Series: New Hampshire's Opioid Crisis

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

https://www.facebook.com/firstchurchrochester/

The First Church Congregational of Rochester and a recovery center that operates in it are suing the city of Rochester for trying to shut the center down. 

The SOS Recovery Community Center, a program of Goodwin Community Health, uses a wing of the church to offer services to hundreds of people seeking help with addiction each month.

History of Concord, New Hampshire, from the original grant in seventeen hundred and twenty-five to the opening of the twentieth century

What does mass incarceration look like in New Hampshire?

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.

A New National Strategy for Managing Pain

Feb 4, 2019
U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Mariah Haddenham)

In the midst of the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is addressing the need for alternative pain management. The department recently released a draft federal report on best practices — and opened a public comment period. Pain specialists recommend an interdisciplinary approach, combining physical treatments, pharmacology and mental health therapy. Many Granite Staters encounter hurdles with insurance coverage, access to health care providers, and stigma in treating their pain holistically.

We talk to physicians about the best approaches to acute and chronic pain. We also hear how health insurance companies are adjusting coverage to meet changing trends in pain management.

  

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. 

Janis Oppliger / Unsplash

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are studying how spending time outdoors might help people who are struggling with substance use disorders.

It's called outdoor behavioral therapy. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Michael Gass, a professor and the current director of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Center at UNH.

Property Listing

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are considering a bill to give towns more oversight over sober living facilities.

The facilities rent rooms to people recovering from addiction, with the goal of staying clean and finding community support.

Manchester fire chief Dan Goonan, who helped craft the bill, says in Manchester, there are dozens of unregulated sober living facilities, some without proper exits or fire or carbon monoxide alarms.

File photo

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office has detailed the series of failings that led to the downfall of a critical addiction treatment provider in Manchester last year.

In a final report issued Monday, the AG’s Charitable Trust Unit laid out how Serenity Place dramatically, and somewhat recklessly, expanded its services in an attempt to meet demand as the opioid crisis grew (Read the full report below).

Jason Moon / NHPR

A new state advisory council on opioid overprescribing will use data analysis to better understand the state's opioid crisis.

Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order creating the New Hampshire Opioid Overprescribing and Misuse Project Advisory Council Thursday afternoon. 

Britta Greene / New Hampshire Public Radio

In a series of public forums this week and next, state and local health officials are addressing questions and uncertainty around New Hampshire’s new addiction treatment system, called The Doorway. 

As of January 1, the system’s core framework is in place. That includes nine regional offices, supported by the 24/7 statewide 2-1-1 hotline, providing evaluation and referral services for substance use disorders.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

A bill in the New Hampshire Legislature could put more attention on young people affected by the opioid epidemic.

House Bill 111 would establish a committee to study the effect of the opioid crisis and domestic violence on children and recommend possible legislation to address it.

 

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.

Pages