Heroin

    

At least 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year, the most ever in the state.

A report cites the synthetic opioid fentanyl and heroin as the top two drugs having caused those deaths.

Laconia is among the communities where that spike in overdoses has continued into 2015.

Chris Adams is chief of police for Laconia, and joined Morning Edition to talk about how the city is handling the problem.

What are your officers are seeing out there?

  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.

Credit Taber Andrew Bain

It will soon be easier for police to reverse heroin and opioid overdoses.

Governor Maggie Hassan and the Department of Safety will create a new license for police that would allow them to administer a nasal spray called as naloxone, or Narcan. Narcan is what’s called an opioid antagonist, and it can save people in the throes of an overdose.

Police in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island have access to the drug.

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.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

New Hampshire's new $38 million prison – which is being built in Concord as I write this – may be too small.

 The fact that the state’s prison population has been growing steadily is well known. What’s new is a striking increase in the number of female inmates in state prison over the last six months. It’s 13 percent higher compared to 2013. That’s roughly four times the rate of increase among male inmates. 

Heroin
Courtesy of MPD

Police in Manchester are dealing with a recent spate of fatalities caused by drug overdoses.

Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7, the city saw six overdose deaths.

Sgt. Brian O’Keefe says the department is waiting for toxicology results to confirm, but the suspicion is heroin use was involved in each case.

“Heroin today is roughly 30 to 40 percent purity," he said. "So if they add a few percentage of more pure ingredients such as heroin to the current product on the market, that can cause the uptick in fatalities.”

Easier Access To Overdose Drug Could Save Lives

Nov 24, 2014
Taber Andrew Bain

A task force appointed by the governor says first responders need quick and easy access to a drug that’s been proven to save lives during a heroin overdose.

There were over 1,200 drug related emergency calls in NH last year. Seventy people died from heroin overdoses.

But the drug task force’s expects higher numbers in 2014, which is why it wants first responders to have easy access to a nasal spray called naloxone. That drug has proven to be effective in saving the lives of people in the throes of an opioid overdose.

Carol Robidoux

  The Manchester Police Department along with various local and federal law enforcement agencies have arrested 23 low-level drug dealers in the city.

One city resident police arrested was found with about 140 grams of heroin in his home which holds a street value of $14,000.

Chief David Mara says the arrests serve as a deterrent to people engaged in illicit drug activity and improves the city’s quality of life.

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.

A coalition of federal and regional law enforcement officials have designated Rockingham County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.  Rockingham County joins Hillsborough as a so-called “HIDTA” county.

While it may seem like an unwanted distinction, Jay Fallon, Director of the New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, says it will actually bring additional federal funds and coordination between federal, state and local organizations

New England governors are promising to develop a regional strategy by this fall to better address opioid addiction and overdoses.

Five governors met at Brandeis University Tuesday. They all say that opioid addiction and overdose rates in their states are rising and affecting the quality of life of all residents.

But by working together, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said the states may be able to develop an effective way to deal with what he says is a public health emergency.

Chris Jenson

Senator Kelly Ayotte will host a roundtable discussion later this month that focuses on heroin use in New Hampshire.

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.

GUESTS:

It came as a surprise to many people when Vermont's governor recently devoted his entire 2014 State of the State address to what he called a "full-blown heroin crisis."

While it may not fit Vermont's bucolic image, the state's addiction problem has long been acknowledged. And as the state has expanded treatment, it's also been coming to grips with one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of the issue: addicted mothers.

Salem Confronts Three Drug Overdoses

Jan 29, 2014

Police in Salem are investigating three drug overdoses in the city, less than a week after a similar series of overdoses in Portsmouth.

On Tuesday police in Salem found a man unconscious and not breathing. He was revived at a local hospital. They believe he is acquainted with a couple found in a similar state in a vehicle on Monday.

New Hampshire has seen a growing number of heroin deaths and overdoses in recent months.

Authorities say heroin use in New Hampshire is growing at an alarming rate. Authorities say 61 people died of heroin overdoses in New Hampshire last year.

The issue has been of particular concern recently in Portsmouth, which saw three individuals overdose on heroin in the same week.

Seacoast Online reports 37 year old Simone Sclafani died Wednesday after being rushed to the hospital. Police have not commented on the conditions of the other two overdose victims.

Portsmouth police say they've made a ninth arrest in connection with a months-long heroin ring investigation.  The ninth suspect--21-year old Chelsea Glover of Milton--was arrested Friday night on charges of selling heroin. She was being held on $5,000 bail.   Seven other people have been charged with felony-level drug offenses. One was charged with misdemeanor trespassing.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Manchester police have seized the largest amount of heroin in the city’s history.


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.

Guest:

Pages