Ending the Opioid Crisis
New Hampshire has been one of the hardest-hit states by the opioid crisis; we have the second highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the country, three times higher than the national average.
While positive steps have been made in recent years, RAD has found a need for considerable work to increase public empathy for those struggling with substance use disorders and advance adequate funding to make greater progress in reducing this crisis in our state.
This crisis impacts everyone in a community, not just the individual and family. According to a report issued in 2018 by our sister organization Rights & Democracy Institute—New Hampshire Together: Voices from the Granite State—the impact of the overdose crisis is felt throughout a community – from civic and social structure to economic resilience.
The report found that the overdose crisis is a major concern across regions, and income levels, in New Hampshire. Aside from the enormous human toll, it is driving up health care costs in New Hampshire more than other states. Four out of five of the nearly 1,000 New Hampshire residents who completed the survey said they were concerned about “the impact of the drug and opioid crisis in our community,” with more than half (55%) very concerned. Concern with the overdose crisis is at equal levels in rural and more populous areas of the State, among men and women and among all age groups.
Despite the gravity of the problem and the deep concern of State residents, New Hampshire has the second lowest rate of spending on substance use treatment and prevention. That’s why RAD is working to mobilize communities around the importance of funding programs that are working and investing in treatments and best practices across New Hampshire.
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