Series: New Hampshire's Opioid Crisis

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.

AP|Holly Ramer

What started as one mother's private outlet for grief has grown into a larger effort to comfort others and reduce the stigma of addiction in New Hampshire.

After her daughter died of a heroin overdose in 2014, Anne Marie Zanfagna painted a pink-and-purple portrait as a way to heal and remember her daughter's beauty and vibrancy. Since then, the Plaistow woman has painted more than 80 portraits for other families, and they're on display this month at the New Hampshire State Library in Concord.

FILE

Starting in November 16 AmeriCorps volunteers will be coming to New Hampshire to work with people fighting drug addiction in the state.

jamiesrabbits on Flickr / http://bit.ly/2vLTghb

New Hampshire's Attorney General made waves earlier this week when it brought its first lawsuit against a pharmaceutical giant, Purdue, over its alleged role in the state’s opioid crisis. But this is just the latest in a decades-long trend of states taking big industries to court.

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit this week against Purdue Pharma, maker of the popular opioid OxyContin. According to the Attorney General, Purdue peddled its drugs to prescribers using deceptive marketing techniques that understated the risks of addiction and overstated the drug’s benefits.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: August 11, 2017

Aug 10, 2017

N.H.'s Attorney General files to sue Purdue Pharma over its role in the state’s opioid crisis. The President declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency - or did he?  The ACLU and the Secretary of State's Office agree N.H. will share voter information with the Trump election commission, but not as a digital database.  And Keno will be on the ballot in several N.H. cities this November.


New Hampshire’s Office of the Attorney General filed its first lawsuit against one of the companies it’s been investigating over their role in the state’s opioid crisis.

Reuters

While she might not agree with the President’s description of New Hampshire as a “drug-infested den” — as far as Kriss Blevens is concerned, his sentiment is spot-on.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to condemn comments President Trump reportedly made during a conversation with the President of Mexico earlier this year about the Granite State’s opioid epidemic.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

At least 10 people have died from overdoses related to carfentanil in New Hampshire so far this year, according to the latest edition of a semi-monthly report on drug deaths.

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