NH Health Department: Heroin Use Reaching Epidemic Proportions

By Joe Gullo

Published 02/27 2014 02:05PM

Updated 02/27 2014 02:11PM

CONCORD, N.H. - The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services says a new report Heroin in New Hampshire: A Dangerous Resurgence, shows that heroin use is reaching epidemic proportions in the state. 

The increase may be attributed to individuals becoming addicted to prescription opioid pain medication and are now switching to heroin. 

“Some individuals become addicted to prescription pain medication after having been prescribed these medications to manage pain. Some individuals who have misused prescription drugs may turn to heroin because it is cheaper and more easily accessible," said Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services Director Joe Harding. "Regardless of the reason, Heroin is a dangerous and highly addictive drug, and because it is a street drug it might have added harmful contaminated ingredients that make it even more dangerous and lethal, as witnessed by the recent rash of heroin related overdose deaths here in New Hampshire and across the country.”

Law enforcement officials say the use of heroin and misuse of opioid prescription drugs are driving up crime rates, creating public safety issues, and putting a burden on their limited resources. 

Changes in the healthcare law will soon require coverage for substance and mental health disorders. A press release says legislation currently being worked on in the New Hampshire Statehouse will make healthcare benefits available to lower income individuals and make addiction services more available in the state. 

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