Addiction | New Hampshire Public Radio

Addiction

Despite the lack of dine-in customers for nearly two and half long months during the shutdown, Darrell Loo of Waldo Thai stayed busy.

Loo is the bar manager for the popular restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., and he credits increased drinking and looser liquor laws during the pandemic for his brisk business. Alcohol also seemed to help his customers deal with all the uncertainty and fear.

"Drinking definitely was a way of coping with it," says Loo. "People did drink a lot more when it happened. I, myself, did drink a lot more."

NHPR Staff

The Governor's Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs voted today on how to spend an unused $3.8 million dollars of state funding from this fiscal year.

The commission voted to support substance abuse programs, as well as prevention and workforce programs.

One million dollars will go towards transitional living programs in the state.

These type of programs typically last six months, and provide housing and clinical services for people who are often post-residential treatment but needs a safe place to live to get longer term support.

NHPR

A Strafford County Superior Court judge has denied the city of Rochester’s request to dismiss a lawsuit it’s facing from a local church and addiction recovery center.

The city is in an ongoing dispute with First Church Congregational in downtown Rochester. SOS Recovery operates recovery service located in the church building. The city is trying to shut down the SOS operations, saying it doesn’t meet zoning ordinances.

Jason Moon / NHPR

New Hampshire is in the midst of an outbreak of hepatitis A.

Since November, 142 people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A in the state and one person has died. In an average year in New Hampshire, just 7 people get the virus.


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Jails in New Hampshire will expand their use of medicine to assist inmates who are attempting to overcome opioid and alcohol use disorders.

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections announced Monday that its health care team has started the expansion at Northern New Hampshire Correctional Facility in Berlin. The department says residents of the facility were screened on June 6 for whether they were eligible for the program.

The department says 23 residents met criteria and are now enrolled. It says more clinics will be rolled out at other sites.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Five New Hampshire non-profits have been named as recipients of nearly $1 million in state funding aimed at expanding addiction resources in workplaces across the state.

The non-profits will use the funds, distributed by the Community Development Finance Authority, to run trainings for local business leaders and employees.

Sports Betting: On Track In New Hampshire?

Apr 10, 2019

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year allowed states to legalize gambling on sporting events. Now the Granite State appears poised to do so, with a House bill advancing through the legislature.  We look at the details of this proposal, which include allowing betting at 10 locations and mobile betting, as well as concerns around addiction and what some consider to be "government-sanctioned" gambling. 

A new AmeriCorps program is supporting more than a dozen addiction support workers across New Hampshire.

The workers will serve as recovery coaches at local non-profits, offering peer mentoring and helping clients connect with resources in the community.

Many local recovery organizations have struggled to find and pay workers to do this kind of work, said Maggie Ringey, who is coordinating the program. 

Opioid-related issues have been a focus of the Corporation for National and Community Serivce, the federal agency that funds Americorps programs, in recent years.

Part 2: One Month Out

Feb 22, 2019

This is the second episode of “The Rules Are Different Here,” a four-part series on mass incarceration in New Hampshire. Listen to the first installment, or explore the full series.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of NHPR's Crossroad: The N.H. Opioid Reporting Project, The Exchange went on the road on February 7, 2019 to the Nashua Public Library for a live discussion on how the city is taking a multi-pronged approach to tackle the opioid crisis. 

This discussion was recorded at the Nashua Public Library on February 7th, and an edited version of the conversation airs on Thursday, February 14th at 9 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The conversation is also available below. Click here to find the full, unedited discussion

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As part of NHPR's Crossroad: The N.H. Opioid Reporting Project, The Exchange went on the road on February 7, 2019 to the Nashua Public Library for a live discussion on how the city is taking a multi-pronged approach to tackle the opioid crisis. 

This discussion was recorded at the Nashua Public Library on February 7th, and an edited version of the conversation airs on NHPR on Thursday, February 14th at 9 a.m. and again at 7 p.m.

The full conversation is available below. You can find the edited conversation here

HeroPups.com

 

Caitlin Hyland's New Hampshire jail cell looks like those of many of her fellow inmates, featuring family photos, a few books and a cot. But one thing sets it apart: the cage on the floor for a 10-week-old puppy.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

In a series of public forums this week and next, state and local health officials are addressing questions and uncertainty around New Hampshire’s new addiction treatment system, called The Doorway. 

As of January 1, the system’s core framework is in place. That includes nine regional offices, supported by the 24/7 statewide 2-1-1 hotline, providing evaluation and referral services for substance use disorders.

Brian Wallstin/NHPR

A federal jury on Tuesday found a former physician assistant guilty of participating in a kickback scheme involving fentanyl.

Christopher Clough of Dover was convicted of overprescribing the painkiller to patients in exchange for receiving compensation from the drug’s manufacturer.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

The Executive Council on Wednesday approved contracts for new addiction hubs across the state, sending millions of dollars in federal funds to local hospitals to build out resources for those struggling with substance use.

Pixabay

Though the opioid crisis has been the top-of-mind health issue here, alcohol abuse remains a major problem in the state and nationally. We look at the factors specific to New Hampshire, and who is most impacted these days.

The state has chosen Granite Pathways to operate a new substance use disorder treatment facility for teenagers on the grounds of the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.

The Executive Council approved a four-year contract with the group during its meeting on Wednesday, with services expected to begin in early November.

The 36-bed facility will be open to children ages 12-18 who are in need of inpatient treatment, making it the first residential program for minors in the state.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

New Hampshire is one step closer to overhauling its infrastructure for combatting the opioid epidemic.

State lawmakers on Friday approved nearly $20 million in federal money to bolster treatment and recovery programs over the next 10 months.

The funding was announced last month, and becomes official this week. The state must start spending it within 90 days.

Nearly $9 million will go toward developing a hub-and-spoke model with hospitals serving as the go-to spot for someone seeking help for addiction.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/accoster/2264295876/">adam coster</a> / flickr

Churches across New Hampshire will say prayers on Sunday for those who are struggling with addiction. It's one way they're observing Overdose Awareness Day later in the week.

Richard Davenport is the priest and pastor at the Trinity Episcopal Church & Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Claremont.

His congregation isn't a stranger to the opioid crisis that's hit New Hampshire hard. Some have lost loved ones, and others struggle with addiction.

NHPR File Photo

New Hampshire has until mid-August to submit a plan for how to spend $23 million in response to the opioid epidemic.

There is so much interest that a public input session scheduled for tonight in Concord was booked to capacity before it began.

 

NHPR File Photo

Speaking at the U.S. District Court in Concord on Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a surge in federal enforcement efforts around synthetic opioids. 

The Rochester City Council rejected a community petition on Tuesday to relocate a private drug recovery center.

The council said it doesn't have the legal authority to force a relocation unless the center is breaking the law or violating a zoning ordinance.

Sixty-five people have signed the petition. In it, community members say they’ve have seen an increase in drug activity in their neighborhood around the SOS Recovery Community Organization.

Governor Chris Sununu’s office is pushing forward with his Recovery Friendly Workforce initiative despite roadblocks in the state legislature this spring.

The goal of the initiative is to get the private sector more involved in preventing addiction and supporting workers struggling with drug and alcohol abuse.

Drug Recovery Funds Delayed as N.H. Finalizes Audit

Jun 20, 2018
NHPR Photo

A much-awaited vote on public funds for addiction recovery efforts in Claremont and Concord was tabled at the Executive Council meeting Wednesday.

Health Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said it’s for the sake of transparency around Harbor Homes, the organization that will facilitate those funds. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a chief architect of the state's new Medicaid expansion program, is pushing back against financial concerns raised by mental health and substance abuse treatment providers.

Britta Greene / NHPR

New Hampshire health officials decided to prioritize a specific demographic this year when allocating scarce federal funds toward the opioid epidemic: pregnant and newly post-partum women.

The choice reflects stark statistics both in New Hampshire and across the country. 

NHPR Staff

Frisbie Memorial Hospital is closing a recovery center in downtown Rochester.

In a statement, Chief Nursing Officer John Levitow says the decision will eliminate "redundancy of service" and allow the hospital to better target its resources. Rochester is also served by the SOS Recovery Center.

Levitow says the hospital will work to avoid any disruption in care as patients are sent elsewhere for services.

The Frisbie recovery center opened in the fall of 2016 as a partnership between Frisbie and the city to provide 24/7 substance use disorder support and treatment.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A group of recovery centers from all across New Hampshire met with top state officials on Wednesday to plead for more funding, saying the state has placed added demand on their organizations without offering any extra financial support. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie of New Hampshire is traveling this week to the U.S.-Mexico border to evaluate efforts underway to combat the trafficking of illicit drugs.

Hassan is a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight on a number of border functions.

She will receive briefings from Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and discuss how Congress can better support their efforts to detect, intercept, and halt the trafficking of fentanyl and other illicit drugs.

NHPR

Intravenous drug users who share needles run the risk of catching deadly diseases.

Some organizations offer clean needles as well as safe ways to dispose of used ones.

Recently, Nashua's Division of Public Health and Community Services launched the Syringe Services Alliance of Nashua Area, which aims to bring this service to parts of Southern New Hampshire, and officials say it's making an impact.

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