Hope on the Front Lines

Dodgerton Skillhause / Morguefile

Executive Councilors approved two contracts Wednesday that provide the state with more funding to address the opioid crisis.

About $3 million dollars will go into medical training, medication-assisted treatment, and information about substance use disorder.

Councilor Chris Pappas says he thinks these contracts will have an immediate impact in the state’s ability to handle the drug crisis.

“Make sure we get people the treatment they need; make sure that medications are available for people so they can get well and get over their substance use disorder,” he said.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

Alcoholics Anonymous has become a well-known part of recovery, but now, Heroin Anonymous meetings are popping up all over the New Hampshire. The meetings are in large cities like Manchester and Nashua, but also in smaller communities where the addiction epidemic has taken a toll.

Advocates say one of the biggest gaps in the state is access to addiction treatment for pregnant women. And that’s where two women working in the medical field want to step in by opening a residential treatment facility for up to eight mothers and their babies in Rochester.

But as they’ve discovered, filling that need is no easy task.

One impact of the addiction epidemic has been a skyrocketing rise in newborns experiencing withdrawal after being exposed to opioids in the womb. 

From 2006 to 2011, the number of newborns in withdrawal more than doubled in New Hampshire, and hospitals say the problem is only getting worse.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

In Manchester, more than 100 people died of overdoses last year.

Despite those grim numbers, it’s a surprisingly positive atmosphere on a Thursday night at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, a substance abuse recovery center in the heart of New Hampshire’s largest city.

Michael Brindley for NHPR

One way that people are trying to help make a difference in New Hampshire's epidemic of addiction is through recovery coaching, a peer-support model that's gaining momentum in the state.

Coaches support those in recovery by helping access treatment and other resources, like finding a job and a safe place to live as they try to get clean.

What it Takes to Overcome Addiction in N.H.

Jun 6, 2016
BFD Lt / flickr/cc

We kick off the Morning Edition series, Hope on the Front Lines, examining the many efforts around the state helping people overcome addiction.  We'll look at the array of approaches available in the state including new medicines that curb drug cravings as well as others that revive overdose victims.  Recovery coaches, counselors and doctors are also involved on the the long road to full recovery. 


On a Saturday afternoon at the fire department, a handful of people are learning how to use the now widely available overdose-reversal drug Narcan. It’s one thing to get it into the hands of those who may need it, but it’s another to know how to use it properly.

As part of our series Hope on the Front Lines, Morning Edition host Rick Ganley and producer Michael Brindley attended a training in Keene for people interested in learning life-saving skills, including how to administer Narcan, the drug used by first responders to counteract opioid overdose.

But what is Narcan, and how does it work?

Narcan is the brand name for the drug naloxone, which blocks the effects of opioids and reverses overdose. 

Hope on the Front Lines was a week-long series focusing on the people and organizations working to make a difference on the front lines of New Hampshire's opioid crisis. Produced by NHPR's Morning Edition team, host Rick Ganley and producer Michael Brindley traveled the state to meet people on the ground level of a growing epidemic, doing what they can to help in their communities.  

Courtroom One Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr Creative Commons

The drug crisis is taking a toll on New Hampshire’s families, as more and more parents accused of abuse or neglect are dealing with addiction issues.