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Drug frustration: New ideas to tackle crisis

August 10. 2017 10:39PM

All of the above. Whatever works.

After years of rising death tolls from opioid overdoses, New Hampshire residents are frustrated. Effective solutions have been hard to come by.

Hillsborough County officials are hoping to reduce recidivism among inmates at the Valley Street jail with a new program to address substance abuse disorders. Two dozen inmates have signed up since the program launched in June.

In Nashua, Mayor Jim Donchess is launching a new program to provide peer recovery coaches for addicts, focusing on young people with drug problems. Nashua has also followed Manchester’s lead with a Safe Station program.

Laconia has tasked a police officer with coordinating prevention, enforcement, and treatment programs. Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital in Lebanon is bringing in 16 AmeriCorps members to work with patients receiving drug treatment.

Blue ribbon commissions and bipartisan task forces keep making recommendations, usually to throw someone else’s money at the problem. With 500 overdose deaths a year across New Hampshire, we’re willing to try anything.

The frustrating thing is that we have been trying. It’s hard to know what works. We measure drug programs by their good intentions, because their results are so hard to track.

It’s good to see new approaches. It’s even better to see which work, and which can be replicated.

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