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N.H. House Nixes Bill to Fund Opioid Prevention Program in High Schools

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House killed a bill Wednesday to fund a program designed to teach substance abuse prevention in high schools.

HOPE, which stands for Heroin and Opiate Prevention Education, is run by Plymouth State University and offers peer to peer prevention. But not every school in the state participates.

Under the measure, roughly $51,000 would be available to public and charter high schools in the state who want to join the program.

Those opposed argue the Legislature should not be singling out one program to fund and rather leave that to the Governor’s Commission on Drugs and Alcohol.

But Democrat Mary Cooney of Plymouth argued with more than 400 overdose deaths last year alone, the state cannot wait to act.

“We already know that we cannot arrest or treat our way out of this epidemic. The most cost effective way to deal with it is prevention,” Cooney told her colleagues Wednesday.

Lawmakers are currently weighing a different bill that would encourage schools to include drug and alcohol education as part of their health education curriculum. But this measure includes no funding.

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