Current Drug Problems in New Hampshire

New Hampshire faces the second highest percentage of overdose deaths related to opioid abuse. There were 437 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in 2016. This rate amounts to 35.8 deaths per 100,000 persons and about three times higher than the national rate which is 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons. The opioid-related deaths increased three-fold from 2013 through 2016 in this state. This increase is attributed to the number of deaths related to the use of synthetic opioids.

Fentanyl is the leading synthetic opioid that has caused the tenfold increase in death rate during the said years. The rate raised from 30 to 363 deaths. On a study conducted by National Institute of Drug Abuse, it was found out that in 2015, New Hampshire providers 66.6 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (886,000 prescriptions). The average U.S rate was 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons.

From 1999-2016, the opioid-related overdose death rate was also studied. It was found out that there were 437 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016 in New Hampshire. 34 of them involved heroin. 363 of them involved synthetic opioids. 89 of them also involved prescription opioids. These categories can be mutually inclusive since deaths can involve more than one drug.

A CDC study that analyzed the 2013 Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) data available from 28 states. It was found out that the national average NAS rate is at 0.6 percent of live births. NAS in New Hampshire increased from 2003 to 2011. There were 20 cases in 2003 and 150 cases in 2011. By 2015, this rate dramatically rose to 269 infants. This rate amounts to 24.4 of 1,000 live diagnosed with NAS.

Just like the case across the USA, heroin and opiate addictions grow in New Hampshire. The two drugs can be easily mixed. Prescription drug users often combine them to enjoy increased relaxation or euphoria. Lots of other prescription drug users choose heroin if they run out of drug of choice. A survey from New Hampshire’s Chief Medical Examiner’s Office says that opioid and opiate overdose deaths have increased sharply between 2012 and 2015.

The rapid increase of drug-related incidents calls for more facilities to cater to the treatment and recovery of these patients are needed. If you have a family or friend that suffers from the effects of drug abuse, find the nearest sober living facility and immediately seek help. Sobriety is a life-long battle, and patients need all the love and care they deserve throughout the whole recovery process.

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