SHAHEEN: NEW HAMPSHIRE’S HEROIN AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG EPIDEMIC NEEDS OUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION
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