Bill To Focus on N.H. Kids Affected by Opioid Epidemic

Jan 2, 2019

Credit Dan Tuohy/NHPR

A bill in the New Hampshire Legislature could put more attention on young people affected by the opioid epidemic.

House Bill 111 would establish a committee to study the effect of the opioid crisis and domestic violence on children and recommend possible legislation to address it.

 

House Speaker Steve Shurtleff of Concord, a co-sponsor of the bill, says schools are reporting high rates of trauma among kids affected by opioids, but the state doesn't have good data yet on how widespread this is.

"I look at this crisis with the opioids as like throwing a pebble into a pond," he says. "We sometimes don't recognize the ripples that go out, and how they affect people."

Shurtleff says the committee might increase the burden on the state, but lesson it on local school districts.

"I don't want to see the state downshifting to local communities and saying we've identified the problem; now you fix it," he says. If passed, the committee would deliver its recommendations by next fall.