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At meeting with New Hampshire law enforcement in Derry, Shaheen calls for collaborative effort to address heroin and prescription drug abuse

(April 16, 2014 – Senator Jeanne Shaheen and members of New Hampshire law enforcement discuss New Hampshire’s heroin and prescription drug addiction epidemic in Derry, NH)


(Derry, NH) – This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hosted a roundtable discussion at the Derry Police Department with New Hampshire law enforcement to address New Hampshire’s heroin and prescription drug addiction problem that has reached epidemic levels. Shaheen and law enforcement, which included police chiefs and sheriffs from Derry, Claremont, Hooksett, Bedford, Rochester, and Cheshire and Strafford Counties, discussed ways in which the federal government, local law enforcement and public health officials can better coordinate to address the growing problem. Today’s roundtable was the second hosted by Shaheen this month.

“Fighting the heroin and prescription drug addiction problem in New Hampshire is going to take a collaborative and comprehensive effort, and I am encouraged by the already demonstrated commitment and efforts of New Hampshire law enforcement to stemming the spread of this epidemic,” Shaheen said. “We must work together at the local, state and federal level to stop this troubling trend that is hurting our communities and claiming too many lives.”

According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS), the number of people admitted to state treatment programs increased 90 percent for heroin use and 500 percent for prescription drug use over the last 10 years, with the largest increases occurring in just the last two years.  Law enforcement officials have also seen a spike in crimes associated with drug use – like burglaries, assaults and property crimes – and according to NHDHHS, 64 individuals died in heroin-related deaths last year.

Shaheen has been working to aggressively fight this growing problem in New Hampshire, reaching out to federal, state and local officials along with public health and treatment professionals for ways to best address the issue.  Recently, she urged appropriators to increase resources for heroin and prescription drug abuse enforcement and treatment and called on Attorney General Eric Holder to collaborate with state and local law enforcement to comprehensively prevent and address heroin and prescription drug addiction within New Hampshire communities. Last week, Shaheen called on the Food and Drug Administration to review the approval of a powerful new painkiller that has generated concern about the potential addiction and drug-related death risks associated with it.

Participants in this afternoon's roundtable included:

Chief Ed Garone                           Derry Police Department

Sheriff Eli Rivera                           Sheriff, Cheshire County

Sheriff Dave Dubois                      Sheriff, Strafford County

Chief Alex Scott                           Claremont Police Department

Chief Peter Bartlett                       Hooksett Police Department

Chief John Bryfonski                     Bedford Police Department

Captain Paul Toussaint                 Rochester Police Department

Lieutenant Steven Lee                  UNH Police Department

Chief Joseph Baldwin                    Hampstead Police Department

Chief Jason Lavoie                       Hudson Police Department

Chief Gerry Lewis                          Windham Police Department

Sergeant Chris Scott                      New Hampshire Fusion Center

Chief David Salois                         Raymond Police Department

Captain Dave Terlemezian             Dover Police Department

Major Chris Aucoin                         NH State Police