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Police seeking heroin epidemic answers
Many states, including New Hampshire, are reporting a rise in heroin use as addicts migrate away from more costly and harder-to-get prescription opiates to much-cheaper heroin.
On a county level, Hillsborough County saw the highest number of heroin-related deaths in the state, 86, from 2008 to 2013. Grafton County saw a 300 percent change from 2012 to 2013, increasing from one to four deaths. Merrimack County experienced a 250 percent change over the same time frame, from two deaths in 2012 to seven in 2013.
"There are more overdose deaths now than fatal motor vehicle accidents," said Lt. John Encarnacao, commander of the New Hampshire State Police Narcotics and Investigations Unit. "We put all kids of money into "Driving Towards Zero," but when it comes to drugs we're cutting, cutting, cutting. We're getting more and more calls from confidential informants, and we have less manpower."
"I think there are some grant programs that were cut back dramatically under the budget control act," said Shaheen. "Now those have been rolled back, so hopefully there will be some additional funds available for use. Also, I'm interested to see if those grant programs address the needs we are seeing today. Some of them were developed back in the '90s, and I want to take a look at the wording to see if they need to be updated to reflect what we are seeing here today."
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