NH Opiate Forum:Community Searches for a Solution

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 04/29 2014 05:52PM

Updated 04/29 2014 05:54PM

CLAREMONT, Nh.- Kelly Simpson's son Tyler started with prescription pills and his addiction grew to include heroin.

“What he said to me, was the heroin was cheaper and easier to get,” said Simpson.

Simpson says last summer Tyler asked for help. When there wasn't any available for him right away, he tried to get clean on his own; but Simpson says the withdrawal was unbearable.

“12 days after his 22nd birthday, he took his own life,” said Simpson.

Because of her experience Simpson attended a community forum in Claremont, NH to see what she can do to help.

“The longer we ignore it, the more it's going to grow. But collectively the sooner we address it  i think the sooner we can have a positive impact,” said Chief Alexander Scott with Claremont Police.

Scott says his department has seen a drastic increase in drug-related crime and he believes opiate addiction is to blame. He says the purpose of the forum is to get a conversation started on possible solutions.

“From my perspective one of the most important things we can do is start to limit the number of people who become addicted or have the opportunity to become addicted,” said Scott.

Scott says he'd like to see more in-patient treatment facilities open in Sullivan County. Right now there are none. Simpson says if there was even one option her son may still be alive today. 

“We need to get them resources to go and get help whether they are the dealer or the user. Because if you are in jail for 12 hours and you get arraigned the next day you're either back out using or you're back out selling,” said Simpson.

Police and community leaders hope these types of conversations will help create long term solutions to the on-going and growing drug problem. But they do realize a change won't happen overnight.

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