New Hampshire’s Growing Opioid Crisis
President Donald Trump officially declared the United States’ opioid epidemic a national emergency on Thursday. Nationwide, more Americans were killed from opioid abuse than during the entire Vietnam War. New Hampshire is currently second only to West Virginia in overdose deaths among the states and ranks number one in overdoses on fentanyl, a synthetic drug that can be up to 100 times more potent than morphine and is manufactured overseas.
Lisa Marsch, a professor at Dartmouth College’s Geisel School of Medicine, claims that much of the fentanyl coming into New Hampshire is being brought from Massachusetts, where distributors can charge a higher price. Fentanyl is easier for distributors to transport since it can be given out in smaller quantities. Fentanyl is responsible for two-thirds of overdose deaths in New Hampshire and its use has increased by 1,629% in the last five years. Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire, had almost 120 overdoses just last month.
People need more treatment and help in New Hampshire. After patients end up in the emergency room for overdoses, they are often released upon clearance without any plans or solutions to keep them off drugs. New Hampshire lags behind other states in treatment, a factor that contributes to the state’s overdose epidemic. How can we cure the opioid epidemic if a sufficient amount of help is not being offered?