Opioids

Courtesy Jennifer Couzins

Almost two years ago, a woman called the NHPR newsroom to share the kind of story we, unfortunately, were all too familiar with. It was the story of her husband, Daniel Couzins, who had recently died of a fentanyl overdose at the age of 31.

(Courtesy of Jennifer Couzins)

An intimate story of addiction, grief, and a couple in crisis will air on New Hampshire Public Radio and via a nationally distributed podcast focusing on the ongoing public health threat posed by opioid use.

Sara Plourde

We talk to NHPR reporter Paige Sutherland about two topics in her series, "Alternatives - N.H. Gets Creative to Curb Ongoing Opioid Crisis": an acupuncture detoxification treatment and involuntary commitment. 


PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu announced Tuesday that the state will be investing in Manchester’s Safe Station Program. The program has transformed the city's fire stations into access points for struggling addicts. 

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

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

There’s a doctor in New London who’s ending her decades-long medical practice on Friday. She’s nearly 85, but her retirement is not voluntary. She says she’s being forced to shut down by a system that no longer values the type of patient-centered medicine that she practices. But the New Hampshire Board of Medicine has a different take. They’re challenging her medical decision making and other aspects of her work. 

A candidate for alderman in Manchester is proposing a controversial idea to tackle the city’s opioid epidemic that involves putting those who overdose...in jail.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The message from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation to expecting and new mothers struggling with addiction is simple: help is available, and more is coming.

The Foundation on Tuesday announced a new three-year $3 million grant program, courtesy of an anonymous donor, that will help fund both residential and outpatient programs in the state that support mothers and their babies affected by substance misuse.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The state of New Hampshire is going after a high-level drug dealer out of Lawrence accused of causing the death of a Rochester resident.

This is the first time local law enforcement has brought charges against someone out of state in connection with a New Hampshire drug overdose death. 

Courtesy of "Recovery House Keene"

Neighbors of a proposed new residential rehab center in Keene are organizing to fight the project. They’re concerned it will create public safety issues and lead to crowding in the neighborhood, said attorney Joseph Hoppock, who’s representing the group.

New Hampshire officials are welcoming an expansion to a substance use disorder treatment center in the northern part of the state.

The Friendship House facility in Bethlehem provides housing, treatment and support services for people suffering from an addiction. Federal, state and local officials are gathering at the site Friday.

There also are Friendship House outpatient satellite sites in Berlin, Colebrook, North Conway, Tamworth and Woodsville.

New Hampshire has one of the highest drug overdose rates nationally.

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

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.

School districts, municipalities and other community groups across New Hampshire are in line to receive a boost of federal funding for programs related to fighting the opioid crisis. 

In all, local groups are slated to collectively receive more than $2 million, most of it coming from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. 

Prescription Drug Treatment Info / Flickr/CC

New Hampshire's political and law enforcement leaders are coming together to promote early education to prevent substance misuse.

Officials with Spark NH, a nonpartisan early childhood advisory council, say public support for prevention programs is growing given the state's opioid crisis, but most discussions focus on middle school or later. The group is partnering with Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard and state and congressional officials to highlight the importance of programs and services for younger children.

As overdoses and deaths continue, New Hampshire physicians are responding to criticism that they've overprescribed. Now, some patients with chronic pain find themselves cut off from access to medications, left without other treatment options, and feeling that the anti-opioid push has gone overboard.


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.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a quick trip to New Hampshire Thursday afternoon to announce $200 million in federal grants targeting community health centers, to increase access to mental health and opioid abuse services.

The city of Keene will hold a public forum on drug and alcohol abuse Tuesday, stemming from a July Facebook post shared widely among city residents. The post included a photo of a man slumped over on a park bench downtown in broad daylight.

FILE

The state’s Chief Medical Examiner is retiring after two decades on the job.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: September 8, 2017

Sep 8, 2017

President Trump’s decision to end the DACA immigration policy could affect as many as one thousand people in New Hampshire.  ICE orders deportation for Indonesian immigrants in New Hampshire.  Manchester became the first community to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors - seeking to recoup money spent battling opioid addiction.  And Portsmouth says no to Keno, as Rochester puts it on the ballot. 


Flikr Creative Commons / Grumpy-Puddin

Last month, New Hampshire became the latest state to go after Purdue Pharma, alleging the company’s marketing practices were partially to blame for the state’s opioid epidemic. Now, the city of Manchester is also suing Purdue — as well as other opioid manufacturers and distributors — seeking payback for the cost it's incurred because of the drug crisis.

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. 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

A former Dartmouth-Hitchcock doctor who had his license suspended earlier this year after faking medical records and diverting an opioid for his own use can now return to practice.

The New Hampshire Board of Medicine ruled earlier this month that Dr. Christopher Manfred can begin practicing medicine again pending certain conditions. Those include practicing only critical care medicine for the first year and agreeing to monitoring.

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.

Panhandling in the Granite State

Aug 23, 2017
Ellen Grimm

In Manchester, recently installed signs discourage giving money to people on the streets, warning that cash could be used to buy drugs. Other communities around the state have tried a variety of approaches, as they grapple with the overlapping problems of addiction, homelessness, and mental illness. 


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.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is projecting at least 466 people will die from drug overdoses by year’s end — not quite as many as last year’s record of 486, but close.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 18, 2017

Aug 17, 2017

Continued fallout and reactions to events in Charlottesville, VA, dominate the headlines this week. New Hampshire politicians respond to the President’s ambiguous statements on white supremacy. And yes, there are white supremacists here in New Hampshire. 

In other news, the federal government says New Hampshire's Medicaid funding mechanism might be illegal. Manchester is considering filing its own lawsuit against an opioid company for its alleged role in the state opioid crisis.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office took its first steps to sue an opioid company — Purdue Pharma — over its alleged role in the state’s addiction crisis. Now, some local communities may soon follow with lawsuits of their own.

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