Crossroad

Crossroad: The NH Opioid Reporting Project explores how government, the healthcare system and local communities are responding to New Hamphire’s addiction crisis. We're using data and scientific research, as well as reporting from the front lines to examine how lawmakers and other officials are working to expand treatment, address the causes of addiction and save lives.

Sarah Gibson / NHPR

After at least two overdoses by teenagers in their care, the state health department canceled its contract with the organization Granite Pathways, which was running a drug treatment facility at the Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester.  

Courtesy of American Medical Response

 

More people in Manchester and Nashua have been using Narcan this year to revive someone who has overdosed on opioids

The data comes from American Medical Response, which provides emergency response services in southern New Hampshire.

AMR says that for the fourth consecutive month, a record number of people have used Narcan after an overdose before first responders arrive. 

NHPR File Photo

Almost 500 infants born in New Hampshire between July 2018 and September 2019 had signs of neonatal abstinence syndrome. That's according to a new report from the State Child Advocate which looks at how well the state is dealing with the problem.

The report identifies systemic problems in how the Division for Children Youth and Families currently responds when a baby is born exposed to drugs.

NHPR File Photo

Carroll County Commissioners voted 2 to 1 Wednesday against continuing the county jail's current Medication Assisted Treatment program, also known as MAT. MAT provides anti-opioid medications, along with counseling and therapy, to help people with substance use disorders.

Rockingham, Strafford, Cheshire, Grafton and Sullivan counties, along with the state prison in Berlin, and the men and women’s prison in Concord, currently offer this type of treatment.

Carroll County's MAT program has been in limbo since commissioners voted 2 to 1 in October against having an MAT policy.

NHPR Photo

An estimated 14,000 children in New Hampshire were affected by opioid abuse in 2017. That's the finding of a new study that tries to quantify the impact of the opioid crisis on children in America.

The study from the United Hospital Fund shows 51 out of every 1,000 kids in New Hampshire were impacted by the opioid crisis in 2017, either from their parent's opioid use or their own. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Drug recovery centers first became a stop on the campaign trail in the 2016 New Hampshire primary, and they’re playing an especially important role this year, as presidential hopefuls unveil their plans to tackle the opioid crisis.

Each week in Manchester, in an undisclosed location, a similar scene unfolds. On this particular day, in early September, it goes like this: A few people set up a card table in a shady spot. In front of the table they place a few plastic buckets.

Soon, a woman approaches holding a shopping bag. Inside are several used syringes. She empties the bag into one of the buckets, chats with the people manning the table, then refills the bag with a few boxes of clean syringes.

NHPR Photo

Dartmouth College has received a $4 million grant to research new models for providing opioid addiction treatment to patients outside of traditional healthcare settings.

The grant will fund a number of different research projects at Dartmouth, including a pilot program to test the effectiveness of a new injection-form of buprenorphine, a drug that can reduce withdrawal symptoms for people suffering from opioid addiction.

Another project will look at how opioid addiction treatment is administered in emergency rooms.

NHPR Staff

Peter Fifield says the moment when someone struggling with addiction decides they are ready for help can be a fleeting one. The mental health and drug and alcohol counselor sees it firsthand. He manages one of nine locations around New Hampshire where people can seek help.   

These “hubs” are part of the state’s new Doorway program, launched in January with federal funding to address the state’s addiction crisis. “The walk-in access is paramount,” Fifield said on The Exchange.  “They can just walk in and get connected.”

Sara Plourde For NHPR

The new statewide program for people seeking addiction treatment, The Doorway, is described as a "hub and spoke" system that  includes nine locations around the state, called "hubs," where people can just walk in and begin the process of getting help.  The system was set up about nine months ago. We're finding out how it's working in certain areas of the state.

This show airs Tuesday, Sept. 24, live at 9 a.m., with rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

The state of New Hampshire is suing four members of the Sackler family who own drug maker Purdue Pharma.

Read the lawsuit here.

The state accuses the Sacklers of being the architects of a deceptive marketing campaign around opioids that contributed to the state's drug crisis.

GEORGE FREY / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

The New Hampshire Attorney General's office is objecting to a proposed settlement offered by drug maker Purdue Pharma.

The maker of oxycontin is hoping to resolve thousands of lawsuits that allege the company played a major role in creating the opioid crisis.

Narcan, also known as naloxone, is an anti-overdose drug.
Paige Sutherland for NHPR

 

Documented opioid overdoses in Manchester and Nashua are on the decline, but in Manchester, overdose deaths are increasing.

New data from the emergency response group American Medical Response shows a mixture of progress and struggle for those coping with opioid use disorder and the agencies tasked with supporting them.

Associated Press

Trump administration officials announced Wednesday morning that New Hampshire will receive more than $26 million in a new round of federal grants designed to combat the opioid crisis.

Sara Ernst / NHPR

  Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig is demanding the state open more treatment and support options across New Hampshire for those suffering from opioid addiction and other substance abuse disorders.

Craig and other Manchester officials said Friday they’re overwhelmed by the high numbers of people coming to their city from other communities to find help. They also expressed frustration with the governor's office.

Flikr Creative Commons / Dvortygirl

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office says it has decided to join a massive multi-state lawsuit against makers of generic drugs.

The move comes after the AG’s office faced pressure from state lawmakers for not joining the suit sooner.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The number of prescriptions for the opioid addiction treatment drug buprenorphine for people on Medicaid in New Hampshire has more than quadrupled since 2011, according to a new report.

The report from the Urban Institute shows that in 2011, about 8,000 prescriptions for buprenorphine were written for people on Medicaid in New Hampshire.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

New research from the drug court program in Nashua shows a majority of people in the program have suffered from a significant number of childhood traumas.

 

Studies have previously shown that Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACEs can predispose people for a whole host of negative outcomes later in life -- from anxiety and depression to cancer and diabetes.

 

CHARLES WILLIAMS / FLICKR/CC

The Washington Post has released data obtained by the Drug Enforcement Administration that is painting a clearer picture of the prevalence of opioid drug use in New Hampshire.

According to the data, 280 million oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were supplied to the state between 2006 and 2012. That’s about 36 pills per person, per year.

Jordyn Haime

Governor Sununu cut the ribbon Wednesday for the opening of a new transitional home for mothers recovering from substance abuse.

The new facility in Rochester is named Abi's Place after Abi Lizotte, a young mother who died of substance abuse in December 2017.  She played a critical role in the opening of Hope on Haven Hill, a substance abuse treatment center for homeless women with children, also in Rochester. 

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.


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 originally aired on Thursday, February 14th.

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

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

A trailer offering a glimpse inside the bedroom of a teenage drug user is traveling the state over the next week, making stops in Concord, Dover, Portsmouth, Exeter and Manchester. 

Inside, it's set up with signs of drug abuse that the average parent might not notice: discarded paraphernalia in the trash, shoelaces and belts that have been used as tourniquets, stashed drugs hidden under drawers.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Natacha Davis is juggling a lot these days. She’s living with her mom, raising her three kids, and training to become a recovery coach to help people overcome addiction.

On a recent evening, she was running out the door for an A.A. meeting in Nashua. As she grabbed her keys, she peered into a Puerto Rican plantain stew simmering on the stove.

“Mom is the food done yet?”

“Not yet!” Her mom answered.

“Alright Mom. I love you. I’ll be back,” Davis opened the door. “You heard me? I love you.”

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

On a recent Friday afternoon, Annika Stanley-Smith made her way to the downtown Concord offices of Tufts Health Freedom Plan. The company had been waiting months for this meeting, an orientation on Governor Chris Sununu’s Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative.

The program asks business leaders to pledge their support to workers struggling with addiction in exchange for an official designation from the governor’s office, as well as free training and consultation on substance use-related issues.

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

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

Eight organizations have applied for a share of nearly $1 million in public funds aimed at helping New Hampshire’s business community address the opioid crisis.  

The organizations, mostly non-profit recovery groups, are looking to use the money to offer training to local businesses on how to support workers struggling with drug or alcohol addictions, according to the Community Development Finance Authority, which is distributing the grants.

Sara Plourde / New Hampshire Public Radio

More than 350 people connected with services through the Doorway – the state’s new addiction treatment system – in the program’s first month, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

That figure includes individuals who appeared in person at one of nine regional offices, also called “hubs,” as well as those who called the statewide 2-1-1 hotline for help.

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

State health officials say New Hampshire's new system for addiction treatment will be a game changer in terms of people’s ability to access information and care, especially around problems with opioid use.

But the system, known as The Doorway, is only a few weeks old, and treatment providers are still trying to figure out how all the logistics will work. As NHPR's Britta Greene reports, they're turning to their counterparts in Vermont for advice. 

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