Substance Use Disorder

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

A group of providers and staff with the Department of Health and Human Services are re-examining the state’s model for how to treat young people with substance use disorders and mental health challenges, following the closure last month of the state’s sole addiction treatment center for youth. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Officials in New Hampshire are moving forward with efforts to reduce vaping and tobacco use among teens in advance of state and federal laws raising the minimum purchasing age in 2020.

On January 1, the age for purchasing tobacco and vape products in New Hampshire will increase to 19. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has released a report into a series of non-fatal overdoses at the state's sole residential youth addiction treatment center last month.

The report says that most of the overdoses at the Granite Pathways Youth Treatment Center in Manchester were from a drug that one resident smuggled in after visiting their family over the weekend of November 23.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Federal officials are still looking into the causes of vaping-related deaths around the country, but in New Hampshire, schools are continuing to see a surge in teenage vaping.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a quarter of high schoolers here are vaping at least occasionally. That’s nearly twice the national average. And schools and public health advocates are struggling to find a way to get teenagers to stop.


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Congress is expected to vote on a government spending bill this week that would allow money earmarked for opioid use disorder to be used to treat other addictions. The provision, authored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, comes in response to concerns that federal money coming into New Hampshire was too narrowly tailored to the opioid crisis.

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. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

New Hampshire is terminating its contract with the state's sole addiction treatment facility for youth and temporarily suspending all admissions after teenagers staying there overdosed and were rushed to the hospital earlier this week.

On Wednesday, DHHS Commissioner Jeffrey Meyers told reporters that swift action was neccessary against Granite Pathways, the organization running the center.

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 File Photo

Carroll County Commissioners voted two to one last Wednesday against a policy that would provide medication assisted treatment to inmates who aren't on that program before they get to jail.

But the Carroll County Jail superintendent still plans to move forward with the proposed policy. 

Medication assisted treatment provides anti-opioid medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to help people dealing with substance use disorders.

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.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

 

New Hampshire's state prisons are expanding medically assisted treatment for alcohol and opioid use disorders. The program will be funded with around $2 million from a federal State Opioid Response grant focused on improving treatment and recovery initiatives across the state.

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.”

Cheryl Senter / NHPR

 

Inmates with substance use disorder will now have someone to help them get recovery services after they leave state prison.

The initiative was piloted in 2018 in the women's prison in Concord and is now expanding to the men's prison in Berlin.

Department of Corrections Commissioner Helen Hanks says re-entry coordinators are needed because so many people in prison are struggling with addiction and many are in recovery. They face a high chance of recidivism or overdosing post release.