safe station

Manchester Fire Department

 

Four months into the state's new addiction treatment program, Manchester says it's still overwhelmed with the number of people seeking help in the city.

From January to March 2019, 541 people went to Manchester's Safe Stations for help with addiction, a 30 percent increase from the same time last year.

Over half of those people did not live in Manchester.

First responders across New Hampshire are participating in a grant program that uses mobile units to connect people struggling with substance use disorders to treatment and recovery services. It’s called NH Project First.

Lt. Brian Keyes has already been doing this kind of work for the past two years as the recovery coordinator for the Laconia Fire Department. He says in recent years the department has responded to many more overdose calls than actual fires.

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.   

Sarah Gibson / New Hampshire Public Radio

Researchers at Dartmouth have completed a months-long study of Manchester's Safe Station program.

The city’s fire department started the effort about two and a half years ago as way to open their doors to those struggling with addiction.

Since then, they’ve logged more than 4,000 intakes, according to Chief Dan Goonan.

The National Institutes of Health was interested in formally documenting how the program works, as cities across the country are looking to replicate the model, said Lisa Marsch, with Dartmouth.

Sarah Gibson / New Hampshire Public Radio

For years, New Hampshire has relied on a largely patchwork strategy to address the opioid crisis, funding grassroots efforts community by community. That means an individual’s access to services depends a lot on where he or she lives. Now, state officials want to change that. But implementing a new, statewide system is easier said than done. In some cases it will mean replacing initiatives that already exist.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: March 23, 2018

Mar 23, 2018

In a visit to Manchester this week, President Trump discusses efforts to combat the opioid crisis and floats the idea of the death penalty for drug traffickers.  With the deadline for bills in the legislature to "crossover" from one chamber to the other, we look at which bills struggled, which sailed through, and what is still up for debate.  Plus,  a last-minute attempt to change the Granite State’s gun laws.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  President Donald Trump's plan to combat opioid drug addiction calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where it's appropriate under current law.

Administration officials say Trump also wants Congress to pass legislation reducing the amount of drugs necessary to trigger mandatory minimum sentences on traffickers who knowingly distribute certain illicit opioids.

Manchester’s Safe Station Program is exploring a novel way to transport people to local substance abuse providers -- by using the ride-sharing app Lyft.

Serenity Place Going Out of Business After 40 Years

Jan 23, 2018
Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Serenity Place, the addiction treatment center tied to Manchester's Safe Station program, will be shutting its doors after more than four decades of operation.

The nonprofit has severe financial problems and was court-ordered Tuesday to begin the liquidation process next month.

Serenity Place's Downfall Tells Much Larger Story

Jan 17, 2018
Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A crucial treatment provider in the state’s effort to combat the opioid crisis collapsed, with little warning, last month.

But some say this incident has exposed gaps in the state’s ability to oversee a critical system of care.

The city of Rochester is exploring launching a Safe Station program modeled after the one in Manchester.

The idea behind Manchester’s program is that anyone who wants help fighting their addiction can walk into any city fire station, at any time, and get connected with treatment services.

Rochester Mayor Caroline McCarley has been closely following the program and wants it, or something like it, in her city.

File photo

The Governor has called an emergency Executive Council meeting Friday morning to address a key drug treatment provider in Manchester that recently went under due to financial problems.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

  The Safe Station program launched by the Manchester Fire Department to help combat opioid addiction has inspired a similar program in Providence, R.I.

The Associated Press reports that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced a plan Monday to open 12 stations at fire houses around his city.

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.

NHPR File

With New Hampshire still in opioid crisis mode, Chris Hickey says part of the challenge continues to be fighting the stigma around drug addiction.

Hickey is the firefighter behind the Manchester Fire Department's "Safe Station," a program that welcomes addicts and directs them to available drug and substance abuse treatment and recovery services.

FLYER

Officials in Nashua Friday are marking the one year anniversary of a drug treatment program – that they say has saved hundreds of lives.