House OKs First Round of Bills to Address N.H.'s Opioid Crisis

Jan 20, 2016

The bills considered high priority by New Hampshire's legislative drug task force, which is designed to address the state’s opioid crisis, passed the N.H. House with ease Wednesday afternoon.  

After getting through the Senate last week, these bills will now head to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who will sign them into law Thursday.

One bill will create a study commission on the overdose reversal drug Narcan. The bill looks to see whether mandatory reporting and a state registry should be put on the books.

Another covers a handful of issues, including upping the penalties on fentanyl, increasing insurance coverage for substance abuse and spending 100,000 thousand dollars to update the state’s prescription drug monitoring system.

A final bill, dealing with drug and alcohol education in public schools, was significantly changed – from requiring schools to offer it, to recommending it.

House Majority Leader Dick Hinch says drug education in schools should be a local issue not a state mandate. 

“The final version of this bill empowers local school boards to make decisions that are right for their communities but does not create any mandates,” Hinch told his colleagues on the floor.

Dozens of other bills addressing the state’s opioid epidemic will be brought up later this session.