns walking and talking into an elaborate dance of avoiding obstacles to maintain sightlines. Later in the show, we'll hear about a University with buildings and spaces designed for how deaf people communicate.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

 

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte says New Hampshire is getting more help in prosecuting drug traffickers.

Ayotte says she has secured a commitment from the Drug Enforcement Administration to create a federally-funded, full-time position in the U.S. attorney's office to enhance efforts to prosecute drug traffickers. Ayotte, a Republican, had written a letter to Department of Justice officials in October requesting funding for the position.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Republican lawmakers will propose a special task force to review solutions to the state’s opioid crisis when the Legislature returns for a special session next week. 

File Photo

A cousin of one of the world's most notorious drug lords who prosecutors say was working to distribute cocaine in the United States has been sentenced in a New Hampshire court to 16 years in federal prison.

Manuel Jesus Gutierrez-Guzman, cousin of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, was sentenced Friday. He pleaded guilty in October to his role in a conspiracy to expand the reach of his cousin's drug empire into New England by distributing 1,000 or more kilograms of cocaine and other drugs. He was arrested in Spain in 2012.

Daniel S Hurd via Flickr CC

 

Efforts to combat the state's growing heroin and opioid abuse problems have become the latest political football in the budget battle between Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican lawmakers.

The debate will play out Wednesday when a legislative committee must decide whether to accept $112,500 in grant money to continue paying Hassan's senior director for substance misuse and behavioral health, known as the state's "drug czar." Hassan appointed Jack Wozmak in January.

 

The cousin of one of the world's most notorious drug lords is set to be sentenced for his role in trying to expand the violent cartel's reach in Europe and the United States.

Jesus Gutierrez-Guzman has pleaded guilty to planning to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine in the United States. He faces at least 10 years in prison when he's sentenced Monday.

He said he represented Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," in talks with undercover FBI agents. He said the violent Sinaloa drug gang could supply thousands of kilos of cocaine.

Russell Darling via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7uLMhV

Human beings spend a lot of time satisfying primal urges, but relatively little talking about or studying them. On today’s show, what we can learn by studying hedonism.

Then, at the height of the Ebola epidemic last fall, the hardest hit areas in West Africa not only struggled with containing the virus, but respectfully burying the dead. We’ll take a look at how funeral rites were handled during history’s worst epidemics.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

zoecormier.com

Zoe Cormier is a scientist turned science journalist. Her first book, Sex, Drugs, & Rock ‘n Roll, is a collection of surprising and revealing research into the biology and neurochemistry of hedonism and the human pursuit of pleasure. And while some may wag a finger at those who indulge in sex, drugs, and even rock and roll, Zoe is quick to point out that these indulgences are a vital component in what defines us. 

Nor are these specific aspects of our condition that should be repressed. 

Listen to Virginia's entire interview with Zoe below. 

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