The nation has been grappling with an opioid epidemic for several years now, but few places have been as hard-hit as New Hampshire. The state has one of the highest overdose rates in the country. Obituary pages in local newspapers regularly feature photos of young people who died suddenly. Teachers find themselves acting as grief counselors for students whose home lives have been shattered by drug use.
NHPR's addiction reporting in 2017 had one goal: to get as close as possible to where this story is being lived by Granite Staters every day. We covered State House policy debates, but also went inside an emergency room to talk with doctors and nurses overwhelmed by addicted patients. We spoke with families grappling with addicted children, and recovery workers eager to experiment with new approaches. We tracked the cultural shift that has reshaped how Granite Staters think and talk about drug use.
We also evaluated some of the major policy responses to the crisis. Was the overall approach well thought out? What drove specific spending decisions at the state and local levels? What does the data say about the chances of success?
While the opioid crisis remains one of our top reporting priorities in 2018, we're especially proud of the work we did in 2017 to keep this story in the spotlight.
Highlights from NHPR's coverage of New Hampshire's addiction crisis in 2017: