Needle Exchange

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The Department of Health and Human Services is cancelling a funding opportunity for needle exchange programs because the grants would appear to violate state law.

Needle exchanges were legalized in the state last summer, but the new statute said groups that provide clean syringes to injection drug users must be “self-funded” to operate in New Hampshire.

NHPR

Intravenous drug users who share needles run the risk of catching deadly diseases.

Some organizations offer clean needles as well as safe ways to dispose of used ones.

Recently, Nashua's Division of Public Health and Community Services launched the Syringe Services Alliance of Nashua Area, which aims to bring this service to parts of Southern New Hampshire, and officials say it's making an impact.

N.H.'s 2nd Needle Exchange Program to Open in Nashua

Jan 25, 2018
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Nashua will soon have its first syringe exchange program for injection drug users.

State's New Needle Exchange Law Creating Some Roadblocks

Dec 27, 2017
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A proposal next legislative session seeks to make it easier for needle exchange programs to open up in New Hampshire.

N.H.'s First Needle Exchange Program Forced to Close

Nov 9, 2017
Courtesy of Project 439

The state’s first needle exchange program in Claremont has closed its doors, at least for now.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Needle exchange programs are now legal in New Hampshire. But since the state is providing no financial support or other resources for them, some groups are wondering how to go about starting one.

One group in Strafford County is taking on that guiding role.

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.

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The state’s first syringe exchange program has opened its doors.

Earlier this month Governor Chris Sununu signed a bill into law making such programs legal, allowing drug users to exchange used needles for clean ones.

Needle Exchanges Are Now Legal In New Hampshire

Jun 16, 2017
Emily Corwin / NHPR

New Hampshire has joined 36 other states in allowing illicit drug users to exchange used needles for clean ones.

With No Debate, N.H. House Backs Needle Exchange Program

May 4, 2017
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The House of Representative backed a measure without debate  Thursday to legalize needle exchange programs in New Hampshire.

Needle Exchanges One Step Closer to Being Legal in N.H.

Mar 23, 2017
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A bill seeking to legalize needle exchange programs in New Hampshire passed the full Senate Thursday and now heads to the House. 

N.H. Senate: Needle Exchange Proposal Needs More Work

May 6, 2016
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New Hampshire Senators have voted to create a study commission to look at needle exchange programs rather than legalizing them. The proposal now heads back to the House, which if left unchanged, will then head to the Governor.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

The state Senate is considering legislation that would remove criminal penalties for possessing needles with trace amounts of drugs, an effort aimed at paving the way for needle exchange programs.

Senators will debate the bill during Thursday's session. A key committee recommends turning the bill into a study committee, effectively killing the effort for the year, but other amendments could be brought forward.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate returns this week with another loaded agenda. Meanwhile the House will have its hands full weighing in on dozens of Senate bills in committee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate today will once again tackle a handful of bills geared at the state’s opioid crisis. Many of the proposals being related to illegal drug use.

N.H. Lawmakers Take Up Bills to Loosen Up Drug Laws

Apr 4, 2016
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Both the New Hampshire House and Senate will be in session this week but with a pretty light agenda – only about 20 bills are on the docket in both chambers.

But lawmakers will still hold dozens of public hearings – some to look at loosening up the state’s drug laws and others to build them up.

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The New Hampshire House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalize needle exchange programs. The measure now heads to the Senate.

Todd Huffman / Flickr/CC

Designed to reduce the spread of disease by distributing clean needles to drug users, needle exchange programs can also provide outreach and referral for treatment.  Now, a bill in the legislature would allow these centers in New Hampshire. And while there's general support, concerns include whether to decriminalize trace amounts of heroin.

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On the Political Front is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

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State lawmakers are set to tackle a pile of bills this week, many of which address New Hampshire's drug crisis.  The bills include proposals to legalize needle exchanges and the creation of a statewide drug court program. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Lawmakers were evenly split Tuesday on whether or not the House should support the legalization of needle exchange programs in New Hampshire.

After a 7 to 7 vote, the bill now heads to the full House next week without recommendation from the Criminal Justice Committee. Last month the Health and Human Services Committee unanimously backed the measure.  

Dirty Bunny via Flickr/CreativeCommons

A bill seeking to legalize needle exchange programs in New Hampshire is getting some pushback from law enforcement. The debate rests on whether to make it legal to have trace amounts of heroin on a needle.

If passed the measure would legalize minute amounts of heroin left on used syringes. The aim, according to sponsor Rep. Joe Hannon, is to make sure those seeking to exchange dirty needles for clean ones can do so without fearing arrest.