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Federal authorities say a weekslong investigation into drug trafficking in Massachusetts has led to about 50 arrests and the seizure of large amounts of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said in a statement Monday the 10-week operation code named Devil's Highway was a coordinated effort by federal, state, and local partners to focus on drug distribution in Lawrence and between Lawrence and New Hampshire.

NHPR

 

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.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Students and administrators say e-cigarettes are becoming more popular and harder to control in New Hampshire.

E-cigarettes - which look like flash drives or pens - produce a flavored vapor with nicotine. Manufacturers say they help adults quit smoking, but with flavors like cotton candy and lagging regulations on products, many say vaping has become an epidemic among teens.

Speaking with Senator Jeanne Shaheen at Epping High School on Tuesday, freshman Dylan Comeau suggested the original intent of vaping had changed.

Courtesy of N.H. DOE

The New Hampshire Department of Education is partnering with the New Hampshire National Guard's Counter Drug Task Force to improve substance use prevention and intervention for students.

On Dec. 6th, the N.H. DOE and the National Guard signed a 9-year Memorandum of Understanding outlining the partnership.

This is the country's first such agreement between the two groups.

Churches and recovery centers across the state gathered today for Overdose Awareness Day.

New Hampshire has the second highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the country, the majority from fentanyl.

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

 

A man previously indicted for allegedly running a fentanyl trafficking ring in Massachusetts is being charged with a drug user's death.

 

Prosecutors say on Friday that 28-year-old Sergio Martinez is facing charges in Concord, New Hampshire that include aiding and abetting a distribution of fentanyl that resulted in a death and money laundering.

 

According to documents filed in federal court on Wednesday, Martinez allegedly distributed fentanyl to someone identified as K.B., which resulted in his death.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Drug enforcement officers are seeing a rise in small-scale methamphetamine production.

So-called 'one-pot' meth labs may produce less than larger operations, but they still carry the danger of fire and explosion.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan recently visited the U.S.-Mexico border to meet officials and law enforcement working on the front lines of the illicit drug trade.

 

During her five-day trip, Hassan met with Mexican leaders, too. One of her main focuses was fentanyl, the drug which contributed to 76 percent of overdose deaths in New Hampshire last year.

 

“The Mexican officials agree that their cartels are trafficking a great deal of fentanyl,” Hassan said.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

A bill meant to bolster Republican Gov. Chris Sununu's recovery friendly workplaces initiative faces an uphill battle in the House.

Sununu recently launched a program to provide training and resources to businesses that commit to hiring and working with people in recovery from drug addiction.

Nashua Recovery Beds in Jeopardy As Funds Run Out

Dec 11, 2017
PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

Nashua could soon lose 11 recovery beds for people battling drug addiction. That’s if the nonprofit that runs the beds doesn’t get the money needed to keep them open.

New Hampshire police say they've arrested seven people in an ongoing effort to break up the drug trade in Nashua.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

National politicians, local law enforcement and education officials met in Manchester Friday to promote the importance of early childhood education in the state’s fight against opioids.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Hampshire has invested millions of dollars into curbing its opioid epidemic. But progress has been slow. That’s pushed some state policymakers and others to get creative.

This week, in a three-part series called “Alternatives,” NHPR’s Paige Sutherland reports on some less traditional approaches.

CREDIT CREDIT SUPERFANTASTIC / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

First responders in Manchester are noticing a change since the city banned smoking in downtown parks.

Chris Hickey, with the Manchester Fire Department, says there's been a reduction in overdoses from the synthetic marijuana known as Spice.

Courtesy of FACEBOOK

Communities across New Hampshire are holding vigils Thursday evening to honor the hundreds of lives lost in the state's drug epidemic. 

Manchester, Laconia See Spike In Overdoses

Aug 30, 2017
Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Manchester and Laconia have seen a recent spike in drug overdoses but officials say it's not because there’s a new, stronger drug on the streets.

Substance abuse services across New Hampshire will be getting more than $1 million in new funding from the state. The Executive Council unanimously approved the move Wednesday in Keene.

Courtesy of The Friendship House

By next fall, the North Country will have a new residential drug treatment facility offering 32 beds. Construction is expected to start next month.

FILE

A new report shows that the increased use in substance misuse in New Hampshire has cost the state more than $2.3 billion.

That's an uptick of more than half a billion dollars from four years ago, the last time this study was done.

  New Hampshire's law granting certain immunity to people who report drug overdoses is poised to stay in place for the indefinite future.

A law signed last session would've repealed the immunity law, sometimes known as a "Good Samaritan" law, in 2018. But lawmakers are moving to repeal the repeal, meaning the law will stay on the books.

Senators say the legislation is saving lives as New Hampshire continues to deal with an opioid crisis. Nearly 500 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, a record high for the state.

David Ewalt via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/36BPST

Human beings spend a lot of time satisfying primal urges, but relatively little talking about or studying them. On today’s show, what we can learn by studying hedonism.

Also, hell can mean a bad day, other people, or a threat to sinners, but it wasn’t always so. We'll talk about how hell has evolved, from a place of flaming torture, to tangible horrors here in the real world.

And, at the height of the Ebola epidemic last fall, the hardest hit areas in West Africa not only struggled with containing the virus, but respectfully burying the dead. We’ll take a look at how funeral rites were handled during history’s worst epidemics.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

When it comes to fighting the drug crisis, Chris Sununu has said, broadly, that he wants to promote “aggressive” drug prevention education programs and to expand treatment availability for people struggling with addiction.

But this week Sununu called for more aggressive penalties and enforcement when it comes to drug trafficking.

Jack Seeds via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/f1e2y9

America's opioid crisis has local, state and federal officials scrambling - which is why the DEA decided to ban Kratom, an Asian  plant with an opioid-like effect, as a schedule one drug. But some researchers and users say it could help addicts get kick addictive drugs. Today, crackdown on Kratom - the drug you hadn't heard of until last week.

Plus, walk into a pre-school or elementary school today and you won't find peanut butter, but you'll likely see a few sets of twins ...we'll look at twinning patterns throughout human history, and why the proportion of twins in the population continues to ebb and flow.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A substance abuse treatment facility in Franklin, Farnum North, has added 42 more inpatient beds. And with help from donations, the center can now start treating patients who lack insurance. 

Fuse809 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], / via Wikimedia Commons

If you could take a pill that would enhance your concentration, increase your productivity, and reduce your stress levels, would you do it? Or is that cheating? On today’s show, the science and ethics behind a growing class of so-called "smart-drugs". 

Plus, a portrait of bias: in the aftermath of the great depression, the WPA commissioned hundreds of interviews with former slaves and descendants of slaves and recorded their stories as part of the Federal Writer's Project. However, the circumstances under which the interviews were collected have given researchers pause.

via UFL.edu

New Hampshire’s medical marijuana program finally got off the ground in April, with the opening of the state’s first cannabis treatment center. Three of the four state-licensed dispensaries are now operating, and more than 1,100 people with serious illnesses are approved to use the drug.

But many, if not most, of the New Hampshire residents who could potentially benefit from medical marijuana won’t be able to legally obtain it.

Photo by Jackie Finn-Irwin via Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to spend nearly $2 million on body scanners for state prisons and county jails is heading to Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's desk. Senators approved the legislation Thursday on a party line vote.

Republicans, like Andy Sanborn of Bedford, told colleagues that making anyone who sets foot in a jail or prison prison pass though scanners is a way to deal with an obvious problem.

N.H. Senate Votes to Keep State's Drug Forfeiture Fund

Apr 28, 2016
Flickr

After much debate, the New Hampshire Senate Thursday voted to keep the state’s so-called drug forfeiture fund alive.

Under current law money or assets seized in a criminal drug bust are put into a special fund used to combat future drug crimes. 

JDHRosewater via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pXMPW8

It's known on the street as Ecstasy, MDX, or Molly, but MDMA is now being tested as a way to treat the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic PTSD. Today, one of the premier drivers of MDMA research brings his mission to fund clinical trials to New England.

Then, fans of Downton Abbey know that it takes a well-oiled domestic staff to keep a British estate looking pristine. We’re taking deeper look into the history of British servitude...and cleaning.

Tony Webster via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4NPfdS

You might be surprised to learn that America’s murder rate has been steadily declining for more than two decades. Despite the drop, the number of murder cases being solved has remained flat.

On today’s show, technology, trust, and why cops aren't solving more murders. Plus, a grieving mother turns to art to remember her daughter, and other victims of New Hampshire’s heroin epidemic.

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