By Ramsey Cox
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) hosted the White House's top drug control official to discuss New Hampshire’s heroin and prescription drug abuse epidemic.
Shaheen has called for a better partnership between local and federal officials to combat the problem.
Office of National Drug Control Policy director Michael Botticelli discussed how law enforcement, health officials and community leaders could partner with the federal government to prevent substance abuse.
“New Hampshire has been hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic — both heroin and prescription painkillers — but we are not powerless against this challenge,” Botticelli said. “We are pursuing real, evidence-based drug policy reforms that will make New Hampshire healthier and safer, including support for expanding prevention, treatment, and smart on crime innovations.”
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has said the number of people admitted to state treatment programs increased 90 percent for heroin use and 500 percent for prescription drug use during the last 10 years.
“It was great to have Director Botticelli here today to discuss how we can all partner,” Shaheen said. “I’ll continue to work with communities around the state to make sure they have the resources they need to tackle the growing heroin and prescription drug epidemic.”
Shaheen is facing a tough reelection race in November.