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February 10th, 2016

Does this sound like a place where you would find rampant heroin addiction:

This is New Hampshire

“The lush, rolling hills and idyllic red barns here can transform you to another time. Every town’s main street sprinkled with mom-and-pop shops and glistening white church steeples provide a backdrop to the scene of a Norman Rockwell painting, the personification of New England nostalgia.”*

This is New Hampshire on Drugs

“Last year, there were roughly 400 drug-overdose related deaths in New Hampshire — the most in the state’s history. With a population of roughly 1.4 million, the Granite State has one of the highest per-capita rates of addiction in the country.”*

Unfortunately, this playing out in small towns, suburbs, cities and elsewhere all across our country; it’s reach is unbiased, unprejudiced, and lethal. Heroin is consistently trending #3 behind alcohol and marijuana in young adults 18-25 and it’s low cost and wide spread availability is going to make this problem much, much worse before it gets better.

A Town under Siege

Situated along the I-93 interstate between the state’s two largest cities of Manchester and Nashua, the small town of Londonderry is at the center of a drug-trafficking route where heroin cuts across socio-economic and political lines.
Ed Daniels has worked with the Londonderry Fire Department for 11 years. For most of that time, he says, he saw one or two overdose cases a year. He says he now sees at least one every shift. He says the victims he treats come from all demographics. “There’s no rhyme or reason to it,” said Daniels.

Daniels says the numbers began to spike last summer and have continued to rise, unabated. He blames the increase on fentanyl — an extremely potent pain killer drug that is now commonly cut with heroin to produce a more intense high — and feels, at times, that there is little long-term that he can do for his patients.

“They can leave the hospital,” said Daniels. “[But] once they have the addiction, where can they go for help?”
For Londonderry Fire Department Chief Darren O’Brien, who has lived his entire life in Londonderry, “it’s hard to see what’s going on in a community you grew up in.”

O’Brien noted that there were 82 reported overdoses last year — nearly three times the 31 reported cases in 2014. “I’m hoping we can get a handle on it,” he said….click here to learn more about this story as presented by NBC News on 2.3.16.*