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In 2013, New Hampshire registered 203 deaths that were largely attributed to the tampering, misuse, or the non-medical use of prescription opioid analgesics.

The rest were due to heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana as well as a few designer drugs. The figures jumped to 64.5 percent in the following year, 2014, with the total number of drug overdose deaths at 334 for an age adjusted drug overdose death rate of 26.2. The overall drug landscape of New Hampshire is not pleasing to say the least. More than 27 percent of its young adult population use marijuana compared to the national data of 18.8 percent. The non-medical use of prescription opioid analgesics is also higher than the national average, 12.3 percent against 10.4 percent. Additionally, the same trend can be said of its illicit drug use at 10.6 percent compared to the national average of 7.5 percent.

The increasing trend has alarmed New Hampshire’s drug rehabilitation and treatment officials who are now working on devising newer ways on how to get back on track in the elimination of the drug scourge.

Heroin continue to dominate New Hampshire’s drug landscape. As of 2014, New Hampshire’s drug treatment centers have admitted more than 1,500 heroin addicts and users and close to 1,300 prescription opioid analgesic misusers and abusers. The state has shown that in the last decade alone, there was a 90 percent increase in addiction center admissions for heroin addiction and more than 500 percent increase in treatment and rehabilitation admissions for prescription opiates like codeine, oxycodone, and hydromorphone, among others. The state now wants to refocus its aims on prevention as the best investment, critical early intervention, effective addiction treatment, and successful recovery from addiction.

New Hampshire is thus increasing its efforts in improving its drug abuse prevention programs. In coordination with schools, communities, and socio-civic organizations, it is hoped that New Hampshire’s drug prevention efforts will bear fruit this time around. Preventing drug abuse requires an effective information dissemination campaign that should not only target schools but also other establishments where most vulnerable members of the population are found.

Additionally, the emphasis on early drug treatment and drug rehab is something that is worth mentioning. New Hampshire is now ready, more than ever, to focus on early and prompt treatment of drug addiction problems in order to avert any fatal consequences. By making naloxone readily available to first responders, the fatal consequences of opioid drug overdose can be effectively reversed and appropriate addiction treatment and rehabilitation be initiated.

New Hampshire’s drug treatment facilities are also beefing up their competencies and amenities in order to contribute to the overall aim of the state. Many drug rehab facilities continue to use medication assisted cognitive and behavioral therapies as the cornerstone of drug addiction treatment and rehabilitation. These therapeutic protocols are regularly reviewed for effectiveness so that corrective actions can be instituted to bring out optimum results.

It is only through these that drug rehabilitation can be attained with considerable success. And this is how New Hampshire aims to address its drug and drug treatment problems.

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