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N.H. Mental Health Experts Say More People Are Struggling With Addiction During Pandemic

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More people are struggling with substance abuse amid the pandemic.

Some recovery groups in New Hampshire say there are more people struggling with addiction now than before the pandemic. In a Zoom conference call on Tuesday hosted by U.S Rep. Annie Kuster, mental health counselors said isolation is making it difficult for people to seek help. 

Shanna Large is director of Substance Use Disorders at Riverbend Community Mental Health. She says she’s noticing an increase in alcohol abuse. 

“Alcohol sales have increased across the state and we know that is definitely contributing to that,” Large said.  She says patients are also more hesitant to get help.

“There is apprehension to come back into treatment because of COVID being out there,” Large said. “We are very concerned about our population and how to reach them.”  

This summer, the state is allocating $6 million in CARES Act funding for distribution to substance use disorder and mental health providers. Many recovery centers say they are still struggling with funding, as well as staffing shortages and an influx of patients. 

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