By Garry Rayno
The state will use about $500,000 in federal money to distribute 5,000 overdose prevention kits, state officials said Tuesday.
Coupled with additional resources for treatment, prevention and recovery, and an ad campaign -- Anyone, Any Time -- to raise awareness about treatment services, officials hope to put a dent in New Hampshire's opioid addiction epidemic.
"We're all in this together as we try to reverse the tide of this truly terrible epidemic," said Gov. Maggie Hassan at a press conference to announce the ad campaign and to tout what the state is doing to address the heroin crisis.
Public and private health officials, law enforcement, lawmakers, family members touched by addiction and recovering addicts attended the press conference as speakers explained the plan to distribute the drug Narcan, which is used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.
Although a law was passed this session to expand the availability of the drug, parents and friends of addicts say they have not been able to find it.
State Health and Human Service officials are now distributing Narcan kits to the state's 10 community health centers, which, with Department of Safety officials, will begin training trainers.
Marcella Bobinski of HHS, who is in charge of the distribution program, said the distribution is a one-time bridge to having physicians and practitioners write prescriptions that family and friends could receive at pharmacies.
"This is not candy to be distributed," she said. "This is a way to combat overdoes throughout the state."
More than 300 people died from drug overdoses in New Hampshire last year and the state is on a path to exceed that number this year.
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