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New Morning Edition Series Examines the Effects of the Opioid Crisis on New Hampshire’s Children

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New Hampshire Public Radio’s newsroom continues to report on how opioid usage is impacting individuals, communities and the collective public health throughout New Hampshire. Starting Monday, Sept. 17, a five-part series titled "Taking a Toll" and airing on Morning Edition will focus specifically on how the crisis is affecting the state’s youth.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley conducted a series of interviews with public health advocates, state officials who are shaping public policy, and private citizens who are finding ways to help children of addicted parents. The series will also feature children and teens who are struggling with addiction or have parents who are struggling. The interviews will include:

Monday, Sept. 17: Moira O’Neill, child advocate and independent overseer of the Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF), will provide perspective on how the scope and complexity of the epidemic is shaping the state’s response.

Tuesday, Sept. 18: Erica Ungarelli is an administrator for the Division of Behavioral Health under New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services. She will share with listeners more about a program called Strengths to Succeed, and how it’s striving to better serve children of addicted parents.

Wednesday, Sept. 19: Tim Lena is the student assistance program coordinator for Timberlane Regional School District in the southeast corner of the state. Lena will discuss how prevention education in schools can help connect students who are already struggling with substance use issues to services that can help.

Thursday, Sept. 20: Peter Evers, CEO of Riverbend Community Mental Health, talks about the challenges involved with treating teens who are struggling with opioid addiction. Primarily located in the Merrimack Valley, Riverbend provides treatment and recovery services for children and teens and works with after-school programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs to help link children to Riverbend’s services.

Friday, Sept. 21: The Nashua Public Library is opening its doors to city programs and nonprofits that provide services for children whose parents struggle with addiction. The library also helps facilitate visits between kids and their parents. Carol Luers Eyman—the outreach and community services coordinator at the library—discusses how community-based programs beyond state services are helping children with addicted parents.

TUNE IN:

Starting Monday, Sept. 17, during Morning Edition (5–9 a.m. weekdays on NHPR) or streaming through NHPR.org. Web-related stories will also be available on NHPR.org.

RELATED COVERAGE: New Hampshire Public Radio’s Crossroad: The NH Opioid Reporting Project continues to track the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire, and explore how government, the healthcare system and local communities are responding to the crisis. Past stories have looked at the unique challenges facing rural New Hampshire; the closure of clinics; the impact the crisis has on elections; and alternative treatments.

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