Opioids | New Hampshire Public Radio

Opioids

AP

 

New Hampshire health officials will hold a series of forums around the state to explain the state's new system to streamline and coordinate drug abuse treatment and recovery services.

The federal government recently awarded the state the first installment of $45.8 million in grants for the project, which is being called "The Doorway-NH." The system involves a hub-and-spoke model in which hospitals and others work with local providers to ensure that help is less than an hour away anywhere in the state.

Annie Ropeik photos

New Hampshire Public Radio covered hundreds of stories in 2018. Some features captured how Granite Staters live and work. The opioid addiction crisis continued to make headlines - and claim lives. And political currents ran strong.

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.

joycecraig.org

As New Hampshire rolls out its new statewide addiction care system, leaders in Manchester continues their effort toward combating the opioid crisis in the Southern part of the state.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig on how the Queen City is working to find new ways to address the epidemic.

Craig attended the Mayors Institute on Opioids City Team Cohort Meeting in Nashville this week, where she met with other city leaders.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Sarah Gibson / New Hampshire Public Radio

New Hampshire continues to rank among the hardest-hit states in the opioid crisis. Gov. Chris Sununu and state health officials are now investing heavily in a new system they say will significantly improve care for those struggling with addiction. This so-called "hub and spoke" plan kicks off at the start of the new year. Now, with that launch date just weeks away, NHPR’s Britta Greene and Sarah Gibson having been reporting on how the effort is taking shape. 

Centers for Disease Control

Drug overdose rates rose across the country rose in 2017, but New Hampshire seems to have bucked the trend, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control.

The number of drug-related fatalities in New Hampshire stayed relatively stable last year as the crisis worsened in other areas.

File photo

Police are investigating the death of a woman last weekend in a Manchester jail. 

 

Deatrah Reilly, 32, was found dead in her jail cell on Saturday after an apparent suicide.

Her mother, Lorri Moore, says Reilly struggled with drug addiction and depression.

She was arrested on outstanding warrants, including for drug possession. 

 

"She was in Valley Street Jail," says Moore. "Everyone told me leave her there - it will help her, it will save her life."

Emergency departments in Claremont and Manchester are testing out a new approach to addiction treatment for opioid users, collaborating on a federally funded study with Bellevue Hospital in New York City.

In most hospitals across the country, patients presenting with complications from drug use, or having overdosed, are treated for their immediate concerns but referred elsewhere for help with their addiction.

Increasingly, physicians say this is not the most effective approach.

UNH's nurse practitioner programs will now include training in medication-assisted treatments for addiction.

Nurse practitioners, like doctors, can write prescriptions and can serve as a patient's primary care provider. Thanks to a new $450,000 federal grant, nurse practitioner students at UNH will now be trained in how to use medication to treat addiction.

Gene Harkless is the chair of the UNH department of nursing. She says the new program will increase the amount of addiction treatment available in the state as communities continue to grapple with the opioid epidemic.

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.

Congressional 1st District candidates Eddie Edwards and Chris Pappas met last night at a debate in Manchester hosted by WMUR-TV

Despite toeing their party lines, the two candidates both said they were ready to work across the aisle and bring New Hampshire ideals to a broken system in Washington.

Some highlights of the debate include:

FILE

New Hampshire has a shortage of people volunteering as court appointed special advocates. These volunteers help abused and neglected children through the court processes.  

In 2015, the agency was able to accept 90 percent of family court cases. This past year, it was just able to accept 65 percent.

Manchester Fire Department

Representatives with a number of different federal agencies tasked with responding to the opioid crisis were in Nashua Thursday for a conference on the city’s Safe Station program.

The event, co-sponsored by Nashua-based Harbor Homes and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration, aimed to share results and best practices of the Safe Station model.

Several hundred people were in attendance.   

FILE

Federal prosecutors in Hillsborough County have begun to toughen penalties for fentanyl traffickers as part of a nationwide program called  "Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Surge pilot program during a stop in Concord this summer.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: October 19, 2018

Oct 18, 2018

With just over two weeks to go to before midterm elections, we look at how the candidates in top New Hampshire races are seeking to stand out - including who's got cash on hand, endorsements from out-of-state politicians, and performances in polls, debates, and forums.  Family Medical Leave and social security come to the fore as pivotal issues in the Granite State. And the nine health care providers receiving federal funds are identified; they will help coordinate drug abuse treatment and recovery programs in the state's recently revealed hub-and-spoke program to battle opioid abuse.

josh rogers / nhpr

Hospitals will operate seven of the nine hubs at the center of the Sununu administration's newly designed approach to treating substance abuse. But despite the promise of millions of dollars in aid, no hospitals in Manchester or Nashua chose to participate in the program.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Harvard Pilgrim is now offering Narcan trainings for businesses using their health insurance. Their first ever training was in Concord on Friday at Riverbend Community Mental Health.

Eleven employees attended the training on how to use Narcan, the nasal spray that helps reverse an opioid overdose.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan were in Manchester on Tuesday to discuss a major opioid bill awaiting President Trump's signature.

The U.S. Senate passed the sweeping legislation, called the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, last week. 

A New Hampshire woman's vibrant portraits of young people who died of drug overdoses are going on display in Washington.

Artist Anne Mare Zanfagna, whose daughter died in 2014, began getting portrait requests from other parents after bringing her daughter's painting to a grief support group. The Plaistow woman now runs a nonprofit organization called Angels of Addiction to raise money for scholarships and addiction recovery resources.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams stressed the role the overdose reversing drug Naloxone needs to play in reducing opioid deaths. Adams was in Concord to address an opioid forum convened by Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Adams told a ballroom full of people steeped in New Hampshire's opioid epidemic that a lethal drug overdose takes place every 11 seconds in America, and that 50 percent of them happen at home.

Adams says the numbers underscore the need for more people to make a habit of carrying medicine that can undo overdoses.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

The candidates for New Hampshire's First Congressional seat campaigned in opposite sides of the district Thursday night.

In Manchester, Democrat Chris Pappas talked about economic opportunity. And in Dover, Republican Eddie Edwards discussed solutions to treating substance misuse and addiction.

Pappas made his campaign stop at a carpenter training facility to discuss his proposals for improving opportunity for middle class workers.

NHPR Photo

Seven hospitals across New Hampshire have now committed to serving as regional hubs, forming the backbone of the state’s new framework for addiction treatment, Health Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers said Wednesday.

State officials have been in negotiations with hospitals for weeks over the scope of services required under their new “hub and spoke” plan. 

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.

A drug recovery center in Rochester is back open after the city ordered it shut down Friday, citing a zoning violation.

The center, one of two locations run by SOS Recovery, operates out of a local church.

Taking A Toll: The Opioid Crisis And N.H.'s Children

Sep 21, 2018
CCO Public Domain

We follow up on the recent series by NHPR's Morning Edition team, called "Taking A Toll," on the opioid epidemic's affect on kids. The series looked at a range of impacts on children and also talked to a wide array of Granite Staters who are trying to help. 

GUESTS: 

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.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Morning Edition is taking a look at how the opioid epidemic is affecting children – and the people and programs who support them – in New Hampshire.

It's part of NHPR's Crossroad series, examining the impacts of addiction in New Hampshire.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley met with Carol Eyman at the Nashua Public Library. Eyman is the outreach coordinator for the library, which has begun to partner with the city and non-profits to help children in the opioid crisis. Eyman says these days, libraries can be about much more than books and DVDs.

AP

Morning Edition is taking a look at how the opioid epidemic is affecting children – and the people and programs who support them – in New Hampshire.

It's part of NHPR's Crossroad series, examining the impacts of addiction in New Hampshire.

The Center for Recovery Resources, a Claremont recovery center, will celebrate its grand opening Thursday.

The event marks the culmination of a months-long effort to keep peer recovery services in Claremont.  The city lost its only provider, Hope for New Hampshire, earlier this year.

NHPR File

Morning Edition is taking a look at how the opioid epidemic is affecting children – and the people and programs who support them – in New Hampshire.

It's part of NHPR's Crossroad series, examining the impacts of addiction in New Hampshire.

Tim Lena works for the Timberlane Regional School District, where he coordinates student assistance programs that can help identify students who are showing signs of needing help with substance use issues.

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