Chris Sununu’s Top Priorities for New Hampshire’s Drug Crisis 

October 20, 2016 - 5 minutes read

Aggressive Education
Drug prevention programs in our schools must be fully funded and be reprogrammed to be more aggressive in their approach to opioids. Starting in the 5th grade, our children must be shown the many forms these dangerous killers can come in. Our early education prevention plan will bring parents into the discussion, as they are important stakeholders who have long been shutout of education resources. Parents will learn about warning signs and resources available to them to seek help in the early stages. 

Workforce Pathways
The opioid crisis in New Hampshire has presented significant challenges for the state’s workforce. Men and women in recovery often struggle to land jobs following treatment – a serious contributing factor to recidivism and barriers for folks to remain abuse-free. The state needs to invest in providing business tax credits for businesses that invest capital in career training programs at recovery centers in New Hampshire.  

Education prevention programs must extend beyond the classroom and into the business community, where employers and employees, alike, face these problems. New Hampshire must help business managers learn about warning signs of addiction and provide them tools and resources so they can create more proactive open-door policies to be part of the solution and retain their workforce. 

Reducing Prescription Fraud and Abuse
The state needs to incentivize doctors and pharmacists to increase participation in electronic prescription monitoring programs to more accurately track and monitor abuses and fraud in Schedule II or Schedule III narcotics. 

Risk Awareness and Transparency for Patients
Pharmaceutical companies and doctors must be transparent and provide clear and accurate information to all patients being prescribed Schedule II or Schedule III narcotics to include prescription practices as recommended by the pharmaceutical companies, the addictive risks associated with each, and the proper proper disposal methods (ie. medicine drop locations) for unused/unwanted medicines.

Expand Access to Treatment
Given the severity of this crisis New Hampshire must create an expedited regulatory pathway to get these modern recovery centers permitted and approved on a fast-track basis so that these vital recovery tools don’t get slowed down in bureaucratic red tape. New Hampshire must increase funding for recovery beds state-wide, with an emphasis on more regional centers that focus on women and children. We must ease restrictions for public funding for non-traditional treatment centers, including faith based or holistic options for individuals and families

Increased Resources for Local & State Law Enforcement
New Hampshire must prioritize additional resources for programs like Operation Granite Hammer to provide law enforcement officers the tools they need to effectively combat the opioids crisis on the front lines. Resources must be invested in additional recruitment efforts across the state to ensure long term stability and support for those on the front lines of this crisis.  Police officers must know that we have their back while they protect ours.
  
Increased Penalties for Drug Traffickers and Drug Dealers
New Hampshire must do everything in its power to deter these synthetic opioids from being illegally distributed in our state. We must update and reform our current laws to apply more appropriate sentencing for drug dealers that threaten our children every day. Sentencing for drug traffickers of Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids must carry heavier sentences given their more lethal potency.  

Full Ban of Synthetic Opioid “Pink” U-47700
New Hampshire must immediately ban all forms of Pink (a form of carfentanil) better known by chemists as U-47700, which is eight times stronger than heroin, and is part of a family of deadly synthetic opioids known to be more resistant to the lifesaving drug Narcan. New Hampshire must follow in the footsteps of other state like Ohio, Florida, Georgia and Wyoming in a fully outlawing the compound across the board. 

Reform the Good Samaritan Laws
Though well-intentioned, Good Samaritan Laws in New Hampshire have provided loop holes for drug dealers. Drug dealers have learned to manipulate the laws in an effort to obtain immunity from prosecution and force police officers into difficult situations. The law must be reformed to remove these immunity provisions that keep drugs and their dealers on the streets.