NHDP - ICYMI: Senate Republicans Under Pressure to Restore Cuts to Substance Misuse Treatment

Concord, N.H. – As the Senate works to develop its budget, Senate Republicans are under pressure to restore cuts to critical priorities including substance misuse treatment and funding for higher education.  
See coverage roundup below:
NHPR: Panel Offers Testimony On Need For More Substance-Abuse Programs
A panel that included the step-mother of a woman who died of a heroin overdose told a House committee Thursday that proposed cuts in substance-abuse programs will exacerbate the state’s alarming rise in drug-related deaths.
“Last year, it was 321,” said Tym Rourke, chair of the Governor’s Commission on Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. “Next year it could be 600 and the year after that, 800.”
Rourke said New Hampshire now has the country’s highest per-capita rate of addiction and the second lowest treatment capacity. “This is going to mean many years of sustained focus and investment and partnership to get through,” he said,” with recognition that when we overcome our heroin epidemic there will be another substance that will follow it immediately.” [Full article]
Nashua Telegraph: Despite heroin epidemic, experts say NH ranks second lowest in nation in terms of funds devoted to drug treatment, prevention
Kriss Blevens held up a photo of her stepdaughter, Amber, the blue-eyed, red head who was found dead in a Manchester alley from a heroin overdose last April.
“I want you to meet Amber,” she said, struggling to keep her voice in check as she showed the picture around a State House hearing room to lawmakers, substance abuse advocates and the media.
“She had a vibrant spirit. Drugs took her. If she could come back to life today, she would say exactly the same thing – something has to be done,” Blevens said of the “plague” of heroin and opioid addiction that last year contributed to a record number of drug deaths in New Hampshire.
Amber, 22, did four stints at Valley Street jail in Manchester during the last two to three years of her life. She was there on drug charges and, later, prostitution, which Blevens said Amber turned to to get the money she needed to feed her addiction.
“There was no help, no treatment, when she got out,” Blevens told the gathering. Days after her last release from jail, Amber died from a heroin overdose. [Full article]
NHBR: Will they stay or will they go?
… In 2012, New Hampshire ranked last in the nation for the percentage of students who remain in the state to attend college – 41 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
But New Hampshire students who do attend college in New Hampshire are 70 percent more likely to remain in the Granite State after college – compared to the 20 percent chance that out-of-state students will stay here, says University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Todd Leach.
… In its budget, the New Hampshire House proposes cutting USNH funding to $76.5 million annually, $7.5 million less than the $84 million the system is receiving in fiscal year 2015. Gov. Maggie Hassan had proposed the system receive an additional $13 million over the biennium, a total of $181 million. [Full article]