No decrease in overdose deaths

Apr 23, 2018
drug overdose death

According to the latest data from the Chief Medical Examiner in New Hampshire, there was almost no change in the number of drug overdose deaths from 2016 to 2017.

There were 485 overdose deaths in 2016, and 483 in 2017.  There are six additional deaths from 2017 that still have pending lab results.

Fentanyl is deadliest opioid

The vast majority of overdose deaths in 2016 and 2017 involved fentanyl. 

Should the state fund more fire department Safe Station programs, like those in Manchester, to provide help for opioid addicts?

Nov 04, 2017

Earlier this month, Governor Chris Sununu announced that the state will provide $150,000 in funding for Manchester’s Safe Station program. Since the program began last May, Manchester fire stations have helped close to 2,500 people struggling with substance abuse find help.

Mayor Ted Gatsas lobbied the state for funding after it was found that over 65 percent of those who used the services came from outside Manchester. Beyond the immediate pledge of $150,000, Mayor Gatsas expects more state investment as the program continues.

Should President Trump authorize additional federal funding to address the heroin and opioid addiction crisis?

Oct 30, 2017

Last week, President Donald Trump declared the nation's heroin and opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency - a designation that allows the federal government to redirect resources in various ways and to expand access to medical services in rural areas.

But critics say the health emergency declaration does not go far enough because it does not bring new funding into the fight against a crisis that kills up to 100 people a day nationwide.

A tax to stop opioid abuse?

Sep 07, 2017
opioid tax

This year several states - including Massachusetts - have considered a tax on opioid-based prescription painkiller sales.

The proposals vary from state to state, but can involve taxing some combination of manufacturers, producers, importers, and distributors. The taxes can be based on gross receipts, the number of pills, or the amount of addicting substances in the drugs. Some proposals have exceptions for opioids used for hospice and cancer patients.

All of the proposals send the tax revenue to opioid addiction treatment or prevention.

Prescription monitoring for veterinarians?

Aug 25, 2017
veterinarians and the prescription drug monitoring program

New Hampshire, like most states, has a prescription drug monitoring database, which tracks the history of prescriptions for drugs with a greater risk for addiction and abuse, such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Starting in 2016, all healthcare professionals in the state were required to check the database before writing a prescription for one of the painkillers it covers. That included health care professionals whose patients are furry and four-legged.

Should marijuana be allowed for acute, not just chronic pain in New Hampshire?

Aug 16, 2017
medical marijuana for pain

New Hampshire, along with 28 other states and the District of Columbia, allow the use of medical marijuana. But only certain chronic conditions are eligible for medical marijuana treatment, by a doctor’s prescription and with the issuance of a state identification card.

Involuntary commitment for opioid addicts

Jun 19, 2017
involuntary commitment for drug addiction

In Massachusetts, it’s becoming an increasingly common practice: relatives or doctors petitioning courts to forcibly commit addicts at risk of opioid overdose for treatment. In fact, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced in May that he would seek to expand the policy, pushing for a bill that empowers emergency room doctors to hold patients for up to three days without a court order—an attempt to prevent at-risk individuals from being released on nights or weekends when courts aren’t in session.

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